I bring more than twenty-five years of highly successful business leadership experience to Destination Athlete® from working as an executive for a Fortune 50 organization in the areas of Sales Management, Marketing Management, Franchise Leadership, Business Development and Commercial Business Model Innovation. My extensive experience in designing, building and developing innovative business models led to this vision to create a unique kind of company in the fast growing sports industry. This combined with my passion for sports (as a former collegiate athlete) and helping other athletes was the catalyst for becoming the Founder & Chairman of Destination Athlete®. I currently serve as President of TCNJ (The College of New Jersey) Football Club. I also am an active Elks Member, S.A.R. Member (Sons of the American Revolution) and a Hunterdon County Committee Member.
Franchise Expo: What is Destination Athlete franchise opportunity all about?
Douglas Dickison: Destination Athlete® is an innovative company that focuses on the Complete Athlete®, offering products and services from Training to Trophies®. Our goal is to help youth and high school athletes get to their personal destination by providing a one-stop resource for all their needs. We are also home to Complete Athlete ®360, the Nation’s largest athlete performance platform™. This comprehensive platform is designed to address current and relevant information in the areas of sports psychology, sports nutrition, sports medicine, training and reward and recognition.
FE: Who is your ideal candidate for a Destination Athlete franchise?
DD: An ideal Destination Athlete® franchisee is someone who enjoys and is passionate about sports and who wants to help others achieve their goals. It is also someone who has relationships with local sports leagues or school athletics. It is one who would love to sell field and sports equipment, uniforms and spirit wear to individuals, team moms/dads, school coaches, league commissioners, etc. Moreover, owning a Destination Athlete® franchise is a great opportunity for someone who wants to provide exceptional one-on-one customer service to his or her clients and would like a flexible, turnkey operation that enables them to make their own schedule. Destination Athlete® franchisees embody the passion and commitment to help youth and high school athletes reach their destination through our wide array of tools and our proven system.
FE: What type of training and support do you offer Destination Athlete franchisees?
DD: Continuous training and support is our culture for all of our franchises. For new franchisees, we offer a comprehensive six-month initial training including one week at our corporate office. In addition, we support our franchisees with year-round training and mentoring, networking opportunities, annual meetings, content management system/Intranet, company website, 800 number with trained customer care experts, marketing tools and more.
FE: What are some of the advantages in being a Destination Athlete franchisee?
DD: First and foremost, you are helping youth and high school athletes perform at a higher level by providing a comprehensive resource for all of their needs. Our flexible business model allows you to expand your business at a rate that fits your calendar and lifestyle. You are able to manage your own online team stores for fundraising as well as sell team uniforms, sports and field equipment, varsity jackets, spirit wear, trophies and premium services. Furthermore, by owning a Destination Athlete® franchise, you are purchasing the full marketing rights to a protected county (or counties) in your state. This means you are the sole representative for Destination Athlete® in your territory with the ability to expand.
FE: Are you a member of any Associations?
DD: We are proud to be an IFA member as well as participants in their VetFran program.
FE: Tell us a little about the youth sports market.
DD: Our business is the huge youth and high school sports industry, which continues to grow. More than 60 million boys and girls are registered in sports programs across the country. Now, more than ever, parents are committed to securing their children’s futures by supporting youth athletics. For innovative entrepreneurs, there is incredible potential to expand revenue stream in an ever-growing market. The possibilities are endless.
FE: How successful is your company today and what are your future growth plans?
DD: We are very fortunate to have a team of great people together with a proven business model, which had yielded great success. We are continuing to grow our business every day. As a matter of fact, we recently made the ranks among the top franchises in Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500 list!
FE: What are your franchisees saying about the business?
DD: They love being able to get involved in their local community. Our franchisees have children who play sports and so it’s also a great way to get the whole family involved in the business. The flexibility of running a home-based business with low overhead is perfect for those with a busy family life. Also, many are attracted to Destination Athlete® because of our unique company concept of addressing the needs of the athlete with a holistic approach. Along with great integrity and business practices, you also have access to superior products and services…and, it’s fun!
FE: What advice do you have for someone looking to acquire a franchise?
DD: Follow your passion. People who end up with us are very successful because they are doing what they love to do: getting involved with sports and community.
FE: In your opinion, why do you think that Destination Athlete would be a great opportunity for someone?
DD: It allows you to make the business truly your own. You can put as much into it as you desire with the flexibility of running your business from home. In addition, it requires minimal investment; you have rights to an exclusive territory or multiple territories… all with the guidance and support of an established franchise organization that’s behind you every step of the way.