21 Current and Former NFL Players Kick Off Franchising Boot Camp

A new NFL Franchising Boot Camp has attracted 21 NFL players to tackle all aspects of franchising during an April 26-29 session at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business in Ann Arbor, Mich. NFL Player Engagement worked with the Ross School of Business and consulted with the International Franchise Association to design the program.

The 21 NFL players — 12 former players and nine active players, including 2013 Pro Bowlers Jahri Evans (New Orleans) and Russell Okung (Seattle) — will participate and hear from franchisees, franchisors, professors, former players and IFA executives about leveraging the resources and business practices related to franchise business ownership.  Carolina Panthers Owner Jerry Richardson, who spent more than three decades as a restaurant franchisee, will open the program as the keynote speaker.  Angelo Crowell, Don Davey, Tyoka Jackson and Jamal Lewis, former NFL players with franchise ownership experience, will share their viewpoints during panel discussions.

“As both a former player and one who is still active in the food industry, I am excited and honored to address these players,” said Richardson, a Baltimore Colts receiver (1959-60) who became a Hardee’s franchisee in 1961.  Richardson expanded his business to more than 600 Hardee’s restaurants and 200 Quincy Steak Houses before selling the business and becoming president and CEO for the new ownership, where he managed more than 2,500 restaurants and 100,000 employees.  “There are many parallels to success in business and football and the opportunity to provide whatever insight I may have to this select group is appreciated.”

Ross School Professor of Business Economics Francine Lafontaine, co-author of “The Economics of Franchising” and leading academic expert on franchise performance, business creation and survival, serves as faculty director of the program, and joins three other Ross faculty members who will lead program workshops.

This is the first NFL Engagement program to include players’ spouses.

Visit https://www.nflplayerengagement.com/ for more information.