FLUSHING — Two buddies who grew up together in Flushing are turning their passion for sports into a multifaceted marketing and broadcasting venture.
John Binkowski II and Tony Bryan, both 2014 graduates of Flushing High School, have been working hard to promote Gin Pros, a sports marketing company that they launched in the summer of 2020. The pair recently started a weekly sports podcast and is aiming to build an online platform for various sports media.
“Our future plan for the brand is to grow it to a point where it can be a fulltime job for us,” said Binkowski, who founded the concept of Gin Pros in 2019. “We also want to have fun doing something that we love and get our name out there in the sports world.”
Binkowksi, a graduate of Michigan State University, said that the name “Gin Pros” was inspired by his preference for gin and a happen-chance brainstorming session he had while hanging out with friends in East Lansing in March 2019.
“At that time, me and my buddies were trying to lose some weight before we went off to spring break, so we decided to drink gin and tonics instead of beer because they’re lower in carbs,” he said. “Long story short, I mentioned the company I wanted to start and after we bounced some ideas back and forth, ‘Gin Promotions’ just stuck out as a great name.”
Since kicking off the Gin Pros podcast in December, Binkowski and Bryan have built a growing fanbase that tunes in to hear their hot takes on the National Football League (NFL), National Basketball Association (NBA), National Hockey League (NHL) and college sports. The duo also covers their latest sports bets, while giving out betting tips and game predictions.
Bryan, also known to podcast fans as “Beeperman” (a nickname he acquired in high school), said that he and “John J.” try to keep the show entertaining but informative.
“Me and John are just average joes sharing our love for sports,” he said. “We don’t try to act super-fancy. We just want to relate to the fans and meet them where their biggest interests are at.”
The Gin Pros podcast is available on Spotify and Apple Store and airs each Sunday afternoon at 12:30 p.m.
Off the air, Binkowski and Bryan have been engaging with fans and growing their brand by hosting live events like charity golf outings and a Turkey Bowl football game on Thanksgiving. Last October, they held the first-ever Corona Challenge charity golf tournament at the Flushing Valley Golf Club.
In just two weeks of planning, Binkowski and Bryan managed to sign up 18 two-man teams for the tournament.
“We scrambled to get the tournament in by the skin of our teeth, but it was a blast, and the support we got from the teams and the golf club was tremendous,” Bryan said. “Proceeds from the tournament went to the Flushing Christian Outreach Center because we know how important it is for us to give back to the community that raised us.”
Moving forward, Binkowski and Bryan are planning to launch a Gin Pros apparel line and start up a sports betting service. Although their website currently offers a free handicapping/picks feature, they are looking to monetize the service once they have built up more name recognition.
The duo is also aiming to promote local athletes, bring in high-profile special guests for their podcast, and engage with area companies for cross-promotional and advertising purposes.
To learn more about Binkowksi and Bryan’s company, visit ginpros.org or follow Gin Pros on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.