by Jason Cooper
Philadelphia Sports Network – Philly Mag’s “Best of Philly 2011″
FOR THE LOVE OF THE GAME
When I first moved from Boston to Philadelphia six years ago, all I wanted was a good game of basketball to unwind after long days of work at the architecture firm. What better way to break a sweat, have fun, meet new friends, and network with other professionals?
There was just one problem: after searching everywhere online and asking everyone I know, I realized that high-quality organized leagues did not exist in Center City. My friend and co-worker, Ryan Ward, who had just moved here from New York, shared my dilemma. We love basketball – not playing was not an option. There was only one thing to do: start our own games by emailing some friends!
Soon, word spread, friends started inviting their friends, and before long we had gathered a solid group of working professionals – architects, attorneys, doctors, engineers, teachers, students, restaurant owners, entrepreneurs – I was meeting more people shooting hoops than through any professional networking event, plus I was getting a more effective workout and having more fun than I possibly could on a treadmill.
FROM THE GAME TO THE OFFICE
Realizing that playing sports and organizing games were our shared passion, Ryan and I launched Philadelphia Sports Network (PSN) in 2007. Since then, PSN has expanede into an unprecedented Center City network with over 15,000 members, with ages ranging from 18 to 70 and a concentration in the 20s to 40s. We offer over 15 sports at convenient Center City locations. No matter where you live or work, no matter what sport you like – a game of basketball, volleyball, soccer, flag football, kickball, racquetball, tennis, softball, bowling, floor hockey, ultimate frisbee or dodgeball – is a game playing near you!
Because of our first-hand experience, we are especially attentive to players who may be new to the city or just trying to meet more people. You can sign up on your own or with a friend or two. As you start to know more people, you can then sign up as a whole team and receive team discounts.
We are pleased to see that our weekly games have shown an impact on office productivity as well. Business owners and managers tell us that their staff morale and productivity have increased because of our leagues. Teamwork on the court and the fields are benefits and coworkers take directly back to the office.
GOING ABOVE AND BEYOND
Quality games are the trademark of PSN, and we are constantly striving to take the level of quality up another notch. Therefore, we are thrilled to have begun a series of partnerships with The Sporting Club at the Bellevue.
Not only have we introduced a variety of sports to The Club’s central playing court, we have also relocated our business headquarters here as well. Our goal is to better serve The Club’s members, and introduce working professionals who are not yet members of the Club’s state-of-the-art facility.
In response to the desire for serious competition from our more seasoned players, we recently launched PSN Premier Leagues, which we kicked off at The Club with Men’s Basketball. Premier leagues provide the highest quality competition at Center City’s best facilities, they feature individual player statistics, premium Dryfit jerseys, all-star games, playoffs and trophies. We will be introducing more Premier Leagues for football, soccer, and softball over the next year – stay tuned!
Giving Back To Our City
While we’ve never forgotten our roots (just two friends desperate to shoot some hoops), we realize that our company has become a unique and integral part of Philadelphia. Our strong social and professional network has the power, energy and responsibility to revitalize our city. To this end, we have introduced two city revitalization programs: on addressing the needs of public schools and community centers; the other addressing the needs of local business.
Play 2 Give – Donation Program
PSN believes that public schools and community centers need our help more than ever. The ongoing economic slump has resulted in slashed budgets for schools and extracurricular sports programs. We want to give back to our city. No only do we regularly host fundraiser tournaments, we have also introduced a donation proram called Play 2 Give. It’s a 1:1 ration: for every league filled, PSN will make a donation to a Philadelphia youth-based program in need. This means every player in our network is making a direct contribution to Philadelphia. The larger our network grows, the more we can impact our city, together.
PSN Pass – Membership Benefit Program and Local Business Advocacy Program
In an effort to simultaneously support local businesses and offer exclusive benefits to our members, Philadelphia Sports Network provides current players with seasonal identification cards, known as the PSN Pass. By showing your PSN Pass at participating businesses – from restaurants and bars to salons and grocery stores – you can receive exclusive discounts, and as these local business can have more customers come through their doors. It’s a win-win!
SEE YOU AT THE GAME
We at Philadelphia Sports Network absolutely love what we do and the city that we call our home.
If you would like to get involved and play some games with us, simply visit our website www.philadelphiasportsnetwork.com.
You can also find me around The Sporting Club – I would be more than happy to answer any questions.
If your business would like to get involved in the PSN Pass Program, simply send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To connect with us and stay tuned on events, benefits and registration dates, up-to-the-minute league announcements, be sure to Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter.
And in case you are wondering, I am not a proud player in our basketball, soccer, football and floor hockey leagues. I hope to see you at one of our games!
Jason Cooper, Co-Founder and Executive Director
Philadelphia Sports Network