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Jahri Evans and Will Smith to Participate in New NFL Franchising Boot Camp

Posted Apr 11, 2013

Camp to take place April 26-29 at Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan

Will Smith

Twenty one NFL players – 12 former players and nine active players including Saints G Jahri Evans and DE Will Smith – will take part in the new NFL Franchising Boot Camp April 26-29, 2013, at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Over the four days, participants will hear firsthand from franchisees, franchisors, professors, former players and executives at the IFA on all aspects of franchising. Carolina Panthers Owner Jerry Richardson, who spent more than three decades as a restaurant franchisee, will open the program as the keynote speaker. In addition, four former NFL players with franchise ownership experience - Angelo Crowell, Don Davey, Tyoka Jackson and Jamal Lewis - will take part in panel discussions.  

Ross School professor of business economics Francine Lafontaine, co-author of The Economics of Franchising (Cambridge University Press) and leading academic expert on franchise performance, business creation and survival, serves as faculty director of the program, and joins three other Ross faculty members who will lead program workshops.

“As both a former player and one who is still active in the food industry, I am excited and honored to address these players,” said Richardson, a Baltimore Colts receiver (1959-60) who became a Hardee’s franchisee in 1961.  Richardson grew his business to more than 600 Hardee’s restaurants and 200 Quincy Steak Houses before selling the business and becoming president and CEO for the new ownership, where he managed more than 2,500 restaurants and 100,000 employees.  “There are many parallels to success in business and football and the opportunity to provide whatever insight I may have to this select group is appreciated.”

The NFL Franchising Boot Camp is the first NFL Player Engagement program to include players’ spouses, with nine signed up to attend. Spouses have also been invited to attend the upcoming NFL Hospitality & Culinary Management Workshop (May 6) and Transition Assistance Program (June 7-10).

NFL Player Engagement worked with the Ross School of Business and consulted with International Franchise Association (IFA) to design the program.

Player enrollment criteria include a demonstrated interest and aptitude for business, essays, and NFL playing experience.

With the longer offseason, NFL Player Engagement offers current and former players 10 training programs for post-NFL careers.

Following are the NFL players participating in the NFL Franchising Boot Camp:

Player Current/Former team(s)
Husain Abdullah KC
Mike Adams DEN
Adam Archuleta Former (STL, WAS, CHI)
Jason Avant PHI
Kerlin Blaise Former (DET)
Jahri Evans NO
Anthony Fasano KC
Brandon Gorin Former (SD, NE, ARZ, STL, DEN)
William Hampton Former (PHI, CAR)
Lamarr Houston OAK
Brian Iwuh Former (JAX, CHI)
Bradie James Free Agent
Tim Jamison HOU
Eric King    Former (BUF, TEN, DET, CLE)
Nick Leckey Former (ARZ, STL, NO)
Brandon Moore Free Agent
Russell Okung    SEA
Barry Sims Former (OAK, SF)
Will Smith NO
Shawntae Spencer Free Agent
Matt Turk Former (WAS, MIA, NYJ, STL, HST, JAX)

For further information, please visit NFLPlayerEngagement.com

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