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When Whiffling is Good Business Can a boyhood dream become a successful sports league?

By David Port

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

America's mighty appetite for leisure has elevated the back-room game of poker to a booming global industry, the college party pastime of beer pong to a thriving commercial enterprise and the schoolyard kickball contest into a national phenomenon. Two boyhood friends believe that appetite can do the same for their longtime passion: Wiffle ball.

Nick Benas and Jared Verrillo grew up in Guilford, Conn., not far from the factory where Wiffle balls and bats are made. As kids on a makeshift field, they hatched what would become Big League Wiffle Ball. School and a stint in the Marines put that idea on hold until January 2007.

Four years later, their venture has a devoted legion of some 50,000 players in leagues and tournaments that are spreading beyond the organization's New England roots and into the Midwest, Southeast and elsewhere. Along the way, BLWB has amassed media coverage from Fox's This Week in Baseball, CNBC's The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch and ESPN, along with support from big names such as former Major League Baseball pitcher Jim Bouton.

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