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Monday June 28, 2021

Inside GoG Paintball – A look behind the scenes

Our new series of articles "Paintball Manufacturers" is about the big brands in the scene. We take a look behind the scenes of the world's top brands and show you how they came about and how modern companies in the paintball industry work today. To do this, we visit the manufacturers at their locations and also offer you intimate insights into areas that you would otherwise probably never see as a normal mortal paintball player. Who knows, maybe you'll get to know your favorite brand a little better this way, or you'll discover one or the other company secret that has remained hidden from you so far. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all manufacturers who were willing to open the door to us and give us such deep insights into their company and the company's history.

For today's report, we spoke to the long-established US brand GoG. Many still know GoG under the old Smart Parts label. Today the brands SP (Shocker Paintball), as well as DLX Luxe and FREAK belong to the GoG company construct. From a technical point of view, no other manufacturer has influenced and changed the market as much as GoG in the past 25 years. Even today, the guys from Pennsylvania hold numerous patents for components and functional principles, without which a modern paintball marker would not work at all. We spoke to Holger Ronecker and Christoph Hoffmann from Massive Entertainment for our contribution. Your company has been representing the interests of GoG throughout Europe as GoG Europe for two years now and is the first point of contact for everything to do with the distribution of all the brands mentioned above. With the help of Holger and Chris, we also got the opportunity to contact the GoG factory in the USA. We spoke to Adam Gardner, the CEO of Philadelphia Americans LLC, the actual company behind the GoG, Luxe, Shocker, and Freak brands. Adam not only answered our questions as an interview partner, but he also gave us the opportunity to take a look behind the normally closed curtains of this paintball heavyweight. You can find out what interesting things we saw and experienced there in today's article "Inside GoG".

PBS Magazine: Hi Adam, thank you for taking the time to be our interviewee today. We are really excited to see what you have to tell us today. The company GoG, or formerly Smart Parts, has had an eventful history over the past ten years. To start with, tell our readers a little bit about the history of the company. How did GoG come about and how did the company become what it is today?

Adam Gardner: Sure I'd love to… but it's quite a long story spanning 34 years as a player and entrepreneur in the paintball industry. It all started in 1986 when my brother Billy and I played our first game of paintball. We were immediately addicted to the game and very quickly found ourselves playing tournament sports at a competitive level.

Being both gamers and entrepreneurs, we quickly realized that we needed better gear to keep evolving and improving our game. At the same time, we were able to set up a business here, and so the company Smart Parts was founded. We found success as a team, winning just about every event there was to win over the next 20 years with the All Americans, and later with the Philadelphia Americans. As a company, we not only changed the game through our innovative designs, but also made over 250 million US dollars in sales in the paintball industry during this time.

PBS Magazin: If you were so successful, what happened in 2009? At that time, your company suddenly changed and was probably in some financial difficulties.

Adam Gardner: Unfortunately, as with all things in life… Mistakes have been made and suddenly you're faced with challenges that show what you're made of. 2009 was our big challenge. After years of success, we faced a series of events that gave us the choice of either quitting and going home, or starting over. Well, anyone who knows me knows I'm not one to give up, so the only choice was to start over.

PBS Magazine: How was that possible? How do you build such a large company from scratch?

Adam Gardner: With a small team of loyal employees, we started small again and did what we do best. – Make great paintball markers and innovate. Exactly what we had been doing for the last two decades. Luckily we were able to license our previous brands and designs.

Building on this, we have improved the existing designs again and introduced numerous new approaches and innovations. It's just that this time around we haven't grown as big as we used to as a company. We focused on paintball markers and barrels because that's what we do best. Today, almost ten years later, we are still sticking to this plan and the success story continues.

PBS Magazine: Adam, please tell us a little bit about your brands. There is now SP, which no longer stands for "Smart Parts", but now for "Shocker Paintball". In addition, the luxury brand Luxe with the talking paintball marker, and last but not least, the barrels of the Freak series. How did that happen?

Adam Gardner: Let's start with the freak walking system. My brother Billy developed the Freak to solve the problems players were facing due to the varying size and quality of paintballs available at the time. The reality is that accuracy and precision are extremely important in our sport. If you want to be ahead of the competition, then the barrel and the paintballs have to fit together perfectly and harmonize with each other. Since the diameter of the paintballs changes from batch to batch and even the weather, or the temperature and humidity, play a role, it was our idea to develop the perfect barrel that always fits every paint or just adapt easily leaves. This is just as true today as it was almost 20 years ago.

The core products of our company are of course the paintball markers. We currently have three brands of markers, each serving a specific niche in the market. Our eNMEy marker, which we sell under the GoG label, has been developed for field operators and beginners. We want these players to have a positive first experience in the sport. In order for this to be guaranteed, the equipment must work properly so that the players can easily hit their target and have enough firepower to counter any opponent.

Then we have the Shocker or Shocker Paintball (SP) brand. The Shocker was the first electronic paintball marker at the time and also the starting signal for the Smart Parts success story. The Shocker put the Smart Parts brand in the focus of the players. Design has evolved tremendously over the last 25 years and we are very excited about the current model, the Shocker AMP, which we released last year. It is currently at the forefront of development.

PBS Magazin: Yes, we have already tested the AMP. Really an interesting model. What our readers are also sure to be interested in is the question of the new TM40. When can players in this country expect the new model?

Adam Gardner: As everyone knows, the Luxe has been years ahead of the competition since its inception in 2007. It was designed as the name suggests… LUXE. We strive to keep the Luxe at the cutting edge of technology and performance, as we have for the past 14 years. And as I'm sure you know, we lost a large part of our family when Tim Montressor passed away so suddenly last June. Tim was a great person who dedicated his life to paintball. Tim was also one of the driving forces behind the successful Iron City Classic event and the resurgent mechanical scene. He's traveled the world promoting the Luxe and one of the last projects he worked on was the TM40 which is the best of both worlds. A high-end E-Pneumat that can easily be transformed into a top mechanical marker. Tim would have been so proud of the end product and I couldn't think of a better way to keep Tim in our minds on a daily basis than naming this marker after him. I wish nothing more than 20 years from now that people would show off their "old school TM40" and explain to the next generation how the name came about.

PBS Magazine: Wow, yes Tim had a positive impact on everyone he met. We had the opportunity to speak to him personally at the Extravaganza a few years ago. A very likeable person. Adam, where do you see the future of the company in ten years?

Adam Gardner: As the saying goes, if you love what you do, you won't have to work a day in your life." Paintball has its ups and downs but there is nothing else I would rather do. We have a great team who are just as committed to making great products as they were when we started. My son Jude was also caught by the paintball virus and we have teamed up and will work together on the development of new products and projects in the future. The story of the GoG brand is far from over.

PBS Magazin: Thank you for these insights into your hallowed halls and the history of the GoG company. We also think that innovations continue and the sport continues to evolve. You can tell in many places that you have made an increasing contribution to this in recent years.

Thanks again for your time and we look forward to the LUXE TM40 and its hopefully never-ending legend.

We hope that you got a good impression of the GoG brand and its long-lasting positive influence on the paintball scene worldwide and we are already looking forward to the next manufacturer check of our series. Stay tuned… we definitely are.

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