Cardinals Manager is new franchisee owner. Stretch Zone practitioner assisting stretch on client
Franchise Development 5 min read
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Cardinals Manager Mike Shildt becomes franchisee of Stretch Zone, opens location in Chesterfield

by Lindsey McFadden

Article written by St. Louis Business Journal. 

St. Louis Cardinals Manager Mike Shildt has decided to stretch his entrepreneurship muscles.

The Cardinals skipper has teamed up with his wife, Michelle, and brother-in-law, Joe Morrisey, to become franchisees of fast-growing health and fitness brand StretchZone, opening a new location in Chesterfield. It is the first of multiple Stretch Zone locations the trio has signed on to open, a spokeswoman said.

Stretch Zone’s newest location, at 1656 Clarkson Road in the Chesterfield Oaks Shopping Center, is its first in the region and opened earlier this month. Creve Coeur-based Capital Land Co. is the owner of the shopping center. Stretch Zone publicly announced the new location on Monday.

“Chesterfield is an untapped market and the perfect location for Stretch Zone,” Shildt said in a statement. “It is an amazing sports town, with the St. Louis Cardinals, St. Louis Blues, St. Louis City SC, and the best fans. Introducing this concept that I believe in, to athletes and fans alike, is really exciting for us and a great way to give back to the community.”

Founded in 2004 and headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Stretch Zone’s studios provide customers with practitioner-assisted stretching. The company says its proprietary stretching methods and equipment are designed to boost muscle activation. Stretch Zone said Shildt joins the brand’s collection of “high-profile franchise partners.” The company earlier this year announced that recently retired NFL quarterback Drew Brees had joined as a franchisee, opening several locations nationwide.

Franchise costs for Stretch Zone include a franchise fee of $49,500 for each location, a monthly royalty fee of 6% of gross revenue, and an advertising fee of 2% of monthly gross revenue, according to its website. Total startup costs can be as low as $107,000, the company said.

While known locally for his role as Cardinals manager, a position he’s held since 2018, Shildt isn’t a stranger to entrepreneurship. In 1999, he founded On Deck Baseball Skill Development Academy, a youth baseball training facility located in Charlotte, North Carolina. He also is co-founder of Baseball for Life, a Charlotte-based organization focused on youth development and mentorship.

Shildt’s role as a franchisee and brand ambassador with Stretch Zone comes as the fitness brand charts rapid expansion, seeking to have 200 locations nationwide by 2022. Its Chesterfield location marks its 136 location.

“As Stretch Zone continues to expand its physical footprint at an unprecedented rate, we are afforded the opportunity to collaborate and innovate with the most passionate entrepreneurs,” said Tony Zaccario, president and CEO of Stretch Zone. “The opening of the Chesterfield studio, together with Michelle and Mike, allows us to share practitioner-assisted stretching with new clientele.”

Shildt is busy on the field as well with the Cardinals poised to lock up a National League Wild Card spot as early as Tuesday night. The team, as of Tuesday, has won 16 consecutive games, setting a new Cardinals’ franchise record.

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