Greg Meade founded the CrossNetGame alongside his brother Chris and childhood friend, MIke. After a chance conversation in 2017, they wanted to combine the best elements of their childhood into a fun game that everyone could enjoy. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, they’ve grown their business revenue from $75k in year one, to $10M in year three.
After achieving success in the North American market, they’re ready to take the game worldwide and are aiming for international growth. Now more than ever, we all need things to keep us busy, active, and entertained, so we chat to Greg to find out more about their success so far.
Who are you and what brand did you start?
Hi my name is Greg Meade, and along with my brother Chris and a childhood friend Mike Delpapa, together we founded the CROSSNET.
CROSSNET game is really linked to our childhood as after a chance conversation in 2017 about our youth, we decided we wanted to create a game that brought together all the things we loved and played as children….the outdoors, friends, four square and volleyball.
In the three years since the 2017 conversation, we’ve not only brought that idea to life, creating the world’s first four square volleyball sport in CROSSNET. But with the success in the North American market, we are now on a global mission to spread the game of CROSSNET throughout the world.
BRAND IDEA - how did you come up with the idea for CROSSNET?
It may sound really simple. But as a trio, our goal was pretty simple. We just wanted to create a new sport and one which merged the games we loved as kids.
In terms of how it actually panned out - I remember Mike reaching out to me one morning after he graduated from Northeastern, wanting to discuss creating a product that we could together sell online.
I was up for the idea and so we brainstormed for hours until we came up with a Four Square and Volleyball combination type game. At that moment we weren’t expecting to make the ‘next sport’, but as the concept grew and the brand was launched we ended up doing just that.
In terms of the idea for CROSSNET. Initially the concept was for a volleyball court to be divided into four quadrants thus bringing together volleyball with the game of four square. Following that what we did was create a prototype and then invite our friends to come play and see what they thought. They LOVED it. We were honestly blown away by how much our friends loved the game and because of that we continued exploring the concept and eventually launching the CROSSNET game officially.
BRAND LAUNCH - take us through how you launched CROSSNET.
We spent a whole year creating different prototypes and testing them out with friends and games enthusiasts. By the end we had refined the game and landed on the name CROSSNET.
Soon after we launched on social media and ran Twitter ads until we saw our first sales. We then continued building content, our social audience and CROSSNET brand awareness in general.
Eventually we decided to add Facebook ads into the mix along with scaling on our site and retail game.
On reflection, this approach of testing, optimizing and adding new marketing tactics into the mix has paid off as since launch we have seen the brand consistently grow.
ONLINE STORE SETUP - what are your top 2 tips for successful Ecommerce store setup.
- Capture as many emails/phone numbers as you can. Build your customer list up from the moment you start!!
- Don’t run out of inventory and have dissatisfied customers.
CUSTOMER RETENTION - what has worked best to attract and retain customers?
As we’re in the sports and recreation space, giving our customers new and fun games to play is key and so we are consistently dropping new products (aka ‘SKUS’ - Stock-Keeping-Units). Our team is always looking to create new products and upsells, for example; we launched our doubles version last year which turns CROSSNET into a competitive team game.
SOCIAL - what are your top 2 tips for successful use of social media to engage with customers.
- Catchy ads that are in your brand voice
- Target the correct demographics
BUSINESS GROWTH INSIGHTS - how has CROSSNET changed and evolved?
We have created a constantly growing infrastructure that knows how to market our product. In terms of growth we’ve seen strong growth YoY > Year 1: $75k, Year 2: $2M, Year 3: $10M
The biggest jump from year 1 to 2 was gathering evergreen content that we could run Facebook ads on. We eventually went viral with some of these content items and subsequently had very strong summer and winter sales wise.
From year 2 to 3, we were hit with COVID-19, our business practically grew tenfold which made us staff and grow our team quicker than anticipated. We’ve made some of the best hires I could ever ask for.
MANAGING CHANGE - what are the top 2 tips you’d suggest others adopt to safeguard their business.
- Take the time to scale your internal team as well as content
- Take necessary precautions with inventory levels in case the pandemic is in your favor, like it was for ours
FUTURE BUSINESS PLANS - how is CROSSNET doing today and what does the future look like?
We are looking to grow internationally more in 2021!
We just launched Amazon Fulfillment Centers in Canada, Europe and Australia. These will help allow customers in these countries to get the CROSSNET without the ridiculous shipping price.
ENTREPRENEUR INSIGHTS - what has been your biggest learning experience since starting CROSSNET?
Have a solid core team and employees who share the same vision as you.. Without a good foundation, you will not have a good business.
ONLINE BUSINESS TOOLS - what are the business software tools you couldn't live without?
See what tools and platforms other founders are using.
SELF DEVELOPMENT - what are the educational resources you’d recommend?
Myself, Chris and Mike have different ways of keeping ourselves up to speed on trends in business and marketing
I myself don't read much or listen to podcasts. I get my inspiration from music and travel. Whereas Chris loves listening to podcasts and also reads heaps. Mike is another big podcaster. I think we a trio this mix helps as we’re all then able to bring different learning styles and insights to the table.
INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE ‘shout-out’ - who have been the most influential people for you during your brand journey?
For me personally I draw inspiration from Damian Lillard - NBA player for the Portland Trail Blazers. Damian is a loyal team member who puts his teammates and organization first. A humble man who also has more than one profession as he is a professional rapper/musician. Having multiple streamlines from someone at his caliber is super cool to see and be executed.
FINAL WORDS OF INSPO - for other aspiring entrepreneurs.
Hustle, hustle, hustle. Put that work in around the clock. You won’t be able to do the short days and have freedom in traveling/moving around unless you put that initial grind in.