Baltimore company sees national opportunity in laidback sports leagues - Baltimore


Apr. 6, 2016 12:59 pm

Baltimore company sees national opportunity in laidback sports leagues

Social Leagues has seen recent growth, including the acquisition of another league in NYC.

Baltimore Social offers flag football leagues.

(Courtesy photo)

As the season of after-work softball and kickball approaches, the Baltimore company that organizes adult sports leagues has eyes on becoming a national player.

Since starting with a bocce league in 2009, Social Leagues has grown to include sports and activities of various exertion levels from skeeball to soccer, and expanded to other cities like Denver, Charleston, S.C., Seattle and San Francisco.

Over the winter, the company added to its existing New York City presence, called Play Big Apple, by acquiring NYC Social. This spring, it’s set to offer more than 80 leagues in that city. CEO Giovanni Marcantoni said Social Leagues now holds the crown of having New York’s biggest bocce league. The move also puts the company closer to the big brands that are headquartered in New York. It’s an extension of the business opportunity the company sees in relaxed after-work recreation.

“Our goal is to take the lead in the industry,” he said.

Social Leagues started with Bocce. (Courtesy photo)

Social Leagues started with Bocce. (Courtesy photo)

With its aim to grow fast, the company has found a home among other small and growing businesses at Betamore. Marcantoni said Social Leagues has been able to take advantage of some of the same resources that can help tech startups, and has found a lot to talk about with startup founders as they look to scale and be creative.


“Any company that has the same amount of employees and same amount of revenue, you have the same kind of problems,” he said.

There is a sizable offline element to getting people together and distributing T-shirts. Still, Marcantoni says the company focuses on making the online signup process reinforce the idea that there’s no skill required to join a league, and you don’t need to know anyone.

“We really hone in on making it very easy to sign up,” he said.

The company has also dipped into youth sports recently, founding a nonprofit that looks to organize sports leagues for city kids.

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