Bear Degidio, one of the biggest paintball ambassadors in the world, used his career path to discover that what he loves most out of the sport isn’t playing pro, but branding.
The Find Your Grind podcast is a weekly series hosted by our founders, Nick Gross, Natasha Gross, Mike Smith, and Luke “The Dingo” Trembeth. Each week, we speak with special guests on the first 10% of their personal journey, decisions that led them where they are today, and how they built their ideas from finding their grind. In this week’s episode, Dingo sat down with paintball ambassador and marketing master, Bear Degidio.
Connector and entrepreneur, Bear Degidio has a knack on how to create viral moments while being able to connect with others and build organic relationships. One of the biggest paintball ambassadors in the world, he’s used his career path to discover that what he loves most out of the sport isn’t playing pro, but branding. Today, he’s taken his marketing experts to build and collaborate with brands such as Giant Tactical, LA Weekly, OVO, etc. and creating social media moments with Ground House Burger.
Bear was exposed to the world of paintball by his father and became a professional player by the time he was 11 years old. By the time he was 16, his paintball career carried him to play worldwide living a rockstar lifestyle. Unlike other high schoolers, Bear kept his focus on his passion and family. His father encouraged him to stay in school and promised to fund him while he attended college. In college, Bear studied Finance and Communications, and while he admits he hasn’t used the degrees entirely, it has helped in a way in understanding the basics of investing in brands and understanding numbers. But his vast experience came from the start of his paintball career, the parks (Hollywood Sports) that him and his family had built — renowned for celebrity attendees such as Justin Beiber, Drake, David Beckham, Kobe Bryant, etc. — to take paintball to its international-recognized stage today.
Shortly after college, Bear discovered what he loves most out of the sport wasn’t playing pro, but the branding aspect. He also realized that the path changes and your environment — who and what you surround yourself with — will dictate this path. His keen sense of focus sharpened towards his strengths and likes. He quickly began creating merchandise lines, running parks, events, and networking to open up the many marketing possibilities that would come his way. His hands-on, real life experience helped him grow into a branding and marketing expert building his own companies like Hollywood Sports, SC Village, Giant San Diego, Bear & Honey Group, Fairplay, Portside Fish Co, and Ground House Burger. Now a master on how to navigate the digital and social space, Bear knows how to create viral and hype moments, i.e. the Magical Burger, while still building and maintaining organic relationships.
"Just put your feet to the fire and go try it. . . Invest in yourself." — Bear Degidio
Filled with anecdotes and advice from branding, creating viral moments, to the power of building quality relationships instead of relying on the hype of the internet, Bear gives a plethora of lessons for a person who is just figuring out their passion to someone established in the game.