How Susan Sarandon Became a Ping Pong Mogul

The Origin Story of Ping Pong Startup SPiN

SPiN logo.

When most people think of Susan Sarandon, their first thought is her iconic roles in “Thelma & Louise” or “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” However, Sarandon isn’t only a namesake in the acting community. If you’ve seen her lesser-known 2014 film “Ping Pong Summer,” it may not come as a surprise that she is also one of the founders of the international ping pong franchise SPiN.

‘United by Ping Pong’

Launched in 2009 by Sarandon, Jonathan Bricklin, Andrew Gordon, Franck Raharinosy, and Wally Green, SPiN is a global franchise of table tennis or ‘ping pong’ bars and clubs. The brand’s first location, in the Flatiron District of New York City, was what piqued the Sarandon’s interest and initiated her involvement in the brand. By 2010, locations began to open in different parts of the country, expanding internationally in 2011. Today, the franchise boasts nine locations across the US and Canada. 

However, the initial concept for the franchise was developed by co-founders Jonathan Bricklin and Franck Raharinosy in 2007. The pair began hosting weekly ping pong parties in an effort to train for the USA Olympic Team in Ping Pong. As the popularity of the parties grew, bringing in a range of artists, actors, musicians, professional ping pong players, and bankers, the opportunity to make a successful business became clear. 

Sarandon’s involvement in the brand came about similarly. The actress attended one of the infamous ping pong parties and requested to hire the team for her then-partner, Tim Robbins’ 50th birthday. When Sarandon and Robbins split shortly after, Sarandon began dating SPiN team member Jonathan Bricklin and became an investor and co-founder of SPiN. 

The mission of the ping pong franchise, though, wasn’t simply to provide a fun atmosphere for party-goers and date nights. SPiN’s goal from the outset was to create an “offline social network” that welcomed diversity and the unconventional. 

Now over 10 years old, SPiN continues to provide lasting experiences for fans of the brand and will even open a new location in the fall of 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. It appears that if SPiN has anything to say about it, ping pong is here to stay.

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