I’m Tristan Rattink, the (as of today) General Manager of NBA Top Shot! After years of working in tech and gaming, playing and watching sports, and being a fan of it all, I’m thrilled to join the team. And of course I’m already a proud member of the community. While this is only the tip-off, I’m psyched about what’s ahead and look forward to realizing the full potential of Top Shot alongside all of you.
Maybe you’re asking yourself what a GM does?! My role is to ensure that product delivery, experience optimization, and community engagement are humming.
A little bit about me
I first fell in love with sports and collecting as a six year old kid with my dad. It all started with my first pack of Skybox in 1991. I loved the look of that set and pulled a (misprinted) Hakeem Olajuwon in my first pack, which immediately became my prized possession. That experience was my gateway into Rockets fandom and ignited my love for card collecting. After seeing “The Dream” and mimicking The Dream Shake in the playground countless times, I was hooked on the game and all things Clutch City. That is...until the ‘91 Finals. It’s at this point in this blog that I must admit that...yes, I am a bit of an NBA polygamist. Just a few months later I caught MJ fever and was turned onto the Bulls when they cruised to a surprising championship over the Lakers (who’d painfully swept my Rockets in that same playoffs). Kids are fickle, I can’t help it.
Sports and video games were my obsessions - so naturally I steered my professional career towards both.
Fast forward to 2007 where I got my start in the video game/tech space working for Disney Interactive. I grew to run the consumer products and licensing division for the world’s largest kids virtual world at the time, Club Penguin. I learned both the product development and live operations of a game, how to unify a massively connected global audience, and of course, how to drive collectibility outside of the game experience creating limited runs of toys and collectibles. I left knowing that I had made a lasting impression on the youth of tomorrow about the power of collectibles and bringing a great experience into the hands of fans around the globe.
What came next...
After my time at Disney, I joined the founder of Club Penguin on his next venture, Hyper Hippo Entertainment where I became the Studio GM. There, I co-created a Top 10 mobile game called AdVenture Capitalist, which was awarded Facebook Game of the Year in 2017, and received the acclaimed “Editor’s Choice” insignia from the Google Play Editorial team. AdCap ushered in a new genre to the masses on mobile, amassing over 100 million installs, and evolved into a full fledged mobile game franchise consisting of two additional sequels, ported to five platforms (Steam, PS4 etc.), and a run of consumer products to boot. The games have been successfully live serviced since launching in 2015. The amazing commercial success came from listening to the audience, connecting with them, and continually providing valuable updates that address their best ideas and biggest concerns.
Physical collectibles, of course, evolved into the NFT collection and discovering Top Shot when the beta launched. After being on the other side of the product, I wanted in on the action. So, needless to say, it’s humbling to have the opportunity to lead a team and help shape a product that represents the perfect intersection of the stuff that lives in my head and the stuff that fills my heart. This is a dream job for me.
Can’t wait to get started!
Joining Dapper Labs and the Top Shot team at this moment brings together the insights, success and experiences I’ve gained along the way navigating through transformational inflection points. There is nothing like finding that product-to-market fit.
I’m here to help support the amazingly talented team so that they can continue the success of what is working, and unlock the potential of the product. There is already something great in progress, and my objective is to build on that.
We couldn’t be more pumped.
My mindset coming into anything new can be summarized with a great Pat Riley quote, “Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better.” The team and I look forward to continually improving your experience.
Product-wise, I will be focusing in the near term on:
- Getting a deeper understanding of where the product and team are currently headed to ensure a smooth rollout of everything in progress
- Doubling down on optimizing the Moments experience, the pack and collector economies, and the Marketplace experience
- Also, we will explore ways to maximize showcasing collections and provide additional utility for the Moments.
- As we continue to iron out our technology and complete beta, we will communicate that to the audience and look to increase the cadence and stability of releases as we ramp up to the full launch of Top Shot
- In parallel with optimizing the product experience, we will also be experimenting with innovative ways to connect with you - the fans, collaborate with the NBA, and ensure a seamless experience across the board.
- Achieving defined milestones to get us to the next step of the Top Shot journey
Thanks for reading! A product is nothing without its fans and audience. I assure you this team is driven to deliver an incredible experience. We are listening to you and will continue to do that. The only way to truly craft something great is to allow creativity to flow, experiment and innovate, and always listen to your community.
Looking forward to meeting you all soon!
- Tristan Rattink