A Conversation with Luke from Mighty Kicks Soccer: A Franchise Investment Worth Checking Out

This past week I spoke with Luke Vercollone, the president and founder of Mighty Kicks Soccer, a mobile soccer program designed to build motor skills, life skills, self-confidence and basic soccer techniques to children ages 2-7. The program brings soccer to where the children are, whether it is a childcare facility during the day, an after-school program at an elementary school, or other various locations in the community for home-schooled children and the general public. Mighty Kicks Soccer is unique in introducing sports and concepts of teamwork to children at a very young, impressionable age – and the coolest part? It’s a franchise.

Following Luke’s graduation from Seton Hall University (where he majored in Sports Management), he was drafted into the MLS and has been playing professional soccer since 2004. He is an NSCAA certified coach, with his USSF National B License and over 17 years of coaching experience. It was his coaching experience at other programs that inspired Luke to develop his own program.

I asked him how long after he began Mighty Kicks did he realize it had the capability to be franchised. Luke said “It wasn’t until I started the program in 2008 that I realized the program had potential to become a franchise. It was early in the first season; I immediately saw the popularity of Mighty Kicks and I realized there was a demand for this type of program and it was profitable.”

He went on to explain the unique aspect of this franchise, “Soccer is extremely popular, many other soccer programs play evenings and weekends, and we don’t compete with those programs. Mighty Kicks brings the program to the children. It’s, convenient, it’s economical, and it’s unique.” Mighty Kicks primarily focuses on preschool-aged children, at their preschools, where children can partake in the enrichment program on site during school hours.

Mighty Kicks Soccer is highly successful in developing many skills, including balance, agility, coordination, teamwork and good sportsmanship. Luke says “Our goal is to give young children an overall positive experience with sports, and specifically soccer. If they’re having fun, they’re learning. If they are enjoying soccer, they are more likely to play it in the future.” Even beyond the basic skills Mighty Kicks Soccer helps children develop, he says “We are indirectly teaching them life skills. We provide them with a positive experience, and keep them active.”

After speaking to Luke, I was very interested in checking out the benefits of franchising with Mighty Kicks Soccer. There are many: including a high profit margin with little overhead to maintain, flexible and family friends work hours, tax benefits, saved time (not wasted on the learning curve), as well as the enjoyable and rewarding work that makes a difference to children in the community. There are many other benefits one can receive when franchising with Mighty Kicks Soccer and you can check the rest of them out here.

And Luke’s message to those interested in franchising? “I think we have the greatest value.  As a new franchise, we are eager to bring on quality franchisees. If a candidate is interested in sports, in kids, and in business, this is a great investment.” Luke says this is an “Unbeatable value with a great investment opportunity.” I most certainly agree.

Franchise Profile: NexGoal Helps Athletes Transition to the Corporate World

NexGoal is a specialized search and career development business focused on candidates who are former professional and/or collegiate athletes. These former athletes possess core traits (biographical data “biodata”) which have proven over time to be an accurate predictor for future performance.

For decades, businesses of all sizes have benefited from the core traits that athletes bring to a corporate team. As a result, the athlete-candidate can give the hiring manager greater confidence in the hire over a candidate who does not have these defined traits in their background.

Their management team is comprised of former collegiate and professional athletes who clearly understand the challenges which athletes face as they make their transition from sports. As experienced search consultants, NexGoal’s team also understands the challenges businesses face in acquiring and retaining the best talent for their team. They are the “go to” resource for both athletes and businesses, acting as an effective bridge between these two groups.

NexGoal serves as the conduit between former collegiate and professional athletes and corporations throughout North America. NexGoal’s mission is to be the premiere most reputable, athlete focused placement career transition resource for former athletes.

The NexGoal Franchise Concept:

  • Business Model NexGoal International, LLC. serves as a strategic talent acquisition partner for businesses who seek competitively driven talent and who benefit from the core traits that athletes bring to their corporate teams. Their proprietary process of recruiting combined with an exclusive resource of candidates allows NexGoal to serve a niche market that other recruiting companies cannot penetrate.
  • Franchising – Their affiliate, NexGoal LLC, has been in operation for the past 3 years and has placed candidates all over the country for corporations in a variety of industries. The NexGoal concept really resonates with former athletes.  In fact, many former athletes have asked how they can get involved with what NexGoal is doing. Typically, after leaving the sport, athletes retain a network of business owners and team mates that they stay in touch with.  NexGoal plans to franchise similar offices throughout the U.S. and globally.

NexGoal has partnered with one of the premier recruiting trainers in the industry (Doug Beabout) to help new franchisees learn the business. We have also sought out strategic franchising partners who have worked in the recruiting business and have successfully opened recruiting franchises throughout the U.S.

To learn more about how you can become part of the NexGoal team, please click the following link: http://www.franchiseclique.com/franchise/NexGoal-Professional-Athlete-Recruiting-Franchise.

Let’s Get Kicking: Interview With WAKA’s Director of Franchising


We sat down with Co-Founder and Director of Franchising Johnny LeHane to discuss the genesis of WAKA, what it means to be a franchisee, how WAKA is so much more than just a sports franchise and how it might just be the best match-making service ever.


As Johnny LeHane describes it, WAKA was started by “a few friends who were used to socializing at bars but wanted a better way to socialize.” So, the group of pals put together a business plan on–you guessed it– a cocktail napkin and founded the World Adult Kickball Association (WAKA) the very next day.


That was back in 1998. Today, WAKA has grown to serve over 75 cities with 400 kickball leagues and the concept is still growing. The management team, which includes Johnny as the Director of Franchising, began franchising midway through 2011 and currently has three franchisees.


The ideal WAKA franchisee is an “animated extrovert passionate about business and passionate about customer service,” says Johnny. Of course, the process of finding, signing and training the perfect franchisee is a bit more involved.


The WAKA recruitment process has about six steps:


  1. Review candidates paying particular attention to financial wherewithal
  2. Explain the franchise concept, operations and processes
  3. Go over the franchise disclosure document (FDD)
  4. Detailed review of the candidate by WAKA (and presumably vice versa) and an explanation of responsibilities once he or she becomes a franchisee
  5. Discovery Day
  6. Signing and launch preparation


After the final step, an appointed Franchise Support Manager prepares the new franchisee for the launch of the new WAKA franchise location. Support is continuous and provided through training webinars, regular visits, telephone check-ins and face-to-face meetings for the duration of the franchisee’s agreement.


Clearly WAKA is doing something right; the sports franchise has been listed in Inc. magazine’s Inc 5000 for the past two years. LeHane admits, however, that the recession was challenging but not debilitating, as evidenced by the decision to grow the concept using franchising in 2011.


New franchisees are spreading the word about WAKA in over a dozen markets. (One franchisee might serve several locations.) While there remain great opportunities for new WAKA franchisees to build a following from the ground up, WAKA is open to converting existing leagues, too.


A huge benefit of investing in franchising as an expansion method has been the franchisee feedback. “We love talking to our franchisees about their ideas and market development plans,” says LeHane, recognizing WAKA franchisees’ experience and knowledge.


The best part of the process so far? “The amount of enjoyment we provide to our customers,” says LeHane of the kickball games and tournaments WAKA organizes. “It’s the best part of their week.”


WAKA, though technically a sports franchise, places a greater emphasis on the social aspect of its franchise than the sports component. Usually, small groups and individuals come together to form kickball teams within a league (there are between four and 20 teams in a league) who then proceed to compete against one another. The atmosphere is extremely conducive to social networking.


“I’m proud to say we have had more than a few weddings,” says Johnny, “and kickball babies,” he adds, a testament to the social networking atmosphere of WAKA leagues around the country.


An added bonus? Each league is sponsored by a bar and/or restaurant and receives discounts perfect for post-game socializing. Who knows, maybe thanks to WAKA another group of friends will create another successful business on a cocktail napkin.

For more information on how to become a WAKA franchisee, visit http://www.franchiseclique.com/franchise/WAKA-Social-Sports.