The Delsoldato Bio:
Jason Delsoldato is the co-founder of Clinch Golf. A creative problem solver and product expert with over two decades of experience working with the world’s top brands, including Nike and Burton, Delsoldato develops products that help athletes overcome their unique challenges. He fused his expertise in developing innovative products with his passion for golf in the Pacific Northwest to develop a better golf glove.
The Delsoldato Story:
I spent over 20 years in the industry listening to the consumer and making product to solve their problems and fill their needs.
Particularly, during the last 13 years at Nike I started to realize I had gotten too far away from the product creation process and wanted to get closer to that again. When I left there right before the Covid pandemic hit, I was looking to land with a smaller company where I could bring my product expertise and get closer to the part that inspired me, but a lot of those level companies were experiencing challenges in the new pandemic society.
My wife and I had just welcomed our second child, a daughter, into the world and we now had two kids under the age of 4 to look after so I took some time to help out at home while my wife continued working at Nike herself.
During all of this, I met Matt Mahoney and we talked about the issues he saw with leather gloves and was excited by the ideas he had. Having played golf since I was 13 years old, I understood and had experienced the same issues over the years.
With his idea and my knowledge of how-to bring ideas to life through product solutions, we formed a great team to bring Clinch Golf to life.
What was the genesis for Clinch Golf?
It started with general frustration with leather as a glove material – lacking all weather performance and durability
And the existing alternatives don’t address the core issues with leather, and have not been tailored and targeted to the premium user.
How does Clinch specifically differentiate itself from the competition?
Clinch goes head-to-head with traditional leather both as an all-condition glove and as a premium feel offering that’s touch screen friendly and washable.
Who is your customer?
18-45 age range with a demographic that’s male and often online/male, Dedicated golfers, social media users, fan of brands outside of golf’s ‘Big 4’.
In what specific ways are you building your visibility?
Several ways. Via social media — both paid and organic. Through a public relations effort with print product reviews — both featured and paid. Also, through user generated content (UGC) highlighting positive product reviews and sponsoring PGA caddies.
How does Clinch strike the appropriate balancing line between total feel and overall durability?
Respectfully, we reject this premise. Traditional leather and other alternative face this trade off where they need to sacrifice feel by using bulkier and/or inferior materials.
Clinch gloves use materials offering close feel and are engineered more durable than leather.
In terms of approximate percentages — what’s the split between online sales, green grass shops and brick and mortar retail outlets.
95% online sales. We launched in mid-2022 as a DTC brand, and have been invited into a couple of shops where we’ve had 5x repeat sales. 2023 will see a limited roll out in green grass shops, but our focus remains DTC.
Companies routinely tout the importance of customer service. Define the term and the approach you follow.
We do our order fulfillment in-house and drop hand written notes into every order. This a created a dialogue with our customers who then feel empowered to reach out with feedback, size issues, etc. This small step has generated big returns in positive reviews and user generated content.
What role does customer feedback play in your future design efforts?
Our gloves were born from customer feedback – we did extensive wear testing before we launched our first glove. Customer feedback is at the core of what we do, new designs in 2023 build off what we’ve learned in year one.
Biggest challenges facing the company — short and long term is what?
For the short term it’s building awareness in a crowded marketplace. For the long term it’s finding our niche in the industry, building a green grass retail network
What specific steps are you taking to deal with both?
Short term – using the multiple strategies I outlined previously with social media promotion, public relations efforts and UGC.
In regards to long term steps we’re building a core network of green grass shops in 2023 and using that platform to partner with reps and grow domestic & international.
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