Franchise Agreement Marks First NBA Players to Sign with Wingstop
DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Former NBA players Gary Payton and Brian Shaw have signed an agreement with Wingstop to open three restaurants in southern California. The agreement is through Wingmen Ventures, LLC, a franchise investment group that includes Payton, Shaw, Dornell Griffin, Stanley Bae and Mike Shockley.
A nine-time NBA All-Star and two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, Payton is the only NBA player in history to accumulate 20,000 points, 5,000 rebounds, 8,000 assists and 2,000 steals. Payton entered the NBA in 1990 as a member of the Seattle SuperSonics. During his 17-year career he also played with the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics and Miami Heat.
Shaw, who is currently assistant coach for the Los Angeles Lakers, played with the Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers and the Los Angeles Lakers during a 15-year career that spanned from 1988 to 2003.
"The first time we ate at a Wingstop was in Oakland," said Payton. "Then we found one in our area of southern California. It reached the point that we placed orders so often the restaurant recognized us over the phone. We figured we might as well open our own restaurants. We did some research and decided to put a few locations in our community. There's nothing that compares to it."
This is Wingstop's first partnership with NBA players, but not with professional athletes. The company also has franchise agreements with Cleveland Browns linebacker Willie McGinest, former NFL lineman Ron Stone and Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle Raheem Brock.
"Sports and Wingstop go hand-in-hand," said Bruce Evans, vice president of franchise development for Wingstop. "We're excited to announce this venture with Gary, Brian and their group. These guys have a lot of experience and entrepreneurial spirit on their team. We've had great success with sports figures as franchisees and expect to continue to expand those relationships."
Dallas-based Wingstop was founded in 1994 and began franchising in 1997. Today Wingstop has almost 600 locations open or under development nationwide and systemwide sales have grown from $11.9 million in 2000 to $200 million in 2007.
Wingstop has experienced positive comp store sales for 19 consecutive quarters and moved from 336 to 125 on Entrepreneur Magazine's Franchise 500 ranking of all leading franchise brands worldwide. The company was number 76 on the 2007 Fast Casual top 100 Movers & Shakers list.
Wingstop offers restaurants with a nostalgic, aviation-themed atmosphere where the sole focus is on chicken wings. The chain now serves boneless wing strips that are made from 100 percent all-white meat chicken breast coated with a proprietary batter and breading. Wingstop features nine wing flavors, including Original Hot, Cajun, Atomic, Mild, Teriyaki, Lemon Pepper, Hawaiian, Garlic Parmesan, and Hickory Smoked BBQ. The wings are made-to-order and customers can also choose from homemade side dishes including fresh-cut seasoned fries, bourbon baked beans, pearl potato salad, creamy cole slaw, vegetable sticks, rolls and assorted dipping sauces.