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Kevin Dahl, a corporate recruiter and co-founder of NexGoal, also believes things are looking up, though he doesn’t mention restaurant jobs. Instead, his list of thriving industries includes manufacturing, wealth management and healthcare. “A lot of different industries are growing right now,” he declared.

That should be a plus for the Avon, Ohio-based business, which sells franchises to former athletes who, in turn, recruit other athletes for jobs, largely, in corporate sales departments. The franchisor is looking for “well networked” former college or professional athletes who can create relationships with corporations. Dahl himself is a former professional hockey player who also skated for Canada’s 1992 Winter Olympics team.

By well networked, Dahl means people who know athletes in need of a job and who wouldn’t mind working in sales. Franchisees offer them assessment, development and coaching services. “They’ve had coaches and agents supporting them their entire careers,” Dahl said, adding that kind of support dries up after the athletes leave sports. “What we provide is somewhere for them to go.”

Dahl and partner Brad Mullins launched the company in 2011. They began selling franchises early last year. Four locations have opened so far, in Ohio and neighboring Michigan. The price tag to own a NexGoal franchise ranges from $56,425 to $93,500 (including the $50,000 franchise fee), according to the company’s Franchise Disclosure Document. The royalty fee is 8 percent of sales.

One expert, however, doubted there are many candidates given the concept’s niche. Said Joel Libava, author of Become a Franchise Owner!: “If the only pool of candidates is coming from sports, it’s just too narrow of a market.” He also questioned whether athletes, especially recent college graduates, would stand out all that much from the many entry-level applicants in a weak economy. 

Dahl said athletes are competitive, persistent, and have good time-management skills,  citing college players who devote as many as 25 additional hours a week to practice and games. “Corporate America has use for the talent these competitive former athletes bring,” he added.

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The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Tom KaiserTom Kaiser is associate editor of Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3209, or send story ideas to tkaiser@franchisetimes.com.
 
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is editor-in-chief of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
 
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is staff writer at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
 
Mary Jo LarsonLaura Michaels is managing editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
 
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at
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Nancy WeingartnerNancy Weingartner is editor-at-large of Franchise Times magazine and the editor of the Food On Demand media project. You can reach her at 612-767-3200 or at nancyw@franchisetimes.com.
Follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nanweingartner.
 

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