Categories

Home > About Us

About Us

Innovation is Key to Keeping Quality in Play

AAE has been a U.S. manufacturer of athletic equipment for over 65 years, so we know our stuff. Not only do we offer the highest quality sports equipment and exceptional service, but we also take pride in our innovation of exclusive new and custom products. One thing we’ve learned along the way… a custom product we design to solve one coach’s equipment problem, probably solves the same issue for many coaches. And so a new AAE product is born to become the “new norm”.

Our claim to fame may be the world’s first aluminum rocker hurdle, invented by company founder John Marzucco in 1949 and patented in 1952, but we’ve developed many “firsts” through the decades. In the 1960s, our reputation for designing quality custom equipment spawned the first portable football goal posts for the Philadelphia Eagles’ summer camps. In the 1970s, we introduced more track & field firsts with the hammer-discus cage and skirted competition covers for pole vault & high jump pads. The first rollaway combination football soccer goal for Georgetown University’s rooftop field was one of our gems from the 1980s. Athlete safety was a huge concern in the 1990s, so our indoor weight cage and BallStopper™ safety sports netting were popular AAE originals. Our collaborations with coaches in this millennium have been extremely productive for expanding our product lines: the first Hinged Offset Football Goals; the first Portable Discus Cage with Portable Throwing Platform; the first DONKEY™ Portable Press Box; the first Removable Outfield Wall; the first Hinged Foul Poles and the list goes on.

We can hardly wait to see what future problems coaches bring us, so we can invent yet another cool piece of sports equipment for everyone to love.

Made in the U.S.A.

What can make a small business in America more proud than to say that their products are manufactured in the USA? Nothing. Stop by and visit us at our manufacturing facility in Royersford, PA. We would love to show you where it all happens; our passion for quality, innovation and design.

The AAE Difference

Better design begins with better understanding.

In 1950, when collegiate hurdle star, graduate engineer, scholastic coach and AAE company founder, John Marzucco, invented and patented the first rocker hurdle, he established a philosophy of designing and building athletic equipment from the coach’s point of view. Today, over 65 years later, we carry on that tradition. We still look at each product we make from the athlete’s and coach’s perspective first. Then we manufacture in all the quality and advantages that will make a real difference in performance for you.

Quality is an ongoing passion.

Not every seller of athletic equipment is a manufacturer. But we insist on designing and making most everything we offer because it’s the best way to assure that you get superior quality with every AAE product.

AAE designers are never quite satisfied – always listening, always looking for ways to make your athletic equipment better. Constant evaluation of product performance, materials, durability, ease of maintenance are major criteria in the process we call “continuous innovation”. Every detail of every product gets our full attention because excellence is measured by the sum of the small things. And every item we offer is field-tested by high school and college coaches and their athletes to ensure safety, quality and peak performance for your programs.

Innovation that makes a difference.

Many companies claim to innovate. Certainly, generating new concepts is a momentous task in itself. But innovations that don’t offer real benefits and practicality can become a nightmare. Case in point, in 1952 we patented the first self-adjusting hurdle with an elaborate series of weights and pulleys. It worked, but it was headed toward becoming a maintenance nightmare for our customers. It spawned another, more practical concept of self-adjusting weights that resolved the maintenance and durability issues. Today, ours is the most imitated rocker hurdle in the industry. When the University of Pennsylvania came to AAE with a concept for a multi-task, moveable unit for their sports fields it was hard to imagine that we’d ever create a product called the “Donkey”. It has become a practical and versatile portable press box that is easily moved from field to field and can be used for nearly all sports. We took an idea that had multiple objectives and engineered it into a single product.

Sometimes custom equipment is the best answer.

When customers have unique requirements, resizing the equipment, adding on extensions or simply to color or logotize the equipment, customization becomes important. Oftentimes, customers want to be an integral part of the design. Many athletic professionals have years of experience that tells them what will work best under special conditions and if they can work with a manufacturer to engineer in special features it creates substantial value. Because AAE has its own manufacturing facility and many materials on hand, it lends itself to collaboration and customization.

Working with architects and contractors.

Don’t take a chance with your permanent, sports field equipment. Why risk it? In the broad scope of things, the equipment you choose to put on the field may seem to be a small part of the picture, yet is critical to meeting your construction deadline. The big issues are overall design, structural integrity and competition surfaces; however, criticism of the facility can come from anywhere. So why choose permanent equipment strictly on price and run the risk of watching the job sour in front of you because of a goal failure, curbing installation problems or other in-ground equipment breakdowns. Give yourself the peace of mind of knowing your permanent equipment supplier has the experience and capability to have you covered. All the specs are just a click away. The AAE website has design drawings, assembly information, maintenance tips and installation instructions that are easy to use for both architects as well as construction personnel. They are in PDF form or CAD compatible, so everyone can access what they need.

Company History

A genuine innovation often arises when it's least expected, but never without a passionate, committed person behind it. AAE founder John Marzucco was such an individual. A Penn State hurdle star in the 30's, he had the misfortune of taking a nasty spill over an old-fashioned wooden hurdle in a crucial meet, costing the meet and landing him in the infirmary. During his recuperation, the notion occurred to the young engineering student that equipment designed better could prevent such injuries and actually help athletes perform better. Thus began his lifelong dedication to creating track and field equipment for safer, improved performance.

Patented in 1950, the rocker hurdle has long since become a track and field staple. But its introduction was just the beginning for AAE. John soon teamed up with his nephew Tim Driscoll. Together for over 30 years, they made improving track and field equipment into something of a science, as well as a tradition.

AAE is proud to pick up the torch carried for so long by John Marzucco. Today, still a family-held company, AAE operates on the same basic principles that have worked so well in the past: identify with the coach and athlete; design products that help them perform better; always look for ways to improve; deal direct with the buyer; offer exceptional value; and be fair to all.

The AAE Family Standard

What does this mean to you? It means you can trust that every AAE product and service meets this high standard. It’s a standard that the family of AAE owners and all of their employees live by each and every day. Simply stated it is:

  • To design and manufacture unique, durable athletic equipment that offers athletes and coaches true performance benefits.
  • To present options and value that truly helps the customer at a fair price.

Going back to the early days of AAE in 1950, when John Marzucco first realized that he could design a safer, more athlete-friendly hurdle, AAE has been a family - a firm on a unique mission. The original rocker hurdle was just the beginning of a long line of innovations that spans six decades. Our most recent innovation and accomplishment is this website you are viewing, AAEsports.com. This cutting-edge website is a breakthrough for our industry. Again, AAE recognized a need and we addressed it. The need, in this case, was not to better an actual athletic product, but to add a benefit for our customers in a different way. AAEsports.com enables our customers to utilize a userfriendly website with all possible avenues for exploring the most up-to-date social interfaces available.

Today, John Marzucco’s family carries on that tradition and it permeates to the entire AAE family of nearly 50 employees, many of whom have spent the majority of their careers with the company. There is great pride in this tradition and the relationships that AAE holds with its loyal customer base. There is a constant and strong commitment within AAE to keep challenging itself and improving its products and services. As you can see with our newly designed website, AAE’s vision, as a company committed to unique standards of excellence, makes it a very different kind of company in today’s marketplace, one that stands out among the rest.

This AAE difference exists to benefit you. You don’t have to settle for less quality when you’re looking for ways to save. At AAE, you’ll always find products you can trust at prices you can afford.

In special recognition for this AAE Family Standard, President Tim Driscoll and his family were the recipients of the 2011 Steinbrenner Family Heritage Award. Presented during the Carnival on Saturday, April 30, 2011, this honor was established in 2001 to recognize multi-generational families for their support and dedication to the Penn Relays.Named for the Henry Steinbrenner family, the award is a tribute to the 1927 Penn Relays 120-yard hurdles champion from MIT and his son, George, himself a hurdler at Williams College and the Lockbourne Air Base, who had been a major benefactor of the Relays.

Giving Back to the Community

Investing in community is a great way to give back to those who have helped support our business. Volunteer groups and non-profit organizations do so much to help the communities that all of us are a part of, but they can't do it alone.

As members of the community, we have a responsibility to help make a difference in the lives of others. AAE feels very strongly about this, which is why AAE will partner with certain organizations from time to time to benefit some worthy causes.
Click here if you feel you have a cause that we could help in some way.

AAE is honored to have partnered with Make-A-Wish Idaho in granting the wish of Rhett, a seventeen year-old high school track athlete battling osteosarcoma (a type of bone cancer). His selfless wish for hurdles and starting blocks for his track team was so touching that AAE didn't hesitate to provide the equipment requested and more. What an amazing journey and we wish Rhett all the best in his recovery.
AAE is proud to be an Alliance Sponsor of PHIT America, - A Movement for a Fit and Healthy America. This is a new national educational campaign to combat the obesity and sedentary crisis seriously affecting health care costs in the U.S. This non-profit, started by the sport & fitness industry, will promote grassroots programs and new legislation to influence Americans to be more active, fit and healthy through a consumer website: www.PHITAmerica.org.

It's Not Easy Being Green

Part of our Environmental Commitment here at AAE is to help care for the world we live in. AAE strives to set an example in environmental responsibility, not only in the world of sports, but in our world as a whole. The 3 R's (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) are part of our daily regimen.

Reduce: We have reduced electricity use by replacing the lighting in our manufacturing plant with the help of Orion Energy Systems. By implementing this new, high efficiency lighting system, we have reduced our energy consumption by over 44,000 kWh, which enables Orion Energy Systems to honor AAE as part of their Environmental Stewardship Awards program*. AAE has the environmental impact equivalent over its Orion fixture lifetime of: 1) planting 8 acres of trees; 2) removing 593 tons of airborne pollutants; and 3) saving 74,131 gallons of gasoline. In addition to this, we also have initiated a workweek that consists of four, 10-hour workdays for our warehouse employees, which further aids in reduction of fuel use.

Reuse: We all have materials that can be reused in some form or capacity. AAE does its due diligence in making sure any materials that can be reused, get reused. In an effort to assist in the "Reuse" of products, we feature a Used Equipment section on AAEsports.com. This has been done in the hope that used equipment can be passed along and find a productive life somewhere.

Recycle: As a manufacturer of aluminum athletic equipment, we do recycle all aluminum scraps as well as paper and cardboard materials.

* Orion presents the Environmental Stewardship Award to companies that achieve significant environmental benefits through the use of Orion products and systems.

best live chat