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Home Impressive start!

Its proven over the years that the true selling season in golf (tee times, equipment, etc.) doesn’t really begin until the Masters is played. Golfers around the world are inspired by the sights and sounds annually on display at Augusta, which results in wallets opening in anticipation of another season of birdies and bogeys. Golf has a couple of wild cards that factor into its business, namely the weather and the economy. While many are waiting to see how the year plays out, one business, unknown to many, has already seen some very encouraging signs.

Just over a week ago, GAME GOLF introduced its product that seamlessly captures a player’s performance. Pre-sales of the wearable technology were offered through http://www.indiegogo.com/ and the company issued its initial sales target at $125,000. It represented a modest goal, yet aggressive in the sense that it is a start up venture that won’t be delivering the product until July and the average sale price is below $200. It already has attracted Graeme McDowell and Lee Westwood into its product but until something goes to market, you never know what you have until the public validates it with their money. “We’ve had a phenomenal reaction,” said John McGuire, CEO and Co-Founder, GAME. “We blew past our goal of $125,000 in two and a half days.” Fast approaching 1,000 individuals have ordered the product, sight unseen with the understanding it won’t be shipped until the summer (July). “Since we launched, we’ve received thousands of emails. I’m trying to keep up, but I haven’t been able to,” McGuire admitted. “We’ve even had players in the top 10 in the world rankings reach out to us,” he said. “Media companies have reached out to us about partnerships,” he added. Not bad for the first week! The sales to date are completely organic in a completely new category for golf and McGuire acknowledged his company has yet to put and real resources behind the initiative.

“We hit our goal so fast that we have upped it to $500,000,” said McGuire. At the time of publishing, sales were approaching $180,000 through indiegogo.com. McGuire explained his reasons for using a crowd order platform for handling sales of the product. “I read a book a few years ago, Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything, and it spoke of the leverage of open source method. How it is a better way to go for a customer base and product development. Google did it and Mozilla (Firefox browser) has 2-3,000 developers around the world that is uses for coding. It’s a better way to go for investors also. Some of the emails I received since we been accepting sales through the crowd order platform service have been from investors interested in getting involved with us,” he continued. “We were challenged initially by some with this strategy. We were told that golfers wouldn’t do it. We were told that with an aging demographic that golfers would resist this type of method of buying. We’ve proven that isn’t the case,” he said. “Golfers and all types of people are very interested in innovation. We think we have that and golfers are validating it by buying into it. A majority of the emails we have received from the nearly 1,000 that have bought the product, is they like the social aspect of being able to compete against a friend or family member in a different location,” he explained. “Empirical data and statistics are part of the attraction but the overwhelming feedback is they love the social aspect. With an emphasis on growing the game such as PLAY GOLF AMERICA, etc., this could be one way to do it,” McGuire said.

He has received email inquiries from as far away as New Zealand, Australia, the UK and Germany all asking if they have courses already mapped and ready to go for the product. “By raising our pre-sale goal to $500,000, we’ll be able to get these countries on line sooner,” he explained.

The exciting part is seeing the initial market reaction to an idea that few knew existed just over a week ago. “Its very exciting and great for our team which has worked on it,” McGuire admitted. “We’re out of our comfort zone in the sense that no know knew about it just a short time ago and now the safety net has been removed. We made a promise internally to give consumers an Apple like experience. Now we have to deliver on that,” he said.