3 of 5
BACKNEXT
Vulcan Global Manufacturing Solutions
Vulcan Global Manufacturing Solutions

Official Lead Weight, U.S. Luge Team

Less is more, right? Not for athletes in luge events, where more weight on the sled translates into more speed on the track. Women weighing less than 165 pounds and men lighter than 198 pounds are actually at a competitive disadvantage.

To level the playing field, lighter athletes can artificially bulk up and still play by the rules. Vulcan Global Manufacturing Solutions, a Milwaukee metal-parts manufacturer that focuses on the medical and aerospace industries, seized on this opportunity more than 20 years ago. It's been sponsoring the U.S. Luge team ever since as its exclusive official supplier of lead weights.

The company's small metal die casts, which measure 1-inch square, can be sewn into the athletes' suits, or even fastened to their sleds with Duck Tape (another U.S. Luge sponsor) for a last-minute adjustment.

Vulcan donates about 3,000 weights to the team each year, without expecting much in return. The sponsorship is fairly low key -- consumer marketing isn't really a priority for a company that primarily makes internal parts for baggage scanners, hospital equipment and other radioactive machinery, says CFO Dan Henkhaus.

It's about "the fun of it," he says. Once a year, usually in May, the company shuts down its three factories in Milwaukee and invites all 100 employees to a luncheon with three of the team's top athletes. Vulcan also hosts an Olympic athlete meet-and-greet for students at a local school.

NEXT: Dermatone

Email | Print | Share  |  RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
LAST UPDATE: Feb 16 2010 | 1:32 PM ET
More Galleries
6 designers shaking up fashion These designers are changing the way we dress, accessorize and shop, from custom made-to-fit dresses to smart jewelry that's actually stylish. More
8 must-have travel apps Whether you've got wanderlust or an airline grievance, here are some apps to pack onto your phone. More
Secrets to success from Smalltown USA Utah State professor Michael Glauser cycled 4,000 miles this summer, visiting 100 entrepreneurs across the country. Here's a snapshot of how they grew their businesses. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.