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The esports industry is drawing massive audiences and hundreds of millions in revenue, but are these gamers athletes, is playing video games a sport and does it matter? We dig into this competitive phenomenon—and how franchise brands can get in the game.

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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.

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Today, Sarah Gabbard expects the various businesses under her Kentucky Bluegrass Management Group umbrella to gross $5 million in annual revenue. That's from an industrial cleaning company called Pressure Tech, plus a Paul Davis restoration franchise, a Black Diamond pest control franchise and most recently a group of buildings she bought that are ripe for redevelopment.

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“I'd be bored to death, I love working.” That's Bob Thomson's response when asked if he's considering retirement anytime soon. In fact Thomson, who celebrated his 93rd birthday in March, is probably putting in more hours as he works to expand the presence of Mexican fast-casual franchise Pancheros in the Twin Cities market of Minnesota.

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At corporate headquarters in late April in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, Cousins Subs CEO Christine Specht was feeling fine. Her management team, assembled “person by person” over the last few years and finally in place as of January, was especially proud of the 40-store deal just inked with OM Group, two brothers who are experienced operators in Chicago.

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John Bianco answers the phone in his thick Brooklyn accent—“How ya doin?'”—and the Deka Lash franchisee in New Jersey sounds exactly like his memorable character in “The Sopranos,” Gerry Torciano.

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With a mission to inspire and prepare people “to live consciously with themselves, one another and the planet,” Muse Global could initially be mistaken for an environmental nonprofit instead of an early childhood education concept that just began a franchise program.