The typical professional athlete retires after three to five years in their sport. Although great financial success comes to some, the majority of athletes look for new sources of income after retirement. Franchising, for many reasons, has become a popular second career for professional athletes.
Even with little or no business experience, athletes can be successful in franchising in part because they benefit from the brand’s existing goodwill, established systems and supports as well as potential customer base. Most franchisors think of professional athletes as prime candidates for franchise ownership because the skills and characteristics that make athletes successful align well with those needed in the franchise world.
No matter the level of success an athlete has achieved during his or her playing career, he or she is likely a “home town hero” in the local community. By opening a franchise, an athlete can re-establish or cement his or her status as a local celebrity, generate interest in the business and brand and also enable the athlete to contribute to the financial vitality of their community. Franchisors see this as a win-win situation.
Some examples of recent franchising moves by current or former pro athletes are:
- Former Major League Baseball superstar Alex Rodriguez purchased a UFC gym franchise in Florida. He also secured developmental rights for additional gyms throughout the state.
- Former NFL wide receiver Marcus Thigpen opened an i9 Youth Sports franchise location in Plano, Texas.
- Professional basketball player Mustafa Shakur opened Executive Care, a non-medical home care franchise in the Philadelphia-area.
- Former NFL player Donnell Thompson signed on to expand Del Taco’s presence in Atlanta. He and his wife are already franchisees of other brands including McDonald’s and Zaxby’s.
- Former NFL fullback Justin Griffith opened a Famous Toastery restaurant franchise location in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Since franchising is such a broad arena comprised of hundreds of industries and thousands of brands, finding the right opportunity is key. There are many factors that athletes should consider before investing, so to ensure that you make a right decision, and ultimately a winning move, consult an experienced franchise consultant.
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