Saints Quarterback Drew Brees Signs as Stretch Zone Franchisee
NFL superstar Drew Brees has signed with Stretch Zone, becoming its most famous franchisee and taking a seat on its newly created board of directors. He plans to open stretching studios in New Orleans, San Diego and the Midwest, but details will have to wait—the Saints quarterback has some football to play.
“Obviously right now his focus is probably on Tom Brady and the Buccaneers,” said President and CEO Tony Zaccario with a laugh, about the big playoff game this Sunday. “We’re obviously cheering him on vs. Tampa Bay. Hopefully I don’t talk to him until mid-February,” meaning after the Saints win the Super Bowl.
“Drew really found us, like many other franchisees and consumers do,” Zaccario said about getting a phone call directly from Brees, last fall. “We always recommend that people try our services out across the nation. We offer the first stretch free. And Drew, when he first got stretched,” in a San Diego Stretch Zone last spring, “he fell in love with the service.”
“It was him and a group of people, and he quickly got interested, and he knew about our rapid expansion. We just opened our 112th location, I believe, and we passed the 100th mark in late fall,” Zaccario said. “We have this rapid state of growth, and Drew caught on to that. He saw our core values…and he thought it was something he could get behind.”
Cost of a Stretch Zone franchise ranges from $95,000 to $150,000. Zaccario would not disclose average unit volumes because they’ve temporarily removed Item 19 from their FDD, due to financial irregularities caused by COVID-19.
Jorden Gold is the founder of Stretch Zone, which he began developing 20 years ago in Miami Beach as a way to spend time with his grandfather. Gold created and patented a stabilization system using straps, which Zaccario calls its biggest differentiator from other brands. “It acts as an extra pair of hands” and allows practitioners “to do an effective and efficient stretch.”
Another point of pride, he said: Stretch Zone practitioners must complete a 40-hour internally developed certification program to work there.
Brees is a franchisee and/or equity partner in Jimmy John’s, Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux, Title Boxing Club and more; Brees did not take an equity stake in Stretch Zone. Read about New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees’ relationship with Walk-On’s here.
“First of all he’s a stand-up individual,” Zaccario said at the beginning of our interview, and later signed off in the only suitable way. “Go Saints is right!”
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Every CEO had to be a CEO for the first time: This might sound a little convoluted, but I feel it’s good for new CEOs to hear. When you become a CEO there is immense pressure to be all-knowing as the leader of the company. But unlike other positions where you might find yourself in following a lateral move, nothing about being a CEO can be translated from a prior position or level.