The story of how our founder Michael Morrow conceived of the Nutcase brand makes a pretty good anecdote, and Michael will relate it, for the second year running, at the BrandNew Academy gathering at the ISPO sports trade show held in Munich, Germany, from February 5 – 8.

(Hear Michael on February 4th, from 6pm to 8pm in conference room A11, just above Hall A1 on the show grounds of ISPO MUNICH).

Michael will tell the proverbial ‘napkin story’ – i.e. the tale of an innovative company created after an inspired mind made sketches on a cocktail napkin.

In Nutcase’s case the napkin story is true – Michael drew his first helmet design on a piece of napkin.

It was 15 years ago, and Michael was interested in just one thing: showing support for his beloved Oregon State University Beavers football team by wearing a helmet to the famous Civil War game that heaped scorn on the Beavers’ opponents, the University of Oregon Ducks.

In researching where to get a helmet that approximated what he sketched on the napkin, Morrow had another realization, however. He found out the helmet market of that time was devoid of inspiring choices.

Left: Original 'dead ducks' helmet and a recent Civil War helmet by Michael; our OSU and UofO Collegiate helmets; Mrs. Nutcase shows an autographed Nutcase from a famous Beaver.

Original ‘dead ducks’ helmet and a similar ‘dead longhorn’ helmet; our OSU Collegiate helmets; Mrs. Nutcase shows an autographed Nutcase from a famous Duck

Because it is one of a handful of the companies to win ISPO’s ‘BrandNew’ award (back in 2007) Nutcase received the honor of addressing 2014’s ‘BrandNew’ ISPO nominees at 2014’s show. In his speech he laid out some of the highlights of the Nutcase story: the outlandish ‘dead’ duck helmet; the development of the Watermelon helmet in 2003 and the subsequent  line of nutty and wacky, graphically-sophisticated helmets; and finally the necessary elements and adventurous experiences of a scrappy start-up in the competitive helmet world.

The ISPO ‘BrandNew’ nominees loved his presentation so thoroughly the show’s organizers asked him back for a repeat performance this year.

So Michael is heading back to Munich for a second, no-holds barred presentation. He doesn’t just highlight the company’s wins. He also chronicles some of the inevitable ups and downs, successes and disappointments of becoming an internationally known, urban lifestyle helmet brand.

Napkin Story 2

Michael is always happy to share the Nutcase napkin story because it not only demonstrates the power of creativity but also points out one of the company’s biggest assets: our users worldwide, the best customers anyone could ask for – smart, active, fun, stylish and outrageous.