I came across a fun article on Advertising Age written by Maureen Morrison where she features celebrities and professional athletes and the franchise opportunities they’ve invested in.
I think this article is another validation of the franchise business model because it shows that many investors with deep pockets — with unlimited business opportunities available to them — still choose the franchise route over other investment options. Franchising gives them the opportunity to become entrepreneurs even if they don’t necessarily have the business background to back them up.
I noticed that fast food franchises are the hands-down favorite among celebrities, with multiple mentions of different burger, fried chicken, and donut brands. It seems that if money is no object, the first choice is to go with fast food franchises because they are consistently profitable in good and bad economic times, and it’s easy to scale up with multiple units.
The article in Advertising Age mentions the following celebrities and their franchise businesses:
1.) Tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams – Jamba Juice (District of Columbia and Maryland)
2.) Singer Jimmy Buffet – Krispy Kreme (Palm Beach, Florida)
3.) Host Dick Clark – Krispy Kreme (United Kingdom)
4.) Partners Kevin Faulk of the New England Patriots, Michael Strahan of the New York Giants, Caron Butler of the NBA’s Washington Wizards, Donnie Edwards of the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs, and NFL Hall of Famer Marcus Allen – Burger King restaurants (Norfolk and Richmond, VA)
5.) Baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron – Popeyes, Church’s Chicken, and Krispy Kreme (Atlanta)
6.) Kanye West – Fatburger (Chicago)
7.) Basketball legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson – Burger King (Southeastern US), TGI Friday’s (Ladera, CA), and Starbucks (which he sold in October 2010)
Click here to read the full article entitled “Celebrities Serve Up Your Favorite Fast Foods — as Franchisees” by Maureen Morrison on Advertising Age.