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Think Fast!

This entrepreneur's got serious marketing game.

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This story appears in the June 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Small talk isn't always free-flowing, but Constantine Pergantis knows it's important when connecting with customers. So when the owner of Nite Lites, an indoor and outdoor lighting-installation company in North Potomac, Maryland, discovered his company's basketball games created a buzz in the community, it led to building relationships on and off the court.

A basketball enthusiast, Pergantis sponsored and fielded his own team to participate in Hoop It Up!, a national amateur tournament. Team Nite Lites dominated the event, garnering attention from the media as well as new and existing customers. The team, consisting of Pergantis' friends, has customers-turned-fans traveling to away games.

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