NFL to hold franchising workshop for players Dan Leberfeld

Twenty one NFL players – 12 former players and nine active players including 2013 Pro Bowlers G JAHRI EVANS (New Orleans) and T RUSSELL OKUNG (Seattle) – will take part in the new NFL Franchising Boot Camp April 26-29, 2013, at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The school is named for Miami Dolphins Owner STEPHEN M. ROSS.

Over the four days, participants will hear firsthand from franchisees, franchisors, professors, former players and executives at the IFA on all aspects of franchising. Carolina Panthers Owner JERRY RICHARDSON, who spent more than three decades as a restaurant franchisee, will open the program as the keynote speaker. In addition, four former NFL players with franchise ownership experience — ANGELO CROWELL, DON DAVEY, TYOKA JACKSON and JAMAL LEWIS — will take part in panel discussions.

Ross School professor of business economics FRANCINE LAFONTAINE, co-author of The Economics of Franchising (Cambridge University Press) 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.

“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 grew 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.”

The NFL Franchising Boot Camp is the first NFL Player Engagement program to include players’ spouses, with nine signed up to attend. Spouses have also been invited to attend the upcoming NFL Hospitality & Culinary Management Workshop (May 6) and Transition Assistance Program (June 7-10).

NFL Player Engagement worked with the Ross School of Business and consulted with International Franchise Association (IFA) to design the program.

Player enrollment criteria include a demonstrated interest and aptitude for business, essays, and NFL playing experience.

With the longer offseason, NFL Player Engagement offers current and former players 10 training programs for post-NFL careers.

Following are the NFL players participating in the NFL Franchising Boot Camp:

Current/Former team(s)
Husain Abdullah
Mike Adams
Adam Archuleta
Former (STL, WAS, CHI)
Jason Avant
Kerlin Blaise
Former (DET)
Jahri Evans
Anthony Fasano
Brandon Gorin
Former (SD, NE, ARZ, STL, DEN)
William Hampton
Former (PHI, CAR)
Lamarr Houston
Brian Iwuh
Former (JAX, CHI)
Bradie James
Free Agent
Tim Jamison
Eric King
Former (BUF, TEN, DET, CLE)
Nick Leckey
Former (ARZ, STL, NO)
Brandon Moore
Free Agent
Russell Okung
Barry Sims
Former (OAK, SF)
Will Smith
Shawntae Spencer
Free Agent
Matt Turk