In the age of video games, tablets and smartphones, one local man has developed a way to keep kids interested in team sports and staying active.
“Kids stop playing (sports) because it’s not fun anymore,” said Milford resident Joseph Bereski. “I was thinking, what can keep them engaged in the game?”
With this question in mind, Bereski last year launched an online startup that sells subscription boxes of sports gear, accessories and information on practice drills and tips for kids and teens.
The website, www.sportsboxco.com, kicked off last year with the Batter UP! Box, which features baseball merchandise for ages 4 and up.
The boxes start at about $27 a month for a one-year subscription or can be purchased month to month for about $30. .
Bereski has also begun selling the Hoops Box, for basketball enthusiasts, and a Power Play Box for hockey fans. He plans to add football and soccer boxes later this year.
A sports fanatic, Bereski said he was looking for a way to keep his three young sons engaged in physical activities when the idea for a monthly package of goodies came to him.
At the time, Bereski, who is director of e-commerce at Monroe-based Really Good Stuff, was working on a project related to magazine subscriptions.
In just the past year, he has sold his boxes to roughly 1,000 customers and he currently has 500 active subscribers. Bereski said he tries to keep the boxes light, to avoid high shipping charges, but makes it a point to include products with a retail value of the same price as the box.
“It’s like Christmas every month — that’s what I hear from some of the customers,” Bereski said. “It could be anything. It’s a surprise each month.”
So far, Bereski said he has used Facebook to get the word out about his product. He buys the content of the boxes directly from companies like Rawlings and Franklin Sports. He also finds some treasures on Etsy.
Bereski, who has several friends helping him in his endeavor, said it’s been stressful juggling his startup while still working a full-time job and spending time with his 7-year-old twins and their 9-year-old brother.
“Pretty much every night, once the kids go to bed, that’s when I figure out what’s going to be in the next box, the marketing and all that stuff,” he said. “It’s definitely a lot of work.”
He said he is hoping to soon partner with a local organization to provide a free box to children in need for every 100 boxes he sells. “We really just want to have a positive influence,” he said. “It’s summer. It’s time to get these kids out there and playing.”