Amateur Sports: Philadelphia Cornhole Becoming a Stitch in Philadelphia Community

Amateur Sports: Philadelphia Cornhole Becoming a Stitch in Philadelphia Community
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Cornhole, like most sports, has the power to bring people together, and sometimes that comradery translates into other areas of life.

Andy Banas and Chad Puchalski created the Philadelphia Cornhole League in 2013. They are also business partners at Independence Print Company, which specializes in screen printing, embroidery and promotional products.

“We saw the opportunity build at a growing sport that we saw everywhere,” Banas said. “I wanted to take cornhole to another level businesswise and continue to grow it.”

Puchalski started the printing business in 2008 and now handles the creative side of the business. His background comes from the University of the Arts, where he took classes for screening printing, and previous art classes he took at Kutztown University and Bloomsburg University.

Banas fulfills the financial role for the print company, after spending 13 years as an investment consultant and portfolio manager at an investment advisory firm called Veritable, L.P.

“The best part was that I was an art major and I didn’t have a financial background, so our backgrounds complement each other,” Puchalski said. “He handles one whole side of the business and I handle the other.”

The business and Philadelphia Cornhole support each other, boosting each other’s success.

The Philadelphia Cornhole League uses the print business to make custom T-shirts for members of the league. The fee to join the league is $80 for a seven-week season, including playoffs, but members get to choose their own T-shirts for free. There are six different logos to choose from.

“We wanted to do something different and we want people to wear what they are given,” Puchalski said. “There are other sports where you’re given four shirts, and it’s something you don’t get to choose and it’s the same for everybody. We figured why would you give out shirts if they are just going to be thrown in a corner at home. Why don’t we make it fun and different?”

The league has also benefitted the print company by serving as a networking tool to bring in new business.

“We use cornhole as basically a networking machine,” Puchalski said. “We get a lot of work through friends and personal references.”

The popularity of the league reached its peak in 2014, when the Philadelphia Phillies partnered with Philadelphia Cornhole in the Phillies fan appreciation day on May 3, 2014.

“We do own a big print company but we are always looking to do things with bigger companies,” Banas said. “We are excited about doing these things kind of hand in hand.”

–  Text, video, and images by Stephen Godwin Jr. 

 

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