Lions defensive end Jason Jones will be one of 22 former or current NFL players to participate in a four-day NFL boot camp on franchising. It starts Friday at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business which is named for Stephen Ross, the owner of the Miami Dolphins.
“We want to help our players to be successful on and off the field,” said Charles Way, vice president of NFL player engagement. “Offering this boot camp and putting our players and their significant others in front of some the most successful people in our NFL family and in the corporate world will hopefully provide them the inspiration needed to achieve their dreams away from the football field.”
Speakers will include franchisees, franchise owners, professors and former players, as well as executives at the International Franchise Association. Ross, the chairman and founder of Related Companies, an international real estate firm, will open the program as the keynote speaker. In addition, former NFL players with franchise ownership experience, including Tim Biakabutuka, owner of four Bojangles llocations; Angelo Crowell, owner of five Jersey Mike's Subs locations; and Van Jakes, owner of three McDonald’s locations, will take part in panel discussions.
“This seminar is an excellent opportunity for the players to get educated on the ins-and-outs of being a franchise owner,” Biakabutuka said. “Every football player would like a long career but that is not a guarantee. Becoming a franchise owner could be a rewarding venture for a player who is planning for life after football and decides they are committed to learning the business.”
Others who will participate include former Lions cornerback Ron Bartell, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Devin Hester.