Patrick: Co-Founder at Vetted Biz and Visa Franchise, and today I’m gonna be interviewing Joshua Jacobs, who’s the founder and CEO of TGA Premier Sports. His company is based out of Los Angeles. They have a hundred plus locations across the U.S. Joshua started the brand back in 2003 and waited seven years until he started franchising and a little under 11 years, they passed the 100 franchise mark, which is quite impressive. Most franchises never passed 20 locations.
So over 111 years growing sustainable rate is very impressive and we like to see that Vetted Biz with responsible growth and not a franchise that overnight grew to 100 locations, but over a 10-year period found it again, 2003 started franchising in 2010. Having on for those that are just joining Joshua Jacobs, who’s the founder and CEO of TGA Premier Sports. They’re most focused on sports education for golf and tennis. Joshua Jacobs also was a collegiate golfer at Emory University and played club tennis. So again, very excited to have on Joshua Jacobs. I’m gonna add him onto the chat. Hey Joshua?
Joshua: How are you, man?
Patrick: Good. Good. Thanks again for taking the time to connect.
Joshua: Oh, of course. Thank you.
Patrick: So, you know, we’ll talk a little bit more towards the end about COVID and how it’s affected your business. But personally, I’ve gotten back into tennis, brushed off the racket somewhere underneath my bed, and it was really one of the few sports that you could do in a social setting. And I’m sure a lot of other people have got back into tennis and in Miami beach golfing, I think in May 2020, was one of the few activities that people could do. So I imagine there are some nice headwinds with the industry that you’re in and this franchise niche and would love to just hear more from you, the general overview of the industry, and if you could educate myself as well as those that are joining today.
Joshua: Absolutely. We like to think of them as tailwinds. We get to go a little faster because of COVID. Everything is accelerating, but no, it’s an exciting time, especially as you mentioned, people are getting more involved, especially in golf and tennis. COVID safe, family-friendly, socially responsible. So yeah, we’re seeing some great uptick in terms of the registration on our programs, etc. And, you know, you mentioned you want the people to know, you know, what we do and I think in what ways were unique.
TGA, like you said, was founded in 2003 as an afterschool program. We literally figured how to bring golf and tennis onto school campuses. In fact, in 2003, I still remember teaching one of our first programs with 17 kids in a hallway. To get that many kids signed up in a hallway just instantly made me think there’s demand for this and… large spaces that we could run programs with a ton of kids, but also in terms of small spaces. So we started in the afterschool market and that since 2003 has certainly saturated them. You know, you see some schools with, you know, 20 to 25 programs going at a time. Yeah, no it’s gotten very popular everything from sports to Legos, to you know, science. But I think right now, I think the world is really in a place, especially America where we wanna keep these kids active and outside and, you know, once they finish their day, getting them motivated.
Patrick: I have Zoom fatigue. I can’t imagine for a five-year-old or seven-year-old that’s just sitting having court classes for like four hours, six hours.
Joshua: Absolutely. So I think that the importance of movement and building athleticism is so important. And, you know, once we were really intertwined in the afterschool market in Los Angeles, we morphed into other things such as the recreational camp market where kids were spending, you know, a full week during time off of school, whether it’s summer camp, spring break, winter break, etc. And then we also morphed into family events, parent-child events, and then we ended up getting our own equipment line for golf and tennis. So it’s been, yeah, it’s been an evolution since 2003. And I’d like to say that really, you know, we’re very unique in the golf and tennis space, especially in the afterschool market. There really aren’t…you don’t…
Patrick: Can you define school? How do you define that? What’s the niche? Is it elementary school, middle school, high school, public, private?
Joshua: Great question. So, yeah, the majority of it’s really elementary age kids. And so our niches are ages six to 10, but we also start them as young as three years old in childcare centers, daycare centers, and then go through middle school, you know, 10 to 13-year-olds. So elementary school is really that niche it’s, you know, if you think about it just from a regular sports standpoint, every other sport is in that school already, except for really golf and tennis. So what makes us unique is our…
Patrick: You can play for life. I was mentioning before we started, I played lacrosse like 10 to 20. 10 to 22, and then it’s too physical and baseball. A lot of these sports, you can’t just…you have to assemble a team. It’s tough to just play.
Joshua: Absolutely. So golf and tennis are lifelong sports and that’s why we’re able to capture parent-child events. Yeah, so it does make a lot of sense for us. That’s really what makes us unique is that we figured out how to bring golf and tennis anywhere. We figured out how to bring it, whether it’s, like I said, in a hallway or on a large field, it really doesn’t matter. And we love it. And it’s about changing lives through sports. That’s what we’re all about. And when you add in the unique products that we have, that’s what differentiates us in our brand. You know, we look for franchise owners that have that mindset. They wanna be intertwined in their community. They wanna make a difference in kids’ lives. They wanna run a business and realize that the bigger they make the business, absolutely, the more money they’re gonna make, but the more lives they get to impact and they get to really transform. So for us, that’s really the key..
Patrick: Yeah. We work with brands that, you know, whether it’s commercial cleaning or junk removal, that you can make a ton of money and at the end of the day, it depends what motivates you. If you’re motivated by money, but also social good, that’s…
Joshua: I like to call it doing well by doing good.
Patrick: Yeah. That’s well said. Yeah. And so tell me a little bit about the competitive landscape. Like I imagine you might compete a little bit with country clubs and pros there, or just tell me a little bit about it.
Joshua: Yeah. In the afterschool space, there really is no competition with golf or tennis. We’re really the premier program. But when it comes to the camp market, there is a competitive landscape there for sure between the pros and the country clubs and the different companies out there that are running camps, but really what makes us special and makes the business special is we have a built-in database. We have that built-in feeder system because 70% of our participants have never played our sports before. Most kids don’t have that introduction to golf and or tennis by age eight or age nine. So we’re getting them involved in our program, involved in our brand at an early age right in the throws of their school. And that gives us the competitive advantage to be able to transition them from the schools to the next step at the golf courses, the tennis facilities, the community courts, etc.
Patrick: Makes sense. So you’re not really competing directly. I guess I imagine a lot of the tennis clubs and country clubs view you as more complimentary in building their base.
Joshua: In a lot of ways, yes. I think that in some cases, certainly the camps can be competitive, but they also view us advantageous to work with because eventually they’re going to not necessarily age out of our programs, but the aptitude. Once they hit a certain aptitude, they do tend to lean more towards professional instruction. And, you know, when I started TGA, I wanted to make sure that we weren’t a Jack of all trades and a master of none. We really concentrate on the bottom of the pyramid. And if you look at that player pathway for youth sports, you have that very bottom is the introductory, how you get these kids into sports, how you build their passion. And then they go to recreational programs like some camps and clinics and parent-child events, not the competitive form.
And for us, we really wanna stay in the bottom of that pyramid. That’s where we like to own.
So usually, the first brand that these parents are introduced to in a specific sport they tend to stay with. So we feel very fortunate about that.
Patrick: And then tell us a little bit about the students. Like how are their parents paying for your services? You mentioned the after-school options, even the rec school. And there’s a bunch of different venues that, you know, sell to the students and perform the service. But tell us a little bit about how the franchisee get paid.
Joshua: Good question. So what we become is a partner group.
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