Referee Ralph | The Ultimate Gameday Companion
For the 1st time have your own Personal Referee to respond to game situations. Referee Ralph - An app enabled device for football fans!
Referee Ralph | The Ultimate Gameday Companion
For the 1st time have your own Personal Referee to respond to game situations. Referee Ralph - An app enabled device for football fans!
CALLING ALL FOOTBALL FANS!
Referee Ralph is your new app-enabled GAMEDAY companion! He comes loaded with hilarious responses to bad officiating and good calls, is packed with interesting sports factoids, plays memorable coach & player bloopers and can even open your favorite beverage with a convenient bottle cap opener built right into his foot!
Want More? He’s got it – just open up the mobile app to unlock his full Gameday potential. Stream content wirelessly and access a range of Gameday tools & team specific content right from your smartphone. Finally a Referee who's always on your side!
Customize Referee Ralph's responses to your favorite team, cheer, boo, chant and record your own personalized Gameday responses!
Start a multiplayer sports trivia game, look up a rule, rate the officiating crew, record a one of a kind wager or create your own football pools.
Referee Ralph puts the best of Gameday at your fingertips!
Which Referee Ralph app features do you like the most? Let us know in the comment thread!
WHATS YOUR GAMEDAY SUPERSTITION? Let us know on the comment thread! We will be selecting a Weekly Super Fan who will receive some one of a kind Gameday Gear!
Referee Ralph comes loaded with over 200 individual Gameday responses. A library of funny & engaging content has already been developed & is accessible via the mobile app or by plugging Referee Ralph into your computer through a standard USB connection.
Football not your only Gameday craving? Great - Referee Ralph has the capability of spanning across all major team sports.
As soon as you log into the mobile app you are prompted to select your favorite team. Customized team content (25 responses) is automatically loaded allowing you to access material specific to your favorite players, coaches, rivalries and stadium!
Not enough - we didn't think so either. Create your own personalized responses or skim through our content library & add additional responses to your Gameday companion!
The sounds and personalities of our favorite sports, teams, players and match-ups often act as the catalyst from which a deep seeded Gameday memory resurfaces. The smell of fresh cut grass, the feeling of a game changing penalty, the sound of a stadium announcer or the site of an unbelievable super human catch are all memories we share with our friends and family.
Each fan base has its own Gameday traditions. The Mile High Salute, the Arrowhead Tomahawk Chop, the Lambeau Leap, the Black Hole, the J-E-T-S jets chant, the Buccaneer TD Canon, the Dawg Pound, the No Name Defense, Broadway Joe and the Steel Curtain/Terrible Towel (to name only a few!)
It is our goal to create team audio responses that embodies what it means to be a Fan of your team.
Sample Team Sounds: Wilson Rumble / Dallas Interception / Bengal Fight Song / J-E-T-S / LOB / Vikings Bugle / Who Dey Saints / Adrian Peterson TD.
Local artists have emerged in nearly every team city. They are creating engaging, team specific Gameday content. Referee Ralph has already teamed up with several local artists to create unique content Fans can access directly from the device.
THE MAD FANATIC! Denver Broncos Country Music "Higher"
We developed Referee Ralph with the intent of capturing the unique Gameday traditions of each Fanbase. Customize Referee Ralph with add-ons specific to your favorite team.
We are scouring the media waves for Gameday content. Press conferences, radio interviews, historic team fight songs, commentator clips and even customized team cheers and chants are placed at your fingertips each and every Gameday. Some of the most insightful and memorable ideas came from the football fans we interacted with during the development and testing of Referee Ralph.
Fans can pair to Referee Ralph just like any traditional Bluetooth speaker. Play Gameday content or your favorite music! Access content by push button or wirelessly with your phone.
Bottle Cap Opener: We have missed more than one crucial play searching for a bottle cap opener during an inopportune time! We added a bottle cap opener under Referee Ralph's left foot so you would never have to search during a game again - plus who could resist, right?
Bottle Cap Mishap - Don't be a victim of BAD Gameday preperation!
So if your passionate about sports, love cheering on your favorite team, can’t stand bad officiating and want to release your excitement, frustration and Gameday "FAN"ATICISM… Invite Referee Ralph to your living room & experience the Ultimate Gameday Companion!
FAN ENGAGEMENT: We set out on the road this pre-season to test Referee Ralph with football fans. We wanted to get a feel for which features stood out as Fan favorites. The feedback was amazing and we are working hard to incorporate it. Which content do you want Referee Ralph to provide? Let us know on the comment thread!
We have cooked up (literally) some fan perks that give you access to unique content, Referee Ralph responses immediately, early use of the mobile app and a discounted price tag. Have something in mind we didn't include? Send us a message and we will create a custom reward package that's as unique as you are!
We are tracking the FAVORITE team of every backer for a post campaign tribute to the FANBASE who supports us the MOST! Simply reply with your team name in the comment window after pledging!
The plush version of the Ultimate Gameday Companion comes in your choice of 3 Gameday personalities! We are still searching for the perfect female voice, but check out Sean Shaw - the mans hilarious!
GAMEDAY COOKBOOK CREATION: We simply couldn't resist sharing our own Gameday favorites with you. We received recipes from many of the Fans we met during our journey! Every Gameday recipe has been personally cooked by us to make sure it has the taste and Gameday functionality you deserve!
Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Referee Ralph uses a 4 layer PCB to store, play and receive streamed audio files. The board acts as the foundation from which the integrated circuit is held together. Four push button switches connect to the PCB, an integrated micro-controller processes all the sound files and a Bluetooth module downloads, decodes and processes Gameday content streamed from a fans paired smartphone.
WHAT WILL WE USE THE FUNDS FOR?
We have carefully evaluated the remaining start-up costs and created a funding goal that delivers the Ultimate Gameday Companion to all backers by the start of the 2016 professional football season. We have already successfully produced two fully functional prototypes to prove that Referee Ralph is capable of scaling to an assembly line.
Referee Ralph 7 stage post campaign plan:
- Reward Fulfillment (low tier: E-Book, glass, shirts, key-chain/plush)
- Design enhancement, certification and testing
- Manufacturing (tooling, beta-testing, quality control)
- Mobile App development (IOS & Android)
- Content Expansion & Screening
- Packaging & Sports Companion Fulfillment (shipped to your door)
- Product Enhancement and Market Growth
There are a variety of enhancements we can't wait to incorporate into Referee Ralph. Imagine it's the 4th quarter of a Monday Night Football Game. Your team is on defense and up by a field goal with under 2 minutes to play. The opposing QB drops back and throws an uncatchable pass to the wide receiver. The back judge throws a flag for defensive pass interference giving the opposing team the ball inside the red zone with time left on the clock. Instead of grabbing your Gameday companion and initiating a bad call - Referee Ralph automatically detects the infraction and spits out a response for you!
Brian Lamanna - President & Co-Creator: Brian Lamanna is a self-motivated leader who has devoted the early part of his career to the development of progressive risk management, training and occupational health & safety programs for two fortune 500 companies. He has experience managing critical team oriented projects, recognizing innovative opportunities for improving business output, reducing organizational exposure to risk & mentoring a multidisciplinary workforce. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and a Master’s Degree in Occupational Health and Safety. Most recently Brian has developed products and attractions for Disney in conjunction with their imagineering team. Brian is a father, husband, enthusiastic sports fan, outdoors man and inspired entrepreneur.
Jim Boren - Vice President & Co-Creator: Jim has been a working professional for over 20 years predominantly in the Mining industry, with 16 of those years spent in Management positions. He has extensive expertise in Operational Management and Occupational Health & Safety with a particular skill for building positive relationships. Jim has led a range of interdisciplinary teams that have used critical thinking skills to solve challenging problems. During this journey his role within the team has evolved from supporting the initial vision to driving success using his leadership abilities. Jim has 3 children, a wife, enjoys watching his Cowboys every Gameday and has a fascination with astronomy.
Eli Auger - Mechanical Engineer: Eli holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Kettering University (c/o 2009). Originally from Jacksonville, Florida, he pledges a half-hearted allegiance to the Jaguars and prefers not to talk about it. Eli currently resides in the Detroit Metro area, where he works for a major Tier 1 automotive electronics supplier. His primary focus is on mechanical packaging design for complex electronic systems and was responsible for Referee Ralph's mechanical design. His interests include spending time with his wife and daughter, 3D printing, and cheering on the Detroit Tigers.
Timothy Houck - Electrical Engineer: TJ holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineer from Purdue University. Originally from West Lafayette, Indiana, TJ currently resides in the Detroit Metro area, where he works for an electronics supplier. His primary focus is on Hardware design for complex electronic systems. TJ is a member of the Referee Ralph team and was responsible for leading Ralph's electrical component design, development & prototyping.
Budana Prijadi - Technical/Analytic Support: After graduating from an Indonesian University with a degree in engineering physics, I began to work full-time doing primarily engineering work in April 1993. Since then I have gone into the field of industrial instrumentation, process control, human factors in control rooms, occupational health & safety and staff development. After some experience in these expanded fields I developed a passion for statistics and its application in spreadsheets knowing that the current powers of desktop consumer computing have evolved a lot more rapidly than the users can utilize. Statistics and spreadsheet applications will be used to help Ralph grow by quantifying what Sports Fans want to see in Ralph and will allow us to develop features ahead of the curve.
Frank De Angelo - Voice Talent: Frank currently resides in Las Vegas with his wife of ten years. He has written a book that was published in 1999 titled “Casinos Coast to Coast”. An avid football fan and amateur football handicapper, Frank has continually come out on the winning end of the spectrum for the past several NFL seasons. Frank is currently a voice over artist and works in all genres. He has also been an actor for the past 27 years and has appeared in some 40 plus TV and film roles, working with actors such as Dennis Farina, John Goodman and his favorite James Garner. Frank is looking forward to being the voice of Referee Ralph and ranting his way through the 2015 NFL season.
Sean Shaw - Voice Talent: Sean is a voice over artist from Dallas Texas with a professional background in advertising. While working at a California area ad agency Sean was constantly asked by clients to voice their projects. In 2013 Sean started his own Voice over company, 72 Voices Studio. In 2014 he was chosen to be the voice of major league baseball on ESPN and to date you can hear his voice on the "Baseball Rules” commercials on ESPN. Sean has voiced commercials for: NBA, ESPN, Buffalo Wild Wings, Aion, Capitol One, Boost Mobile, Hakim Optical, Fiat, Codeblack, Avisae Torch, Trust Buddy Financial, Aramark Pasta, and many more. Sean resides in Southern California, is married with four children and enjoys playing basketball and pool.
Special Thanks - We wish to express our heartfelt thanks to the following Referee Ralph contributors:
- Heber Sullivan - Content Creator & Financial Contributor
- Amy Sammito - Marketing, Legal & Textiles
- Alex Malets - 3D Graphic Designer
- Alex Reid - Electrical Engineer
- Joseph Sullivan - Cartoonist and Artist
- Thomas Boren - Financial Contributor & Content Developer
- Tyler Smith - Audio Engineering
- Clarke Hardcastle - Financial Contributor
- Joe Vargas - Content consultant
- Darryl Smith - Semiconductor Consultant
And….Finally….We couldn’t have made it this far without the help and inspiration of our WIVES (our Gameday Chefs), dear friends, family and co-workers; Thanks to EACH OF YOU (you know who you are)!
WHO ARE WE?
We are sports Fanatics who love cheering on our favorite teams every Gameday. We grew up playing sports, loved the life lessons it taught us and quickly converted into lifelong devoted fans of our favorite childhood teams. Our pre-game rituals and animated antics during penalties, touchdowns, turnovers, blown plays and missed opportunities often boiled over into emotional turmoil that left our wives and children stunned. We loved the soundtrack that was our favorite sport but found it challenging to access the memorable player and coach sound bites that we had fallen in love with. We wanted more gameday content during pre-game warm ups and commercials and desired functional gameday tools that we could use to capture gameday memories, track our friendly wagers, trash talk and create our gameday pools. Soon Referee Ralph the Ultimate Gameday Companion had been born. What started as a fun way to respond to bad officiating soon grew into a fully interactive and wirelessly controllable gameday device. Through early interactions with sports fans the range of customizable features expanded and the original idea was refined. We had enough positive interactions with sports fans about the product that we set our minds, skills, efforts and resources on creating the Ultimate Gameday Companion.
Fast forward 24 months…
We have grown our team to include electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, 3D designers, vocal talents, comedians, painters, marketers, fabric designers and consultants. We have invested over $50,000 to build 3 prototypes and have a fully functional electrical design that incorporates Bluetooth technology, push button controls and a large internal memory into an integrated 4 layer printed circuit board that has already been sent through the rigors of a manufacturing process. The look of Referee Ralph has been refined and tweaked and the mechanical housing designed to provide aesthetics, customization and function.
Best of all we have done something that neither of us knew we ever could, worked with people we never dreamed of interacting with and expanded our horizons broader than we ever thought possible. Challenges have been plentiful, from venture capitalist rejection, to soldering setbacks; from deer in the headlights confusion about the best way to find the voice of Referee Ralph, to fearing that all of our efforts will be met with steadfast rejection and silence! We do not have all the answers and success is still not guaranteed; but we have learned that by recognizing our short comings and supplementing them with talented team members - ANY challenge can be overcome. When the going got tough we went back to sports and re-kindled the passion behind the idea.
We are at a point where we NEED the support of fellow sports fans and entrepreneurs to push our product from the development stage to the assembly line. We are middle class Americans just like you, with a dream of running our own business focused on enhancing the gameday experience of each and every sports fan. If you can get behind that vision please support our Kickstarter campaign. From sharing our story, to pre-ordering your very own Gameday Companion; EVERY action is amplified energy that we greatly appreciate.
Thanks for taking the time to learn about our journey. Please consider grabbing a limited edition sports companion. Get a one of a kind product you will enjoy using every Gameday and help us take the next step in our Gameday journey.
Sincerely, James Boren (COWBOYS) & Brian Lamanna (BRONCOS)
P.S. WE LOVE ALL SPORTS FANS!
PRESS REQUEST: If you are interested in covering us, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Risks and challenges
Content Restrictions: The vast majority of Referee Ralphs content (Bad Calls, Good Calls, Cheers, Boos, Factoids and Sound Bites) has been fully developed by our content creation team. Many of the included Bloopers, team cheers, chants and stadium sounds fall under what is considered fair use material. Attempts have been made to outreach applicable professional sports leagues, individual players and coaches to ask for permission to use abridged and adjusted versions of publicly released material. The cost of evaluating each independent sound file against legally protected content is a consideration of our funding goal. There is a chance that some of the content may not be able to be used due to cost limitations, copyright concerns or licensing restrictions. Our team respects intellectual property rights and has recognized the challenges of obtaining such a broad breadth of content. To compensate we have already developed over 1000 Referee Ralph responses with plans to expand that internal collection using our team and outside consultants (comedians, writers, professional announcers and other voice talents).
Manufacturing: A big reason for the structure of our reward strategy was to offer fans the ability to immediately enjoy aspects of the Referee Ralph experience while our team diligently worked towards finalizing our manufacturing plans. We have already produced several functional prototypes and coordinated with manufacturers and mobile app developers to ensure our product conformed to standard design, tooling and manufacturing processes. The app enabled Referee Ralph sports companion requires obtaining tooling and coordinating assembly with multiple entities. We anticipate a 6 month post campaign time frame to beta test, refine the design, safety test and certify the product (U.S., Canadian & European Standards), obtain final tooling, coordinate the manufacturing and assembly process, develop & test the mobile app and ship the units to our backers. Delays and setbacks can occur which is why we have built in an additional 3 months of development time into the projected reward shipment dates.
App Development Limitations: Our design team is experienced with electrical and mechanical product development, web building, business administration and small mobile app design rendering. The scale of the Referee Ralph mobile app has been reviewed by external mobile app developers and the concepts determined to be feasible and within the scope of our anticipated post campaign budget. It is possible that some of the more complex interconnected mobile app features might need to be streamlined in the first released version (fantasy football connection, game winning odds calculator, wager & football pool creator). We want to make sure we understand which features fans enjoy the most. This is the main driver behind the backer surveys that we have planned into the campaign.
Bottle Cap Opener: the bottle cap design has yet to be fully incorporated into the molded plastic and tested to ensure it is durable enough to stand up to the rigors of Gameday engagement! Our design team has positioned the bottle cap opener in the foot because it provides a large stable mounting surface that can be reinforced through a filled plastic polymer or lateral structural bracing. Ultimately we envision a recessed housing that will hold a fitted metal insert that is screwed into the filled polymer housing of the foot. It is possible that the location and look of the bottle cap opener may change from that portrayed during the Kickstarter campaign. We are confident that this unique feature can be effectively incorporated into the product design and function as needed for countless Gameday beverages!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (40 days)