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NBA Star Draymond Green Signs With Blink Fitness


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With excellent timing as March Madness brings basketball to the fore, NBA star Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors has signed a franchise development deal to bring at least 20 Blink Fitness gyms to Michigan and Illinois. This announcement marks the two-time NBA Champion, All Star, Olympic Gold Medalist and Defensive Player of the Year’s first investment in the fitness brand as Blink launches its first venture into the Great Lakes region.

According to the company, Blink has long challenged industry norms by celebrating how exercise makes you feel, not just how it makes you look, which is intrinsic to Green’s personal fitness philosophy. He began his own fitness journey at a young age, spending numerous hours at the local rec room in his hometown of Saginaw, Michigan. Green has since achieved unparalleled levels of success in his basketball career. His investment in Blink marks a commitment to providing communities across the Midwest with a better option for physical fitness.

“I’m really excited about bringing Blink gyms to Michigan and Chicago. I think about where I grew up and the people I grew up with. We didn’t have anything like Blink,” said Green. “Everyone wants a cool place to get fit and workout. But lots of communities don’t have any options. The places are either terrible or too expensive. We’re going to change that. This is not an endorsement deal for me. I’m going to invest my money and my time to partner with Blink to bring an amazing gym experience to these communities. “

Blink Fitness made the announcement official with the release of a lighthearted video that shows Green serving as the president of Blink Fitness for a day in place of Blink’s Todd Magazine.

The development agreements are signed with Green and Tom Shumaker, an experienced finance professional, to bring Blink’s fitness concept to their home state.

“Draymond and I both have the passion, drive and desire to win—and love putting in the work to get there. We are both ecstatic to be early franchise adopters of the Blink brand. I couldn’t be more thrilled to have such a resilient, energetic and confident business partner with whom to tackle this new venture,” added Shumaker.

While no locations have been formally announced, Green and Shumaker have been actively evaluating Detroit and its surrounding suburbs, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Ann Arbor and parts of the Chicagoland region.

A native of Saginaw, Michigan, Green played four years of basketball at Michigan State University where he led the school to two Final Four appearances and earned numerous NCAA and Big Ten awards. In 2015, he gave back to the university through a $3.1 million donation, one of the largest sums ever given by an active athlete to their alma mater, to create a strength and conditioning center and fund scholarships for student-athletes. Green also sits on the advisory board and is an active member of RISE (Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality), a nonprofit dedicated to improving race relations and driving social progress through the unifying power of sports.

Shumaker, originally from Grosse Pointe, Michigan, attended the University of Detroit Jesuit High School and has an extensive athletic background of his own. At Georgetown University, he played tennis as a freshman and then switched to rowing for his last three years. After graduating, Shumaker spent over a decade as an investment banker in New York and Chicago. He also continued his athletic pursuits including four Boston Marathons, two Ironman triathlons and regular competitions as a masters rower.

“Draymond and Tom are the perfect franchisees for Blink because of their complementary skill sets, shared passion for fitness, and deep knowledge of the Midwest market,” said Blink Fitness President Todd Magazine. “This deal is extremely significant to Blink’s national expansion because it represents a stronghold in the Midwest, adding to our East and West Coast footprint.”

Since launching the brand in 2011, Blink has opened nearly 70 company-owned locations serving over 350,000 members throughout New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and California. The company also has more than 40 additional gyms, both corporate and franchisee-owned, under contract in various U.S. markets.

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Tom KaiserTom Kaiser is senior 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 restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
 
Laura MichaelsLaura 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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