By Holly, Marketing Coordinator
Have you ever wondered who’s at the head of our GAMMA family? The grand poobah, if you will? We were able to sit down and talk with Matt Ferrari, President and CEO of GAMMA Sports, for our first inside look at the people who keep GAMMA Sports running!
How did Matt first get into tennis? Pickleball?
Tennis was always part of the Ferrari family – Matt started taking tennis lessons when he was 10 years old from our current Director of Product Marketing, Chuck Vietmeier. Our company was founded by Dr. Harry Ferrari (Matt’s father) when his tennis strings broke during a match. Dr. Ferrari ended up losing the match but went on to develop the technology that put GAMMA Sports on the map in the tennis industry.
Pickleball was a bit of a different story. About six years ago, Matt and a few others at the company noticed that pickleball companies were purchasing GAMMA grips to use on their paddles. At the time GAMMA was just a tennis company, but after some research it was eventually decided to make pickleball part of GAMMA Sports. Chuck then taught Matt how to play pickleball, along with the rest of the GAMMA family.
When Dr. Ferrari first started GAMMA Sports, did Matt ever think that he would one day run it?
When Dr. Ferrari passed away in 2016, it was natural that Matt took over the head of household position at GAMMA Sports. Through the years Matt was able to learn from his dad and spend time with him, which better prepared him for this leadership role. In all honesty, Matt thought he would end up teaching English at a high school…keep reading below to find out why!
Where did Matt go to college and what was his major?
For two summers, Matt worked in the warehouse at GAMMA to gain an understanding of the company. It sparked his interest enough for him to attend the University of Pittsburgh Katz School of Business so he could learn more business practices to help GAMMA. He also attended Kenyon College where he graduated with a degree in English Literature…which is why he thought he was going to end up as an English teacher!
What’s Matt’s favorite part of owning his own company?
The people. Matt had no hesitation with this answer. Watching people develop, grow and learn is something that really brought him joy. To be able to watch employees do things that they couldn’t do a year ago was something truly special for him.
To Matt, the most important thing that people know about GAMMA is…
…That our company is focused on our customers and our consumers, and we want to be a great partner that’s helping them to unleash their champion so they never stop playing!
Why did Matt choose to keep the GAMMA Sports headquarters in Pittsburgh, PA?
Moving the headquarters from Pittsburgh was never even an option for Matt. When the GAMMA Sports building was first purchased, the city was just beginning to revitalize. Heinz Field and PNC Park were being built, and there was urban redevelopment money that was being utilized to revitalize the entire riverfront.
When Dr. Ferrari decided to build a building on Washington’s Landing (just 10 minutes outside of downtown Pittsburgh) for the GAMMA Sports headquarters, the image of the city was truly changing. It was evolving from the Steel City of old to the vibrant, cultural, entertaining city that it is today. Along with the draw of restaurants, attractions, sports teams and more, Pittsburgh was also home to the Ferrari family…and the individuals who kept the business running.
Let’s talk about life outside of GAMMA Sports – what does Matt do in his free time?
As an English Literature major, it’s no surprise that Matt loves to read! Mainly fiction and business, reading gives Matt a bit of an escape and insight into people. He also has a love of cars! Matt himself helped to restore a 1961 Corvette, and he also has a cherished car that his dad passed down to him.
What about your family?
Matt and his wife, Melissa, have been married for 20 years! They met through a mutual friend who just so happened to be Matt’s roommate and Melissa’s friend. They also have a son, Max, who is 15 years old.
FUN QUESTION TIME!
This is our rapid fire round of questions…GO!
Cats or dogs: Both, but if he had to choose, Matt’s a cat person.
Beach or mountains: Both. If it came down to it, he’s a beach person…particularly Naples, Florida or Stone Harbor, New Jersey.
Favorite color: Green.
Favorite food: Turkey Devonshire.
Favorite holiday: Easter, because it’s a really big event in Matt’s family. There’s a full week of preparation and celebration leading up to the big day.
We’ll be highlighting a different GAMMA team member each month, so make sure to tune in next month to meet another important part of GAMMA Sports!
You can also check in on what we’re doing on our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts!