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Eyes On The Prize

Winning is just the beginning for Crown Trophy.

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This story appears in the December 1998 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

The Mohawks were dismal. We knew our town had never witnessed a worse little league hockey team. We tried, but our pathetic skating nonetheless produced a spotless record (no wins), and thus the team banquet was peppered with despair. Fortunately, our coach was an experienced loser and saved the season when he surprised us all by producing a few boxes of gleaming trophies from under the table. Until that point, we felt like failures, but as each of us received our trophies with such inscriptions as "Most Improved," "Hustle Award" and "Team Leader," each boy found redemption. Now that had a value that far exceeded the cost of a plastic trophy.

Crown Trophy Inc., a franchisor based in Yonkers, New York, has capitalized on people's need to be recognized since 1985, when it began franchising Crown Trophy stores. The company was also the top-ranked Sports Memorabilia/Recognition Products franchise in Entrepreneur's 1998 Franchise 500®. Besides trophies of all kinds, Crown Trophy stores offer engraving, signs, plaques, medals and desk accessories. The chain now has 54 stores in operation, and according to Crown management, there hasn't been a franchise failure, license cancellation or franchisee lawsuit in the chain's history.

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