SPRING, TEXAS – Back in May, Frio Hydration Owner Rob McFarlin knew his sports-hydration company was going to have to come up with something different for the busy season this fall.
August through September is when athletic departments typically upgrade their hydration systems to make sure they’re ready for fall sports.
But, in the era of COVID, McFarlin knew athletic departments were going to need something more than the traditional systems he offers. Gone are the days of athletic trainers handing bottles to players. Self-serve systems that require athletes to press a button on a cooler area out of the question too in this “touchless” era.
Teams were going to need specially designed systems that keep athletes far apart while accessing their water, and athletes certainly would not be able to touch common surfaces.
So, in June, Frio Hydration released its patent-pending Hands-Free Hydration System that allows athletes to access water with foot pedals – and without getting near each other.
And coaches and school administrators across the US have been buying in droves.
“We were faced with the possibility of having to downsize the company and most of us, if not all of us on the team, having to find full-time jobs elsewhere. I’d say we were about a week away from that point. But how we’re on pace to see at least a 20 percent growth in sales over last year,” McFarland said.
This fall has been the five-year-old Texas company’s busiest ever, and, with COVID-19 still sure to be a factor in plans for spring sports, McFarland anticipates a record-breaking 2021 as well.
“Our company has never seen better sales,” McFarland said. “But, as far as I’m concerned, what’s far more important than our record sales numbers is that we have been able to play a major role in the safe return of sports this year,” McFarland said.
Coaches and athletic directors across the county have told McFarland that, without Frio Hydration’s groundbreaking new system this year, they would be relying upon wholly inadequate “systems” such as asking athletes to bring (and keep up with) their water bottles at practices.
“And there are just way too many headaches involved with that,” McFarland said. “I am very confident we have helped prevent many heat-related illnesses among athletes this year.”
For more about the Hands-Free system, and all the other hydration and cooling systems, Frio Hydration offers, visit http://www.friohydration.com.