NFL and IFA Launch Franchising Boot Camp

IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira, Senior Vice President of Government Relations & Public Policy  Judith Thorman and Director of Political Affairs & Grassroots Advocacy Erica Fitzsimmons traveled to the National Football League’s headquarters Dec. 12 in New York to announce a partnership  between the IFA and the NFL to execute the first-ever NFL Franchising Boot Camp, an intensive program for approximately 20 current and former NFL players and their spouses who are interested in learning about the franchising industry.

The boot camp is scheduled for April 26-29, 2013 at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, named for Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross and will be keynoted by Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, a former NFL receiver for the Baltimore Colts and franchisee himself, who built an empire of 800 restaurants from one hamburger stand.

Several high profile players such as Drew Brees, a Jimmy John’s franchisee; Peyton Manning, a Papa John’s franchisee; and Colt McCoy, who has just signed on with Dunkin’ Donuts as a franchisee; have become part of our great industry. This boot camp will provide the opportunity for more NFL athletes to learn about franchising.

Buying a franchise or being part of the franchise industry can be a solid and sustainable investment in a players’ future. But as with any major decision, it is important that players have the opportunity to do their due diligence so they can learn as much as they can about the franchise model and the potential of the industry before making a decision.

Owning a franchise would allow players’ to go into business for themselves, but not by themselves. The franchisor provides a vast array of support and guidance including training, HR, marketing and leveraging supply-chain efficiencies to save costs.

This boot camp will allow players to better understand the franchise industry, the legal framework in which it operates, and provide attendees with general and specific knowledge allowing them to evaluate franchise opportunities.

Many of franchising’s most iconic brands, such as Papa John’s and McDonald’s, among others, are already official partners of the NFL and we are truly thrilled to partner with the NFL in this capacity to design a program that educates current and former players and their spouses and creates a path to business ownership for them in franchising.