Dallas Mavericks

Mavs hope innovative pillows will help them sleep and perform better

pmoseley@star-telegram.com

DALLAS – Mark Cuban has invested in another up-and-coming that he hopes will give his team a decisive edge.

The owner of the Dallas Mavericks has joined forces with Bedgear, a New York-based company that makes personalized pillows with the idea that it’ll help the players sleep better and therefore perform better on the court.

Several representatives from Bedgear were at American Airlines Center on Thursday to outfit the Mavs players, coaches and front office staff with their very own pillows. The players lay on a bed and were given different pillows, and then the Bedgear represntatives determined which pillow was more comfortable in regards to the way the players slept.

"With our products it’s all about personalization,’’ said Kristi Gulino, the director of communications for Bedgear. "So everything is fit to you based on your sleep position and body-type.

"It’s not really that one size fits all model. It has to be tailored and customed to you.’’

It mattered not if Bedgear was trying to get the perfect pillow fitted for a player that’s 5-7 or 7-2.

"Everything is in a series, so it starts from a 0.0, which would be your stomach sleeper – so it’s the lowest profile,’’ Gulino said. "And then up to a three, which is like a larger body type.

"So it’s really about properly aligning your spine.’’

Bedgear started two years ago and sold its unique pillows to the New York Mets, and also had an agreement with the Detroit Tigers and San Diego Padres. They also worked with the New York Islanders and the defending Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos.

The Mavs have become the first NBA team committed to Bedgear.

"We’ve had a really run, and we think sleep really does help,’’ said Shana Rocheleau, the vice president of strategic development for Bedgear. "We really like to work with a lot of teams, but in this case the Mavericks and (owner) Mark Cuban were really excited about getting gear for their guys, and we really like working with teams that have a passion for building up this aspect of your life.’’

Following his pillow fitting, shoot guard Wesley Matthews gave the concept two thumbs up.

"It’s a cool concept, it seemed comfortable, so we’ll see what happens,’’ Matthews said. "I guess check back with me in a couple of weeks.

"I’ve never really have spent much time looking into pillows. So I guess from that aspect, yeah it’s definitely different.’’

According to Bedgear’s brochure, they understand the meaning of function in textiles that works with the human body. They developed their own fabric technologies and design constructions that help regulate body temperature and wick away heat and moisture.

"It’s one of the free essentials to life that you need – foot, water and sleep,’’ Rocheleau said. "And so when you’re talking about making investments in something that can truly change your performance, we think sleep is it.

"So when you see the passion that comes off these guys and off the Mavericks’ owner, it’s like you just want to participate. And that’s how we felt and why it’s our first NBA team that we’ve really committed to with a pillow fitting like this.’’

The way Rocheleau and Gulino sees it, a pillow can be a player’s best friend. And in their past experiences, they’ve seen players become attached to their pillow.

"The guys travel, and so we often get the request that: Can you send me a pillow to my hotel, I forget my pillow at my hotel,’’ Rocheleau said. "So it’s a really interesting way to get engaged throughout the season as well, because you just see that it does mean so much.

"You can really be a part of their lifestyle, which is nice. It’s something unique that we offer in terms of a personalized pillow fitting and it really gets embraced, and you see the guys connect with us over social (media).’

Is there a chance the folks at Bedgear will one day each out and try to connect with the Dallas Cowboys?

"I’m sure a lot of teams need help,’’ Rocheleau said. "We’ll definitely keep expanding.

"But right now we really felt that this was a great foot hole into the NBA, and working with the Mavericks has been terrific.’’

Matthews is anxious to give the innovative pillows a try.

"I’m really open to anything -- anything that makes you better as a player and just overall health,’’ Matthews said. "Sleep is one of the most important things that a human can do.

"Obviously the better you sleep, the more you’re able to perform the next day. So hopefully this works.’’

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