The Story of Spikeball
The basic game, then known as Spikeball, was invented by a toy designer called Jeff Knurek in the late 1980s. The game was a moderate hit when it first came out but its popularity waned and it had all but disappeared by the mid-90s. Enter Chris Ruder, the future founder of Spikeball Inc.
In 2003, Ruder was in Hawaii when he and his friends decided to relax with a few rounds of the original Spikeball on the beach. While playing, he noticed two things: that the design of the set could be substantially improved and that the game seemed to really catch the attention of passers-by. That inspired him to look into reviving Spikeball. He discovered that the trademark had lapsed and that there was no patent covering the equipment. He registered the Spikeball trademark himself, then began improving the kit to make it far more durable and portable.
With help from his family and friends, Ruder raised enough money to start trading as Spikeball Inc in 2008. The company began life as a small, E-Commerce operation, even using Ruder’s basement as the warehouse! Community was at the heart of things from the start. The company also took steps to spread the word, sending sets out to youth groups and capitalising on the popularity of sports like Ultimate Frisbee to start a buzz.
The company grew in the years that followed and transitioned to wholesale as more and more businesses requested to stock Spikeball products. A surge in popularity occurred in 2015 when the brand featured on the US TV show Shark Tank and began to make waves on social media, being featured on Dude Perfect (the second-most subscribed sports channel on YouTube). Unfortunately, this success also created issues for Spikeball as other companies began to manufacture similar equipment. To protect the Spikeball name and their trademark, they decided to name the sport itself Roundnet.
While the media coverage provided a huge boost, the most powerful reason behind Spikeball’s success is the relationship the brand has with the players. The company has spent years establishing Roundnet as a sport (rather than just a fun lawn game) and helping people to gain access to it. By partnering with P.E teachers, setting up tournaments and developing an app which people can use to find local games, Spikeball has fostered a genuine love of Roundnet. Roundnet is played across several different countries of the world, counts over 4 million players worldwide and has 500+ tournaments annually.
You can become part of this global community too! Stock Spikeball, introduce your customers to Roundnet, and watch the sport take off in your local area. Even better: it’s easy to provide exemplary customer care just by telling people all about the resources Spikeball provide to Roundnet players.
If you’re interested in stocking Spikeball products, reach out to us at Brookline!
We would love to help you get Spikeball into your store and provide the expertise you need to make it a success. Please contact us for more information:+31 (0)55 30 303 980 / firstname.lastname@example.org.
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