Richard LaMotta, Class of 1975 – Lawyer, Entrepreneur, Business Executive, and Inventor of the Chipwich Ice Cream Sandwich.
Richard LaMotta was the creator and principal promoter of the Chipwich ice cream sandwich. LaMotta was born on May 20, 1942 in Brooklyn, New York, one of two children of Joseph and Mary Gibbons LaMotta. His father was a butcher. His cousin was the middleweight boxing champion Jake LaMotta.
He graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School. He went on to earn a B.S. in Economics from Brooklyn College and a J.D. from New York Law School, both earned while studying at night and working at various jobs during the day.
As a college freshman, LaMotta developed his own record label and, after negotiating with the college business office, music professors, and executives at RCA, BMG Music, Deutsche Grammophon, etc., created a two-record album featuring recordings for the Music 101 class required of all City College of New York students. He then sold over fifty-thousand albums.
In 1981, LaMotta invented the Chipwich. On May 1, 1982, he began a guerrilla marketing campaign, in which he trained and enlisted sixty street cart vendors (students) to sell the Chipwich on the streets in New York City. A few hours later, all twenty five thousand Chipwich sandwiches had been sold. After two weeks, forty thousand Chipwiches were being sold each day. The campaign established Chipwich as a successful brand.
CoolBrands International, once the country's second-largest ice cream distributor, bought the Chipwich brand in 2002. After encountering financial difficulties in 2004, CoolBrands sold Eskimo Pie and Chipwich to Dreyer's (a division of Nestlé) in 2007 and divested most of its other core businesses. Nestlé ultimately discontinued the Chipwich brand and allowed its US trademark registration to lapse.
LaMotta was featured in more than 8,000 stories in newspapers, magazines and other media covering the past 25 years. He received the Ad Age Executive Marketing Award, Adweek magazine's Hottest Product of the Year Award, and Sales and Marketing magazine's Entrepreneur of the Year Award.