Giving 110 Percent
Athletes, teams and businesses head to one place—Schuylkill Valley Sports—for the finest sporting goods, exceptional service and a little bit more
by Phil Gianficaro


Since its founding in 1971, Schuylkill Valley Sports has built a reputation as a sporting-goods company genuinely interested in the lives and welfare of its customers and their communities throughout eastern and central Pennsylvania and New Jersey.


But who knew their community reached halfway around the world?


Dave Sloan of Newtown has been a customer for years. As the proprietor of Complete Baseball Instruction, which offers private and group coaching for baseball players, he turns to Schuylkill Valley Sports as his go-to place for everything baseball. In fact, whenever he needs the finest in field equipment from industry giants such as Under Armour and Easton or high-quality footwear from Adidas and Nike, Sloan heads to only one place.


Earlier this year, he stopped by Schuylkill Valley Sports in Newtown to speak with the company’s district manager, Jen Alles, not about purchasing a bat but about the company stepping up to the plate to help American soldiers in Afghanistan.


“My friend, Justin Matthews, is in the military and stationed near Khyber Pass, a trail used frequently by the Taliban to get to and from Pakistan and Afghanistan,” Sloan says. “He sent me photos of him and other military police playing cricket with Afghani children.


“Justin told me that he’s tried to reach out to the local people to win their hearts and minds. He said that those people have two options: They can work with U.S. troops or make some really quick money by selling U.S. truck numbers and other information to the Taliban.”


So Sloan had an idea to help his close friend, and Schuylkill Valley Sports was an integral part of it. He and Matthews agreed that playing baseball with some of the local children might cast the U.S. military in a better light with their parents.


“When I told Jen about the idea, she was eager to help,” Sloan says. “You don’t always get that kind of enthusiasm from businesses unless you’re looking to buy something. I asked Jen if there was anything her company could do in the way of getting us some baseball gloves, balls, bats and throw-down bases that I could send to Justin.


“Jen told me that Schuylkill Valley Sports has donation boxes at each of their locations where customers can drop off used gloves and other athletic equipment that the company then distributes to those who need them. She said I could come and take whatever I wanted.”


But Alles didn’t stop there. She drove to all six Schuylkill Valley Sports stores in her district, collected the drop-box items and brought them all to the Newtown store location to make it easier for Sloan to help his friend while he was off serving the country abroad.


“Jen didn’t have to do this, but she’s always willing to help like that,” Sloan says. “It’s what sets Schuylkill Valley Sports apart from other stores. They say they are involved in their communities and they are. It’s not just talk with them.”


Now that is something to celebrate.


‘Personal Touch’

Schuylkill Valley Sports is indeed in a celebratory mood, as it is observing its 40th year in the sporting-goods business this year.


“We have been celebrating our 40th anniversary by promoting different products on monthly basis,” Alles, a native of Quakertown who’s been employed by the company for 12 years. “We have had some great deals surrounding the number 40 in various categories. For example, currently we are promoting our MLB All Over Player T-shirts and all Asics and Adidas wrestling shoes at 40 percent off.” 


Schuylkill Valley Sports is noted for supplying high-quality merchandise in traditional sports such as baseball, basketball, football, hockey, soccer, golf, tennis and volleyball, and the finest equipment and apparel for inline skating, roller hockey and skateboarding. Furthermore, the company stands apart from any other sporting-goods retailer with its comprehensive selection of apparel and collectibles licensed by the likes of Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Hockey League and various college teams, among others, plus a broad selection of athletic footwear.


The company also carries a variety of apparel from local high schools, and is among the largest team-sports suppliers in eastern Pennsylvania, specializing in uniforms, equipment, jackets, sweat clothing, hats and cheerleading outfits, as well as affordable screen-printed and embroidered apparel and promotional items. One of the fastest-growing parts of Schuylkill Valley Sports’ business is something described as team sales.


“We outfit and supply equipment, uniforms, apparel, hats and many other things to local youth organizations,” she says. “We are your one-stop shop in sporting goods, and can outfit any athlete, team or business head to toe in quality products.”


But the most important thing Schuylkill Valley Sports offers its customers is service.


“When a customer comes into the store, he or she is greeted by a friendly associate who is interested in finding them the products they need,” Alles says. “We’re always attentive, and that’s something I don’t think you find at bigger stores. There’s a personal touch here.


“We are here to serve the needs of our customers and exceed their expectations in service. We love outfitting the young boy or girl who is playing a sport for the first time or the local high school athlete who plays at a more elite level. I think we are unique in this industry because we are able to provide our customers with products for the beginner to the advanced athlete, but most importantly provide them a memorable service. Our employees love engaging with the local athletes regardless of age.”


Alles and Schuylkill Valley Sports get involved. Sloan vouches for them, and so does Jacci Ronzano, a Quakertown woman who has known Alles since she first started with the company.


“At first, I was going to the Schuylkill Valley Sports store in Quakertown because it was convenient,” Ronzano says. “But I quickly found out how helpful the people were. I had three sons active in sports, so I was over there a lot. If they didn’t have what I needed, they’d get it from one of the other stores.”


Ronzano recalled a time when her boys fell in love with a pool table that, when flipped over, was also an air-hockey table. Unfortunately, the item was out of stock in the Quakertown store and the other area stores.


“The boys were so disappointed,” Ronzano recalls. “But I talked to Jen and she had them pack up the floor model and ship it to our house. That’s what you’re looking for as a customer, and that’s why we keep coming back.”


Phil Gianficaro is an award-winning writer based in Doylestown.

Rob Hall is a photographer based in Plumsteadville.


Schuylkill Valley Sports

20 locations (19 in eastern and central Pennsylvania; one in New Jersey)

Corporate phone: 877-711-8100



Team sales: