How it Started
The year was 2011. College sweethearts and former D1 athletes Kelsey and Alex Carroll were living in Austin, TX looking for something to fill the competitive void left after ending their college athletic careers. From cornhole to bocce, spikeball, and more, this is where their obsession with backyard games began.
Building on Past Experiences
In 2016, Kelsey and Alex had an idea to merge their love of backyard games with their experience in marketing, and passion for professional sports. Their company, Toss Up Events, designed and operated unique fan experiences at major sporting events across the country, partnering with brands like Dr. Pepper, General Mills, Procter & Gamble to create larger-than-life toss games.
When the COVID pandemic hit in March of 2020 and abruptly cancelled all in-person events, they thought, “how can we box up that competitive community experience for people to enjoy at home?”
Side note: While they noodled on that idea, they kept busy starting a surprisingly successful hand sanitizer station business, which grossed over $15 Million in sales through the end of 2020. More on that here.
A Better Backyard Game
Ready to move on from hand sanitizer and get back to their true passion, Kelsey and Alex dove back into creating their own original game and evaluated the existing lawn-game landscape.
The Carrolls took inventory of all the things they loved about backyard games: community, competition, strategy, good, clean fun, and removed the things they didn’t love so much: heavy materials, cumbersome storage, time-consuming set-up, complex rules, too much running, jumping around.
They boiled it down to two points:
- They didn’t want to sweat too much
- They wanted to be able to play with a drink (or a kid) in hand.
With the help of their two toddlers, they started tinkering in their backyard with cardboard, created multiple iterations, and built several prototypes.
The end result was TowerBall, a four-sided, 360-degree toss game that’s perfect for casual competition.
TowerBall is just the first game from a new sports and outdoors company launching in 2021, called Caliber Games. Their goal is to develop and bring to market at least one new backyard game, every year, for the next 10 years.
While the world is moving faster and faster, Caliber Games seeks to provide activities for people to slow things down and spend more quality time with family and friends.