Combine backyard games and golf, and you have Chippo. What started as a Kickstarter campaign in 2017 has become a staple at off-the-course events and tailgates, and we can’t remember what we did before had Chippo. Since we’ve teamed up with our friends at Chippo for the Tailgate Sweepstakes (which you can enter here until October 6, 2019), we wanted to take a deep dive into their story with their chief operating officer and co-founder Matt Moss.
Imperial: You guys started the company as a Kickstarter campaign. How do you feel that makes your launch as a brand stand out against your competition?
Matt: When Brendan (Chippo co-founder and brother in-law) and I decided to run with Chippo in early 2017, we knew a strong introduction to the market would be important since nothing like Chippo had existed at the time. We also knew we would need to raise money to help fund our first big purchase order, which is what led us to the crowd-funding approach. A lot of time was spent researching different crowd-funding campaigns on different platforms, but we ultimately decided on Kickstarter for a few reasons. Kickstarter has a very engaged and loyal following. This allowed us to tap into an audience that already had a level of trust built up with the platform. But more importantly, Kickstarter really promoted unique and exceptional products and brands.
We knew we had an awesome product, but we also wanted to build a strong brand based on our own values. Chippo is all about inclusivity, humor, and having a good time, and Kickstarter gave us the tools to showcase that when we launched. By the end of the 30 days on Kickstarter we had raised $234,000 from over 1,200 backers versus our original goal of $12,000.
Imperial: With so much technology in the game and esports growing, why do you think CHIPPO continues to thrive?
Matt: The overall perception of golf is that it’s expensive, time consuming, and for an exclusive crowd. While Chippo is still golf, it’s quite the opposite of all that other stuff. Chippo is fun, it introduces people to golf that maybe wouldn’t experience the sport otherwise, it’s a great practice tool, but most of all – it’s simple. Since you can break out the Chippo set at the beach, backyard bbq’s, tailgates, anywhere really (even indoors!) … it makes Chippo a no-brainer. There is a lot of discussion happening right now about the growth of off-course and non-traditional golf, and Chippo is a core part of that conversation – even being referred to as “the analog version of TopGolf.”
Imperial: What’s been the most surprising part about creating your own brand?
Matt: The adoption of it. We have this unbelievable group of customers that love not only our products, but our fun and engaging (and a bit goofy) brand. Seeing a customer (aka “Chippopotamus”) or anyone in our community (aka “Chippo Nation”) proudly rocking their “Chip It and Sip It” koozies at the beach or their Chippo Hippo Headcovers on the course is something that will never get old. I think some of this adoption can be attributed to our obsession with customer service. Making sure every interaction that anyone has with Chippo is an awesome one is built into our DNA.
Imperial: What’s next for CHIPPO?
Matt: In the short term we’ll continue to deliver new products, expand into new channels, and partner with awesome companies (sup Imperial). Beyond that? The possibilities are endless for the Chippo brand. Since partnering with the PGA Tour, we’ve been exploring some really cool opportunities with them and will build on that. We’ve recently launched and will continue to grow our Chippo for Charity initiative in 2020. We’ll also be officially launching our Custom Chippo product in the next month or so, which we are really excited about. And we are putting together some really fun Chippo branded events as well as launching a Chippo league. So, lots to come!