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When playing games pays off and personalities shine


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After I read this month’s cover story, a stark truth was unveiled to me: Years ago, I should have made sons Sam and Ben hunker down in the basement with their video games, rather than cart them off to baseball and basketball practices after school. They haven’t made a lick of money off their pitching arms, but maybe they could’ve earned some cash with that flick of the wrist one develops being a video gamer.

Sure, they played video games at the time. But instead of insisting they turn them off to do their math homework, I should have done the math in my head: According to Franchise Times’ Nick Upton, who researched and wrote our cover story, one professional video gamer recently reeled in $4.6 million a year in endorsements, prize money and more.

It was only a little while ago that I became aware that esports were a thing, and yes, video game lovers love to watch other video gamers play video games. And yes they are considered “professionals.” And yes, there are franchises and leagues and … the list goes on.

Franchising also gets in on the game by way of sponsorships, not unlike those supporting other sports. But these fans cannot be grouped together with those of football, basketball and the like. As Nick explains, brands better do their homework on the demographics, because these kids aren’t the beer drinkers they’re used to. But they do make up that desirable 18- to 34-year-old demographic. If you want in on the action, best read our story first.

Mary Jo Larson

Mary Jo Larson

Publisher
Reach Mary Jo at 612-767-3208
or mlarson@franchisetimes.com

But, franchising isn’t just left to the youngsters, we’ll have you know. FT Editor Laura Michaels recently visited with 93-year-old Subway franchisee Bob Thomson. He says he’s not retiring any time soon, which is evident as he purchased Pancheros locations in Minnesota, opened three and signed on to a development agreement to build a dozen more. With 20 Subways in Iowa, Thomson believes in diversification. Why Pancheros? Read Laura’s article to find out why this nonagenarian is bullish on building for years to come.

This issue also features other franchising personalities: Sarah Gabbard, the Paul Davis franchisee who went from wanting no risk in her life to being pushed into it through tragedy.

She’s weathered ups and downs, but at the same time has actually grown her business. Then there is a former actor from “The Sopranos” TV show, whose mafia character stereotypically gets offed at the Italian restaurant over a spaghetti dinner. Today he owns … a lash extension franchise? It’s hard to square a mafia don with eyelashes, but it happens.

And then there’s the brothers who appeared on the TV show “Shark Tank” to convince a shark to invest in their waffle restaurant. Fame is helpful. Days after the show aired, they were sifting through 400 franchise leads.

Each and every issue is full of individuals who are working diligently to grow their business and achieve success in this sector. And they aren’t playing games—at least not literally.

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