Dick's, Drew Brees take concussion education head on

PITTSBURGH — The Dick's Sporting Goods Foundation, quarterback Drew Brees and imPACT for PACE (Protecting Athletes through Concussion Education) have joined forces to help educate athletes at all levels of the dangers of concussions.

Parents, coaches and school officials can visit www.DicksSportingGoods.com/PACE to sign up eligible middle, high school and youth athletic organizations to receive free ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) testing software licenses, which provide baseline tests for up to 300 young athletes free of charge for one year ($500 value).

Utilized by more than three million athletes at thousands of middle and high schools, collegiate and professional sports teams, ImPACT is the first, most-widely used, scientifically-validated computerized neurocognitive evaluation system available. ImPACT begins with a 20-minute baseline test that is administered pre-season. If a concussion is suspected later, another post-injury test is administered by trained clinicians to assess the possible after-effects. The program evaluates multiple aspects of brain function including memory, processing speed, reaction time and post-concussive symptoms, assisting doctors in making return-to-play decisions and potentially reducing the possibility of long-term neurological effects.

"The Dick's Sporting Goods Foundation has a unique opportunity through PACE to empower parents, coaches and young athletes with the right tools to make sure they're informed and taking the necessary precautions to manage concussions," said Edward Stack, Chairman and CEO of Dick's Sporting Goods. "Together with Drew Brees and our partners at ImPACT, our goal is to provide awareness and information so that every athlete, every team and every school can be smart about concussions."

Record-breaking pro football star Drew Brees, who suffered a concussion in 2005, will serve as the national spokesperson for PACE in 2012, participating in various marketing initiatives to support the program including online video, public relations, and social media engagement.