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Triple Threat

Tackling franchising in the sports tournament field.
October 1, 1998
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/16628

Dave King, president and CEO of Fort Collins, Colorado's Triple Crown Sports Inc., admits his company had selfish beginnings. From 1982 to 1987, Dave and his wife, Annette, both 42, ran a series of softball tournaments in Colorado. Working full time for an insurance company at the time, Dave had no long-term vision for the series.

But in 1987, Dave quit his job in favor of making sports a full-time business. Ten years later, the Kings decided to franchise their amateur sports marketing and production business.

Today, Triple Crown Sports has three franchisees, one each in Nevada, Utah and Colorado, and 10 company-owned units nationwide. As for filling in the 200 available units across the United States, the company is looking for entrepreneurs who have "been in the corporate environment, don't mind the chaos of large events and groups, and have no fear of long hours outdoors," says Dave.

Franchisees produce and manage weekend tournaments, camps and clinics. Most business is conducted via telephone and mail so it's easily run from home.

Franchisees can choose from girls' fast pitch, adult slow pitch, boys' baseball, inline hockey and soccer. The Kings hope to add basketball, flag football and youth tackle football next season.

Snack Stand

Veteran franchisor spices up its menu.

Since first seeking snack stardom in 1976 with its Everything Yogurt concept, Restaurant Systems International Inc. has added a bevy of delectable offerings to tempt both hungry customers and ambitious franchisees.

Change has been key for the New York City franchise company: In 1995, the then-19-year-old Everything Yogurt Inc. altered its identity with a new name, a necessity because yogurt was no longer "everything." Greenleaf's Grille and Treat Street, two new prototypes, are umbrella concepts under which the company's other brands will fall. Greenleaf's Grille's menu offers healthy tantalizers like freshly prepared grilled sandwiches, wraps and salads. Treat Street houses Gretel's Pretzels, Bananas and Everything Yogurt Express. Through mid-1999, expect new additions to Treat Street's menu: Muffins, cookies, gourmet coffee and a private-label Treat Street ice cream are in the works.

April's debut of the company-owned Greenleaf's Grille and Treat Street in New York City's Staten Island Mall saw a 40 percent revenue increase since last year, when Everything Yogurt & Salad Café and Bananas inhabited the space. President Tom Romano understands why: "Now you can be as imaginative as you choose and eat as healthy as you want," he says.

Romano says the success of these prototypes and the strength of their menu offerings have unleashed numerous possibilities. The company can now bring Greenleaf's Grille and Treat Street to strip malls and downtown locations, plus regional malls and airports. In addition to location-specific franchises, the company will offer franchisees master and multiunit franchise options in addition to existing single-unit deals.

What's New

Contact Sources

Miami Subs Corp., (954) 973-0000, fax: (954) 975-3290

Restaurant Systems International Inc., (718) 494-8888, fax: (718) 494-8776

Triple Crown Sports Inc., (970) 223-6644, ext. 124, fax: (970) 223-3636