While watching the FIFA World Cup a few weeks ago, my boss noticed players sitting in race car seats, and ordered me to figure out why. So I reached out to one of the biggest race car seat manufacturers, Recaro. Here’s what I learned. While I’m not sure who makes the exact seats coddling the butts of soccer players at this year’s World Cup (since numerous inquiries to Fédération Internationale de Football Association went unanswered), I did learn about how heavily-bolstered sports car seats wound up on the sidelines of a football pitch in the first place. At least, according to German automotive seat maker, Recaro. “The story about the car seats at the sidelines goes back to the 1990s,” Tilman Schaefer, a company representative told me via email. He went on, saying the owner of Recaro at the time, Ulrich Putsch, was on the board of the German soccer team F.C. Kaiserslautern, and apparently gave the team’s manager Kalli Feldkamp a sports car seat because “the guy had back problems.” It wasn’t long before, in 1994 according to the company’s website, the rest of the team wound up sitting on a “custom-tailored players bench,” with Schaefer saying: “They put the seat right next to the bench. Because the players thought the seat to be just gorgeous Ulrich had a complete bench produced for the home team” as a part of a sponsorship deal. That’s when customized sports car-inspired seats began taking over the sidelines around the world, and other seat… [Read full story]
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