- Works Well With Others
It’s not easy to build what we have built but let’s face it, the dangling carrot of doing what we want when we want is a pretty great incentive.
Matt and Alex love to write and love music. That’s why we have a blog and a catalogue of ABC-approved music on Spotify. We’re a team full of nerds and that’s why we invented bocce stats, class ratings, and PERs. You know, that kind of stuff.
So when players, partners, and organizations approach us with ideas, there’s often a screw it, why not? at the end of the conversation. That’s why in 2016 Chicago Distiling Co. developed an American Bocce exclusive cocktail, Sheffield Bike Works built an American Bocce bike, and Pinroll Press designed a line of American Bocce line of pins. That’s why we are our own favorite company!
- Rooftop Drama
League registrations generally happen fast. When we announced our first rooftop league of 2016, sign-ups entered warp speed. See we had recently locked into a hot new rooftop in a prime location. About 18 teams and 18 hours later we had a sold-out league. And then days before Week 1, the venue dropped out.
We had 75-100 players prepaid and ready to roll and no home for them.
… Seriously. Fuck.
The closest thing we had to a back-up plan was a local venue that had already told us NO three separate times.
I guess we’re going there a fourth time.
Alex and Alicia drove over to Whiskey Business with plenty of panic but no plan. What happened next was 14 consecutive weeks of rooftop sunshine and two consecutive seasons of bocce paradise. This was one of our favorite moments of 2016 because it proved that tireless work ethic and a loyal commitment to our players will keep this whole thing running regardless of the obstacle.
- Mario Lopez Loves Bocce
It was Super Bowl Sunday. None of us were together. But we were all noticing. Did Mario Lopez just tag us on Instagram? On twitter? Why? Someone message him! Did he just respond? Is Mario Lopez sliding up in our DMs? He is! He is!
After some staggered dialogue we came to discover that both Lopez and his Right Hand Man Tuddy were huge fans of bocce and new fans of American Bocce! Over the year we had some great conversations and one thing became clear – we need to do something together. In July, Alicia and Alex got invited to the Extra set at Universal Studios and chatted bocce possibilities (boccebilities?) with Tuddy and his crew and briefly got to nerd out about bocce with Lopez.
The official bocce throwdown hasn’t happened yet but we’re confident this subject will find its way on our 2017 end-of-year list as well.
- Bocce on Board
After an October visit to the big cruise liner corporate offices in Miami we thought, “You know we might just be able to get bocce ball on cruise ships after all.” We never thought we’d be getting the calls to actually install the bocce programming less than 3 months later. All the sudden, we’re booking Ben a flight to Sydney, Australia to begin a month of island hopping and equipment and programming installations for the P&O fleet. Two weeks later, Alex packed his bags for Puerto Rico, Grand Turk, and exotic Orlando, Florida!
Ben spent a month on the other side of the world proving that bocce belonged anywhere and everywhere. Alex spent two weeks in the Caribbean trying to convince Carnival of the same. The payoff came this summer when Carnival called, told us they loved it, and wanted bocce on 16 more ships! Now each week each ship plays bocce the American Bocce away – and we couldn’t be more proud.
1.Honey, We’re Home
A year and half in a co-working office in Wicker Park served us well. The office was centered just a couple of blocks from Ben and Alex’s apartment, a garage where we stored our equipment, and Chop Shop—our Public Venue #1. It was where we road-mapped our website, launched a Kickstarter, and created an expansion playbook. We cut our teeth at Free Range. But then we got hungry.
Enter at410, American Bocce’s new home. Alicia had a good feeling about this old weathered warehouse and the two guys who had a vision for it. After a bit of convincing, she got the rest of the team on board and suffice to say, it was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. In a few short months an ABC office emerged, the interior got an Extreme Home Makeover, and the backyard got turfed.