Courtesy of the Kwikgoal.com
"On Christmas Eve of 1980, the Caruso brothers, co-founders of Kwik Goal, came up with an idea that would change the sport of soccer in the United States. Years ago, the notion that soccer could be played with goals that were not only portable, but transportable, was unheard of.
Andy Caruso, a soccer coach, wanted a portable goal for his team practices and turned to his brother Vincent for help. In the weeks that followed, Vincent had completed the first prototype goal. After some minor adjustments and several more prototypes Kwik Goal was born. "
by Derek Reusser
Do you know what a 1981 Plymouth Horizon is? If so you can truly appreciate the challenge of a creating a sturdy and substantial yet portable soccer goal that can be transported in this rolling shoebox of a car. Back when Ronald Reagan was just getting his feet wet as president the beautiful game was not nearly as popular as it is today. Finding goals to play much less train with was a challenge. The Caruso brothers saw an opportunity to fill a massive hole in a sports market that was just getting ready to explode. Being from Long Island the brothers realized that locating near a metropolitan area like Philadelphia was important in order to properly prepare for such an explosion. Quakertown provided a cost-effective spot to set-up shop just north of Philly and almost 4 decades later the company is an international soccer supplier with upwards of 70 employees and over 20 million dollars a year in sales. Quakertown has obviously grown since the companies inception and i think its fair to say that Kwik Goal has been a significant part of that local growth.
Recently i met my friend and longtime Kwik Goal employee Bill Horvath at the local facility where he took some time to show me the ropes. Kwik Goal consists of 3 buildings and is a massive combination of marketing/sales, development/production and storage/shipping. Quite an impressive all-in-one business structure. There is so much action going on here i was almost forced to wear a blindfold at one point of the tour as we passed through active patent pending areas of development! As a small business owner myself it was real interesting to see a company as large as this still doing everything from one main facility. This hands-on approach to running a business is really reflected in the quality of product that Kwik Goal produces and is a big reason their reputation is held in such high regard in the soccer world today.
It was cool to sit down and chat more about all the local soccer folk that have at one point or another been employed at Kwik Goal. Even though the family ownership kind of stumbled into our little corner of the world. The company is really now intertwined with our Bethlehem Soccer history going back decades. Meanwhile to this day it's still actively involved with supplying many of our local clubs and schools with cutting edge, high quality soccer equipment. Currently the companies top selling products are of course goals and nets as well as training essentials such as cones and scrimmage vests. However its the shelters and custom seating that are really taking off recently. I know i was blown away with the beautiful set-up i was able to see up close at Moravian College's new field recently. A far cry from the old aluminum board i grew up with while playing there. There is a real sense of pride at the company that they are taking US Soccer and how they train to another level. A couple more examples are the introduction of practice mannequins and coaching sticks to USA trainers at a time where no such things existed here. Now they are common tools of coaches at all levels of play all over the country. Kwik Goal made that happen.
I found it especially interesting learning how the company gained traction initially. Way back (when i was kid) in the pre-internet days there was one tool that Bill confirmed was the bread and butter of Kwik Goal. That was trade shows. One after another after another making connections the old fashioned way. You don't do that successfully with a substandard product that is for sure. Persevering through the years all the way through into the modern age of technology speaks volumes of the vision of a company and its products to be sure. Personally I'd like to congratulate Kwik Goal on their international futbol brand as well as being on the frontline of soccer success in the USA. Lastly I would like to thank them for supporting the Lehigh Valley Area through this great sport for 37 years.
Look around the next time you are at a soccer event. You'll see the logo everywhere. I think i always took the mindset that i see the logo everywhere just because the company is located so close. The reality is that its like that all over the world! Who would have thought that could come out of the back of a little Plymouth Horizon?
You can see a great Kwik Goal historical video with Vincent Caruso here: http://www.kwikgoal.com/company-history/