When Sport Clips joined 1851 Franchise in 2015, the leading men’s hair care salon was well on its way to bringing its unique MVP barbershop experience to a record number of customers. The company grew from 772 franchise units in 2011 to 1,167 by 2013. Today, the brand boasts more than 1,550 locations and a presence in all 50 states. But even with this impressive momentum, Sport Clips recognized that there was still room to expand in untapped markets—it just needed to find the right franchisees to make this kind of continued growth happen.
That’s when Sport Clips turned to No Limit Agency for help. The digital publication’s team of content producers, editors and development strategists worked directly with the brand to uncover the best stories and tell them in the most compelling way to attract potential franchisees.
Together, Sport Clips and 1851 recognized a need to write stories covering a handful of topics—starting with highlighting area developer success stories and capturing the brand’s unique culture and unrivaled franchisee satisfaction. In June 2016, we interviewed one of Sport Clips’ largest area developers—John Kohler—who has helped to bring 130 stores to Northern Illinois, Eastern Missouri and Eastern Michigan. By sharing his all-star story with 1851’s audience, Sport Clips offered an intimate look into what a successful future with the brand could look like.
“I always tell people I haven’t bought a job; I’ve invested in an adventure,” Kohler told 1851. “As we look to continue expanding Sport Clips in the years to come, my goal is to convey that very message to prospective franchisees.”
1851 also highlighted some of Sport Clips’ newest franchisees—like Peter Barrios, who left behind a rocky career as an insurance agent to pursue a more stable future. Barrios’ inspiring story painted a vivid picture of the Sport Clips culture, showing firsthand how the brand’s morals and character transcend the entire system.
“When I attended a Discovery Day back in August, I was blown away—from the president to all the vice presidents, they all took the time out of their busy schedules to get to know me personally and answer my questions,” Barrios told 1851. “In return, they were open to letting me get to know them, too. That day, I knew it was a company I would be proud of representing—one that I’d work my tail off for every single day.”
To better distribute these inspiring stories, Sport Clips then invested in 1851’s proprietary AMPD program, which allowed the brand to put these key messages in front of a defined audience—one that fit the profile of its perfect franchisee in its exact target markets. This technology became especially important for Sport Clips as they targeted specific regions for expansion. Detroit, for example, was a virtually untapped city for the brand, and Sport Clips recognized room to open upwards of 25 stores—they just needed to attract the right franchisees. Using our AMPD program, they targeted their Detroit 1851 story—which served to highlight the immense opportunity for growth—to audiences throughout the metropolitan area and the state of Michigan. The end result was an article that had garnered nearly 11,000 reads and dozens of interested leads.
Over the past year, 1851 has also become a platform for Sport Clips to aggregate some of their biggest news, awards and moments within the industry. In January 2016, we highlighted Sport Clips’ ranking in Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500; we mentioned Sport Clips franchisees Val Hill and Jared Lee, who were named among CNBC’s list of “America’s Star Franchisees;” we announced that Sport Clips was recognized by Franchise Business Review as a Top Franchise Opportunity; and, most recently, we shared the news that Sport Clips Founder and CEO, Gordon Logan, was named by the International Franchise Association as the 2016 IFA Entrepreneur of the Year. By aggregating these big moments in Sport Clips’ storied timeline, 1851 helped to broadcast the news that matters to an audience that cares.
Today, 1851 Franchise continues to craft original narratives highlighting Sport Clips, its accomplishments and—most importantly—the people who are propelling the brand forward. From celebrating Sport Clips’ milestone of hitting the $3 billion mark in overall sales to underlining its longstanding tradition of giving back to veterans with an exclusive interview with Sport Clips CEO and Founder Gordon Logan, 1851 Franchise is helping to put the brand’s most compelling stories in front of more people than ever before. Most recently, this also included broadcasting Sport Clips’ stories on 1851’s home page for added exposure. This included featuring Gordon Logan on one of 1851’s monthly covers.
In November 2016, 1851 had the opportunity to tell the moving story of a lesser-known member of the Sport Clips system. Team Leader Jeremy Aydell was running a Sport Clips location in Denham Springs, Louisiana when devastating floods swept through his community. Aydell and his team gave back to their neighbors in a time of need by offering free haircuts and a free meal—a simple gesture that gave back a much needed sense of normalcy to his team and his community. Aydell’s story served to highlight an oft overlooked aspect of the Sport Clips franchise—that each one of its franchisees is an important part of the local towns they serve.
“Being a part of Sport Clips, you realize the power of the network—the family—that you’ve joined. We’re fortunate in that the other stores, the other team leaders and the other employees are always on our side. People from Sport Clips salons that are across the country helped us out,” Aydell told 1851. “That’s just the culture that we have at Sport Clips. It’s about doing your best. And it’s about treating others the way you want to be treated.”