Strat-O-Matic began as a company in 1961, when Hal Richman, a Bucknell University mathematics student, began selling an early version of his baseball tabletop game out of his basement.
Next February, Strat-O-Matic celebrates it's 60th annivery as the multi-platform leaders in sports simulation games for professional baseball, football, basketball, hockey and college football.
Hal's son Adam Richman is the President of Strat-O-Matic and is the latest guest on SportsJam with Doug Doyle.
Adam Richman is also the co-founder of Double Nickel Entertainment and has already had quite a career in the movie and television business, co-producing Clint Eastwood's 2008 Box Office hit Gran Torino.
Richman says growing up he and his sister had another sibling, Strat-O-Matic. He says there were a couple of reason why he's passionate about the game.
"It come from a few places. My father invented this game when he was 11 year old. For undergrad I went to Tufts University and had a very creative education experience there. I studied creative writing and also the producing of live theater and really enjoyed the idea of creating product in my early career, this theater that people could enjoy and really became a part of the cultural fabric, that's my early career was really about. You know that sort of transitioned into work into film and TV. You know it all kind of led back to Strat-O-Matic because I realized that were I got a lot of joy was creating and being in involved in distribution of content that was really contributing the cultural conversation. Strat-O-Matic, just like all the work I'm doing at Double Nickel very much does that. And Strat-O-Matic, now more than ever, in terms of contributions to the cultural fabric because right now if you want baseball or basketball or football or hockey, you're coming to Strat-O-Matic."
Richman used all his background and creativity to help turnaround his father's classic entertainment brand, growing revenues and re-launching the company's website. The results have been tremendous.
Richman, who was part of the crew team at Tufts University, says the coronavirus pandemic has led even more people to seek out sports entertainment.
"People are coming to us now not just for connection to Strat-O-Matic but for a connection to sports. This place for simulation in this landscape has beome very important. Strat-O-Matic is really at the forefront of that providing sports lovers with a connection to the sports they love and miss."
The former Senior Vice President of Production and Development for Motion Picture Corporation of America, got his MBA from Harvard Business School. Richman says he and his wife feel "incredibly lucky and incredibly blessed" that they are healthy and have been able to "shelter in place" at home with their 8-year old daughter and six-year old son.
"We know some people haven't had ability to do that becaue they have to work, whether they're first responders who we are just thanking everyday and opening our windows and standing outside and clapping for them every night at 7 o'clock, or there are people in other fields who are still had to work and have been putting themselves out there and taking that risk. We applaud everyone who has had to work outside the home right now. We're wishing everyone well."
The New York City resident says he is hearing from parents that they are using Strat-O-Matic as a learning tool during the quarantine.
"They're teaching their kids how to play Strat-O-Matic and using it as a tool to teach them probability and to teach them math and to teach them history because when you play our Negro League set it basically it brings the Negro Leagues back to life. It's a wonderful way to talk about the Civil Rights Movement with your children. And then its also teaching English and writing skills. What some parents have written to us is that they're having after finishing a game they're actually having their kids write up a report of what happened in the game like they are the sports broadcaster on TV or writing for a newspaper or radio. That's actually how a lot of broadcasters today who are big Strat fans got their start."
Former WBGO announcer and sports broadcasting veteran Bill Daughtry is a huge Strat-O-Matic fan along with others like Bob Costas and Doug Glanville. Richman, who says Daughtry has been a long-time friend of him and his family would be one of the two people he'd love to play the simulated game with. The other would be former MLB player Doug Glanville. Both Daughtry and Glanville have been past guests on SportsJam.
Richman and his long-time business partner, Jenette Kahn co-founded Double Nickel Entertainment and have produced many film and television shows. Gran Torino grossed more than $270,000,000 worldwide in its theatrical window. Clint Eastwood's second most successful film of his career, was optioned, developed, creatively and financially package all with Double Nickel. The theme song for Gran Torino by jazz perfomer Jamie Cullum. Richman says he's enjoying presenting all kinds of music to his kids and his daughter has become a jazz fan and performs with a dance company that performs at NJPAC on a regular basis.
"My daughter is a member of a company that's based in Harlem called National Dance Institute. My wife is actually on the Board of the company. National Dance Institute was started almost 50 years ago which is really about bringing arts into schools that don't necessarily have these programs. It's just amazing what all these kids from all over New York and the U.S. are doing with the NDI program, but it's also about leadership. My daughter is just having a blast with it."
Click above to hear the entire interview with Adam Richman and Doug Doyle.