Matt Furstenburg, former University of Maryland and NFL tight end, is the CEO of Grip Boost Inc. In 2012, Furstenburg combined his love for business and sports with a bit of curiosity about how technology can influence a positive change in athletic performance. He merged his knowledge with his passion and is now providing golfers with an extra boost of confidence when hitting the tee box.
THE FURSTENBURG STORY
Grip Boost was developed because of a personal need for high-quality, functional athletic gloves. While playing football and studying at the University of Maryland, I teamed up with the chemical engineering department to develop the right solution that would address all my concerns with the current gloves I was using on the field. I was going through several pairs of gloves per week, which was expensive and just didn’t make sense.
After successfully developing products geared towards football, I had an “ah-ha” moment and realized that grip is just as — if not more important — in golf as in football. The rest is history. We went back to the lab and developed the Grip Boost Hyper Touch Men’s Golf Glove and then the Grip Boost Second Skin Men’s Golf Glove 2.0.
What was the genesis for Grip Boost?
As a former collegiate and NFL football player, I often ran into the same problem with my gloves—how quickly they lose tackiness. After numerous attempts to find gloves that could sustain their grip past a few days of practice, I saw a gaping hole in the market — that didn’t only pertain to football — and seized the opportunity. I wanted to create a product that incorporated science and technology, and in turn, offer athletes a longer-lasting, less expensive alternatives to the current products on the market. I have always been passionate about golf. Similar to football gloves on the market, I recognized the diminishing tackiness among existing golf products as well, so I worked with my team to create a golf glove that not only enhances your grip on a club, but one that makes it feel like you aren’t wearing a glove at all.
How long a time frame from concept idea to actual prototypes?
The Grip Boost Second Skin Men’s Golf Glove 2.0 took my team and I about 18 months to progress from conception to production of actual samples. We wanted to address all the
concerns that golfers have when shopping for a golf glove and through vigorous testing and feedback from golfers, we arrived at the finished product we have today.
How does Grip Boost differentiate itself from your competitors?
While golf gloves are traditionally made of all leather, my team and I wanted to take a different approach to the design. The gloves we manufacture use the highest quality leather—but only where it is needed most, primarily in the palm. The webbing on the top of the glove allows for a more natural feel, similarly to that of a second-skin. The price point of the glove lays well under the average market price, making these gloves an affordable and highly-functional alternative.
Customer service is often touted by many companies. Define the term and how you plan on providing customer service to the users of your products?
Customer service is all about relationship building with consumers. At Grip Boost, we pride ourselves on our 100% satisfaction guarantee. Above all, we want our consumers to be comfortable with the glove on and positively impact their performance on the course.
The golf glove arena is dominated by FootJoy. How do you plan on gaining market share against such a behemoth?
We entered this market with the utmost respect and admiration for FootJoy. While developing the Grip Boost Second Skin Golf Glove 2.0, we aimed to introduce a product to the market that looked and felt different from your typical golf glove. Grip Boost is unique because of the technology we integrated into our design and the overall feel of the glove. We recognized this as an opportunity to propel the golf glove market – there’s always room for innovation and improvement.
What will be the focus of your marketing efforts — green grass shops, online sales, brick and mortar retail outlets?
As of now, we have focused our marketing efforts primarily online. Our products are available on our website at Gripboost.com as well as Amazon.com. We hope to build relationships with green grass shops and brick and mortar retail outlets as we continue to grow as a brand.
If you could change one thing in golf unilaterally – what would it be and why?
As a former football player, I’m used to a fast-paced game. That being said, I love the game of golf for what it is, but if I had to change one thing, it would be to have stricter rules in place that address the pace of play.
The major golf organizations – USGA, R&A, PGA Tour, PGA of America, LPGA – are all seeking ways to attract new players to golf. If you were providing your counsel to them – what would you advise be done?
I’d love to see more former / retired athletes in other sports make appearances on the tour. Pro-Am tournaments are always fun to watch because there’s excitement built around celebrities and other athletes teeing it up with the pros. For example, look at all the attention that golf garnered when Tony Romo received an invite to the PGA Tour’s Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship.
Can durability and feel occur together with a golf glove and yet still provide a cost sensitive price for consumers?
Definitely. Our golf gloves, for under $15, offer a lightweight feel from synthetic webbing and a flexible fabric. This is paired with an angled closure strap to ensure a custom fit. Grip Boost Second Skin Golf Glove 2.0 was specifically designed to offer grip that lasts and feel like you’re not wearing a glove at all.
Best advice you ever received—what was it and who from?
Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, my family was very supportive of my endeavor. As I ventured into the realm of entrepreneurship, my dad advised, “Don’t give up easily!” I have carried this piece of advice with me from Grip Boost’s inception.