Game On - Coming Out of Stealth Mode
Game On - Coming Out of Stealth Mode
By: Michael Sonier / Mon Jan 29 2024
Delano Bat Company sparks my passion, has a noble mission and an elegant concept, all of which is enabled by impressive proprietary and disruptive technology.
Our mission is to drive innovation to make the great game of baseball better. We do this by fusing cutting-edge technology with the traditions of the game.
As Baseballism says - The sound of a wood bat hitting a baseball is the heartbeat of America. We completely agree and believe that the unmistakable sound, feel and look of a classic wood bat gives hitters a bond with their MLB heroes and ties them to the heritage of the game.
Unfortunately, ~50 years ago, amateur baseball players lost a lot of that bond with the emergence of the metal bat. Logically, metal bats make a ton of sense. They are designed to be much more durable and provide better performance compared to solid wood. As a result, metal bats quickly became the de-facto standard at all amateur levels, and wood bats were relegated, beyond MLB, to novelty items, training tools or the occasional wood bat league or occasional tournament.
We think what was gained in durability and performance was lost in disconnection or “bifurcation” from the traditions of the game. The crack of the bat is now replaced with the cold, loud (and IMHO annoying) “ping” of aluminum alloy or the dead thud of carbon composite. Here at Delano Bat Co, we believe that the great game of baseball, at the amateur level, has lost a little bit of its soul.
Our elegant idea - WHAT IF?
What if hitters could have the best of both worlds - a true wood bat with the look, feel, sound of the classic lumber AND all of the performance and durability of (the less soulful IMHO) metal? A simple, elegant, and disruptive concept tying the game closer to its roots.
While simple in concept, there is serious science inside, thanks to the proprietary and patented FZN Technology. Our R&D team has spent thousands of hours combining their experience with classic wood-bat making, advanced engineering and material science degrees, and lengthy resumes in state-of-the-art manufacturing to bring FZN Technology to market.One of my co-founders, Pete Kruse, wrote this great blog earlier this year on why FZN Technology was developed, how it works, and why it’s different.
We’re In The On Deck Circle!
After much hard work, and a lot of lessons learned, we are getting close to submitting for certification and entering the market. The first bat in the FZN Technology Series will be a BBCOR model - this is the bat certification that’s required for all baseball after Little League, ie: 13U through college. We’ve branded our BBCOR model The Original Gamer - or The OG. We want to speak to those players that are elite competitors and appreciate the traditions and history of the game. They are happy to own monikers such as “throwback”, “old school” and of course ”gamer”. If you watch baseball (or any sport really) you know who I’m talking about.
Overcoming Good Problems:
Our first attempt at certification failed, we exceeded the performance limit, we were TOO hot. We had to do some design revisions to make the bat less powerful. Our recent prototype testing (we built a baseball cannon, and we’re not afraid to use it) is hinting that we are just within certification thresholds AND performing at or slightly above the highest ranked metal bats in the market today. GAME ON!!!
The Founder Journey:
Any journey is largely about with whom you take it, and it is in this regard that I feel particularly lucky. I am inspired by my founding partners everyday, most notably, my wife, Kathy, who brings 25 years of extensive marketing expertise to Delano Bat Company as our Chief Marketing Officer. Better still is having our 2 sons, who are in the target audience, serving as (unpaid) strategic advisors. The dinner table often serves as a conference table for marketing staff meetings and creative brainstorming. Going on this journey with them is truly special for me, and going on an entrepreneurial journey at the ages of 16 and 14 will hopefully give them experiences for a lifetime. The bonus is having the hottest bat on the market in their bag…at cost.
Most founders say you gotta chase the passion, not the money. Don’t get me wrong, I think we can create a very lucrative business and premium brand that will disrupt a $500M market. However, regardless of whether it is a strike out, home run or a bleeder up the middle, I will know that I took my AB and swung for the fences.
Hit me up anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to talk baseball, bats or FZN technology. Otherwise, watch this space for updates - Get On Deck, too - sign up for our email updates and be sure to follow us on social. Link to IG, FB, X and TT.