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Crown Trophy can offer you an opportunity to be part of the most successful and fastest growing sports related franchise in America. Crown Trophy is the only franchise of its kind and is truly a unique concept with an exciting and unlimited future. If you like the sports environment, and enjoy developing business and community relationships, this is a franchise you should seriously consider.
BILLION DOLLAR INDUSTRY About the Awards Industry The awards and recognition industry has developed into a Multi-Billion Dollar Market, and it is still growing. Crown realized the potential of this market and has built itself into the industry's most powerful retailer. The number of organized leagues catering to both boys and girls sports continues to grow, and smart businesses reward employees for achievement, creating the need for more awards. While the industry continues to expand, the number of outlets servicing the industry continues to decline. Crown Trophy, the largest retailer of trophies in America, has a clear vision of the future of the industry, and sees a bright outlook for its franchise owners in the years ahead. With low start-up costs and tremendous potential, the Crown Trophy system offers great opportunity for success. The Crown Concept Crown Trophy is the only franchise system in the entire industry, and has developed over 125 stores nationwide. Crown Trophy's president, Chuck Weisenfeld states "The awards industry is filled with small shops that sell awards as an afterthought, and the industry is in dire need of professionally run award centers." Crown has positioned itself as the leader for the next millennium. Crown will continue to grow and dominate the industry, by bringing more cost efficiencies through its mass purchasing, state-of-the-art product development, and by increasing name identity throughout America. Simply put, we feel we are at the right place, at the right time, in the right industry. The years ahead should prove to be a period of tremendous growth for each franchise location, and in turn for the entire Crown Trophy franchise system. Millions of Awards Many people underestimate the power of the awards industry, and the broad scope of the people it touches. Organized sports have grown tremendously, but sports awards just scratch the surface. Consider the multitude of trophies, awarded by clubs, tournaments, and other special events. The millions of diplomas laminated every year. The scores of businesses that present corporate awards every month, quarter, and year. At Crown Trophy "Everyone is a Winner." We create very special cost-efficient awards, enabling organizations to recognize all their participants. Our "Awards for Everyone" concept is an important element in the growth of every child, student, and employee. Potential Client Base Awards impact every part of people's lives. Whether its receiving a recognition for work done in school, or achieving great heights in business, a Crown Trophy center can provide awards for them all. Here is just a sampling of the wide potential customer base we serve: Beauty Pageants Gymnastic Clubs Country Clubs Martial Arts Schools Race Sponsors Horse & Dog Shows Scouting Groups Sports Teams Camps Schools Churches Youth Centers Civic Clubs Organizations Leagues Tournaments Unions & More Low Costs / High Profits Lower costs and higher-profit margins are the key to any franchise system. Crown's mass purchasing power gives trophy centers under the Crown umbrella a huge financial edge. As we add stores, our ability to help individual owners becomes greater. The Awards Industry is a Proven Business. Even in a struggling economy, people always need recognition, whether it's rewarding a key employee, acknowledging an achieving student, or honoring a gifted athlete. You'll be your own boss; you'll make your own hours. You'll be self-sufficient and you'll thrive in a community-minded business, where you'll be dealing with the decision makers of schools, leagues, and businesses. We hope you take the time to investigate our franchise opportunity. We truly feel we have a fun family franchise which offers great financial opportunity.
THE CROWN ADVANTAGE Crown History Founded in 1978 by Chuck Weisenfeld, Crown is now the largest retailer of Award and Recognition products in the country. Chuck began casually franchising Crown Trophy Centers to his friends and individuals who had come in contact with this unique concept. Crown Trophy began franchising in the late 80's, and has expanded to more than 125 franchise locations throughout the country. At present Crown Trophy is looking for a limited number of highly qualified owners to further expand the franchise, bringing the Crown name and reputation for service, quality, and dependability to communities across America. Crown Buying Power - Only Franchise of Its Kind Crown Trophy is the only franchise of its kind in America. With over 125 stores and growing, Crown has gained mass purchasing power within the awards industry. This group buying concept get passed down to our stores, giving them a competitive edge. Another distinct advantage to Crown Trophy franchise owners will be its ever increasing Exclusive Line of Trophies and Awards. Our franchise locations offer unique product lines that are not available anywhere else in the industry. As a testimony to our impact on the industry, Crown Trophy received the prestigious "Retailer of the Year" Award at the National Awards & Recognition Convention. Recognizing Crown Trophy as the premier retailer nationwide gave a great deal of pride to every franchise owner. 25 Years Experience - Never a Failure in the System The development of a Crown Trophy center is not about luck, it's about the tested, rock-solid, proven system that's been developed for the last 25 years. From the in-depth training to the extensive marketing strategies; from the selection of prime locations to the strong relationships with our suppliers, Crown support is first rate. Since its inception there has never been a failure in the Crown Trophy franchise system. When a franchise center opens its doors, the Crown Advantage still carries over. With a dedicated main office and an over 125 store support system, Crown's track record speaks for itself. We are always with you, every step of the way. Easy Lifestyle - Family, Fun, Sports & Business This is a business about sports, this is a business about fun, this is a business about family and the community you live in. You will find that not only do our owners enjoy the business, they also enjoy the lifestyle the business affords them. As with any new business, hard work and effort will pay off at a Crown Trophy center, but you and your family will still have time to share in the rest of what life has to offer. The Crown Trophy franchise is truly a unique opportunity. Owning a Crown Trophy franchise offers individuals from virtually any background the opportunity to earn a very good income, and to provide their families a very nice quality of life. You will be part of a business and sports oriented environment, marketing your products and services in a very positive business atmosphere.
CATALOGS & WEBSITES Crown Catalogs - Your Most Valuable Sales Tool Trophies Medals Plaques Ribbons Sculptures Pins Patches Promotional Items More Exclusive to Crown Trophy store owners, our Awards and Corporate Catalogs set you apart from your competitors. These catalogs depict the hundreds of quality awards, many of which are available only to Crown customers. The Crown Trophy Awards Catalog is perfect for all leagues, teams, tournaments, organizations, and schools. Catering to the very best in the community, it features awards for all ages, events, and presentations. The Crown Trophy Corporate Catalog is uniquely designed, and features pristine, high-quality awards, geared towards the corporate and business market. Lucite Awards Glass Awards High-End Sculptures Metal Cups Plaques Clocks & Desk Sets Corporate Golf Corporate Office More CrownStores.com - Our Online Catalog Designed with our customers in mind, CrownStores.com is a great place to view our products and services via the Internet. Visitors can browse through both the Crown Trophy Awards Catalog and the Crown Trophy Corporate Catalog. The site features an extensive Exclusive Products section, and they can learn more about our history, quality, and commitment to service.
PROGRAM OVERVIEW - SITE SELECTION Crown has Over 125 Success Stories, driven by our ability to help you choose the best area for your new business. The site selection process has many important steps, and Crown will assist you in all of them. Together we will find a prime location, walk you through the lease negotiations, and provide the actual design and layout of your store. Crown expertise and years of experience will give you the best opportunity to succeed.
PROGRAM OVERVIEW - ON-SITE TRAINING The Crown training program is the most important aspect of our franchise system. You will get the advantage of working with and building a personal relationship with our Crown Franchise staff. These individuals have extensive backgrounds in the awards industry as well as advanced business skills. They are the experts who will guide your startup from the planning stages, to the opening of your store straight through to the launch of your marketing program. Once a location has been agreed upon, and a lease signed, we will set-up a training school date. You will attend our complete training program at our corporate office in Hawthorne, New York, where you will be taught to operate your own Crown Trophy Center. Our training program has been developed to work even if you have never owned a prior business and if you do not have any background in the awards industry. The valuable lessons you will learn here will keep you organized and speed up the process to success.
PROGRAM OVERVIEW - START-UP & EQUIPMENT A Crown Trophy center has a unique look and your startup package will include a fully stocked storefront. Armed with Crown's Exclusive Lineup of Awards, High-Quality Catalogs and Marketing Materials, we give you the best advantage from the day you open for business. Your store will open with state-of-the-art equipment. The Crown Staff will help coordinate the purchase, delivery and installation of all the machinery and equipment required to have a complete awards center. We will provide you with an accounting package and methods to manage your finances. In addition, we will arrange for any training and on-site assistance at your facility to help in the start-up and development of your business.
PROGRAM OVERVIEW - MARKETING STRATEGIES Crown has developed proven marketing concepts over the past twenty-plus years. The growth and development of your business will be directly related to how actively and effectively you market your products and services. At Crown Trophy it's about "Building Relationships - Not Building Trophies." Your primary responsibility is to use Crown's proven marketing strategies and to network yourself throughout the area. Building relationships in the sports, recreation and business communities will help distinguish your Crown Trophy awards center from smaller awards shops in your area.
PROGRAM OVERVIEW - VENDORS & SUPPLIERS As a franchisee of the largest retailer of awards in America, you get the group buying advantage. Our Mass Purchasing Power gives us extraordinary negotiating ability with our vendors, and these savings are passed onto our franchise owners, enabling a Crown center's prices to be the lowest in the industry. From startup, you'll immediately have the area's best prices, and it's most unique awards. Crown suppliers are carefully selected from the elite companies in the awards industry. You're not only dealing with preferred vendors, but you have the support of a strong company with over 125 stores and growing.
CROWN SUPPORT - CROWN AWARDS A successful franchise system requires support from many different areas, and Crown Awards is Crown Trophy's single greatest asset. Crown Awards incorporates the Marketing, Design and Web Development teams, as well as the Crown Franchise staff that assists store owners on a daily basis. Crown Awards includes two diversified groups that help drive the Crown machine. On the business side, Crown Franchise Support Staff helps with the day-to-day operations of your Crown Trophy center. This includes order taking and shipping of products, accounting problems, and general assistance. On the marketing side, the Crown Awards creative staff develops all the catalogs, websites, marketing materials, and Exclusive Products that help Crown continue as the industry leader.
CROWN SUPPORT - FRANCHISE STAFF - BIOS Your relationship with the Crown Franchise staff is the key to continued support with Crown Trophy headquarters. These individuals have extensive backgrounds in the awards industry and will help you keep your Crown Trophy center running smoothly. Crown headquarters has a toll-free number and several staff e-mail addresses so you can get the support you need quickly and easily. Crown Franchise Staff Bios Chuck Weisenfeld - President Chuck Weisenfeld founded the first Crown Trophy store in his hometown of Brooklyn, NY in 1978. Since then, Chuck's vision for a nationwide network of award and recognition centers has grown into system of over 125 professionally run franchises. Chuck is one of the industry's most knowledgeable businessmen, and oversees the the entire training program. Chuck's ability to develop products and target markets is what makes Crown Trophy successful. Scott Kelly - Executive Vice President Scott Kelly has served as Executive Vice President for Crown Trophy Inc. since October of 1995. Scott oversees day-to-day franchise operations including sales, field marketing and support. Prior experience includes positions at American Broadcasting Company, Citigroup and Savin Corporation. John Mooney - Vice President John Mooney has been Crown's Vice President since January of 2000 and is involved in all aspects of the franchise operation. John, a former Crown Trophy franchise owner, assists new store owners throughout training and operation of their franchise. John's background includes positions at Hilliard Farber & Company in New York, The Diamond Company, LLC in Rome. Susan LaGrutta - Executive Assistant Susan has been with Crown Trophy since 2001. She is responsible for the bookkeeping and administrative tasks as well as lending support to the franchisees and executing the quarterly franchise newsletter. Susan holds a degree in Communication Arts from Iona College. Along with spending time raising her children, Susan previously worked in the medical field for Northern Metropolitan Medical. John Duffy - Manager Franchise Operations From July 2000 to May 2002 John was employed by Crown in various capacities, until June 2002 when he became part of franchise operations. John assists in training new storeowners, handles computer software, network, engraving and field support. John’s background includes positions at Cendant Corp. and Dean Witter Reynolds.
CROWN SUPPORT - FRANCHISE NETWORK Communication is the buzzword at Crown Trophy, and your greatest source of information will be your fellow Crown Trophy store owners. You will be part of a team where everyone's success is supported and reinforced by each and every owner. CrownFranchiseOrdering.com is a secure, password-protected, full-featured e-commerce website only for Crown Trophy franchises. Store owners can order Crown Awards exclusive products quickly and easily. The Crown Webboard is another important part of our franchise system. This interactive site allows you to communicate with other Crown Trophy store owners, with messages being sent back and forth daily. Also, password-protected, headquarters uses the webboard as an intranet to post important messages and is also always available for questions and answers.
CROWN SUPPORT - EXCLUSIVE PRODUCTS The Crown Franchise system distinguishes itself with our Exclusively Designed Awards. The awards are only available at Crown Trophy centers, helping make us unique in the industry. Giving every owner a competitive advantage in their area is what being part of the Crown Trophy Franchise system is all about. Each year, Crown develops some of the best and most innovative products in the industry. As a Crown Trophy store owner, you will have access to exclusive trophies, sculptures, plaques, medals, pins, patches, lucites, mugs, ribbons and more. These are just a sample of the winning products that give a store owner the Crown Trophy Advantange.
CROWN SUPPORT - CONVENTIONS Our annual convention brings together store owners from across the nation for one big gathering of fun, facts and information. This convention, as well as vendor meetings and other business gatherings are important for keeping up with the industry. At these meetings, you can get up close and personal with other store owners, vendors, and franchise staff with whom you have been communicating throughout the year. These personal face-to-face meetings with the important people in your industry will provide you with a wealth of business knowledge. You will be in business for yourself, but never by yourself.
Frequently Asked Questions When did Crown Trophy establish its first location? The first location was established in Brooklyn, NY in 1978. When did you begin franchising? We opened our first franchised location in 1987. When did you begin your national expansion program? With sixty franchised locations in place, we began a national expansion during the first Quarter of 1999. Currently we have over 125 stores nationally. How many stores have closed or failed since 1987? NONE! We have had no failures or closing of franchised units since our inception. Do you need to have experience in the Awards & Recognition Industry to be successful? No prior experience is necessary. All it takes is a friendly community minded individual who has a strong desire to succeed within a proven franchise system. Men & Women from varied backgrounds currently operate their own Crown franchise. We have a ten-day training school and on-site support when you initially open. Continued support is provided from HQ staff. How do you determine where I should locate my store? We provide assistance for researching an area, site location, lease negotiation and design of your store. Do you grant exclusive territories? Each franchise is granted a protected territory defined by zip codes. We will not establish or operate a company-owned store, nor will we grant a franchise to others to operate within your protected territory. What do you feel are the most important attributes of your franchise opportunity? Fun and family oriented business. We are the only franchise in the Awards & Recognition industry. As the largest retailer we have enormous purchasing power lowering the cost on high volume components used by our franchise owners. You will have access to proprietary products not available anywhere else in the industry. We are licensed to use such proprietary logos as Little League Baseball, AYSO, PAL, Pop Warner Football, Dixie and Pony Baseball, YABA. This allows our owners to have a definitive competitive advantage in their market area. National name recognition of the Crown Trophy trademark name throughout the awards market. A support team with over fifty years experience in the Awards & Recognition industry available to answer questions and guide you to the right resources saving you many hours of research time. As the largest retailer in the industry our buying power has allowed us to negotiate system wide pricing concessions for all of our franchise owners. You will have access to proprietary products that have been copyrighted by Crown Awards giving you a decisive advantage over the local awards store. Our training school will give you the level of knowledge needed to promote your business aggressively from day one. We have a three-day annual meeting each year where owners get to meet one another and share ideas. New product and marketing concepts are introduced as well. What common attributes do your top stores share? Our top performing stores are self motivated with the desire to be the leading awards supplier in their community. They all share strong marketing skills and enjoy meeting with individuals offering a needed service in their community. They are organized team players who contribute to our system and believe in Crown's business philosophy. Is this an Internet-based business? No, Crown stores are retail establishments based on personal relationships formed in the community. You will have access to on-line marketing materials to supplement your sales efforts, but a Crown Trophy store is based on personal contacts. How much capital do you need to purchase a franchise? The initial investment ranges from $85K - $95K. What is included for the initial investment of $85K - $95K? Our franchise system provides a turnkey operation, which includes a start-up package consisting of "state of the art" laser engraving system and software, machinery, equipment, supplies, inventory, showroom display system and samples, license fee and a variety of marketing materials. We guide you through the site selection process including assistance with the negotiation of your lease. We provide an extensive ten-day training school at headquarters followed up by two field visits within the first year. What can I expect to pay as an on going service fee (Royalty)? Royalty is calculated as 5% of Gross Sales paid monthly. We earn our income from how well your store does forging a continued and vested interest in your continued growth. Do you provide financing? We do not provide financing for your franchise investment. However, financing is available for qualified applicants from various sources, including an unaffiliated third party company to whom we can refer you. We receive no compensation in connection with any financing arrangements.
SUCCESS STORIES Success Magazine Ranks Crown Trophy Success Magazine has ranked Crown Trophy, the largest supplier of awards in America and the fastest growing chain in the awards industry, as one of America's most recognized franchise systems. Success Magazine has been doing this national survey of franchise companies for more than a decade. They have an independent marketing company investigate and evaluate the best known and most respected franchise companies in America. Crown had sixty franchise outlets in 1999, and has grown into a sophisticated operation of over one hundred twenty five Crown Trophy centers. Franchisee Achievements Crown's Annual Convention is always an exciting time for Crown Trophy franchise owners. Not only do they get to meet face-to-face with management and fellow owners, it's also a time for achievement awards within our organization. Crown honors the Store of the Year for achievement in sales growth and marketing. This is the highest honor an owner can receive as they become a leader in the Crown community. Another great achievement is being named Rookie of the Year. Selected from among stores which have opened in the previous year, honors go to the Crown Trophy center who has shown the most potential for great success. Store Owner's Perspectives Below are two interviews, published on Entrepreneur.com, in a question and answer format that clearly shows the successes of Crown Trophy store owners. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Older and Wiser - An ex-corporate exec discusses the advantages of age and experience in buying a franchise. Ben April, 43, married and the father of two children when he left the real estate developer he worked for to open a Crown Trophy franchise in Ballwin, Missouri. Question: Why did you go into franchising rather than start your own business? Ben April: I just got tired of [the corporate life]. I had been traveling for the better part of 9 1/2 years, and I decided I wanted to get away from that and from the real estate environment [in general]. So my wife and I started to look for some type of business to open. I liked the idea of a franchise because I didnít want to start cold and have to develop my own concept. Q: What impact did starting the franchise have on your personal life? April: My children were really too young at the time to understand what was going on. My wife is my partner, so needless to say we were both pretty committed to the franchise. She knew I was unhappy with my previous situation and that I never wanted to be under someone elseís thumb again. We looked forward to my not having to travel and the flexibility in work schedules that owning our own business would allow. Q: What fears did you have about leaving the security of your other job, losing health insurance, etc.? April: The previous situation was intolerable, and I didnít want to find another job working for someone else. We knew we had to do whatever it took to succeed. Failure was not an option. Q: Whatís it like being the boss? April: Iíve always been a self-starter. I donít need someone to tell me to get up and get going in the morning. With the real estate developer, I did well because no one had to micro-manage me. I was given a project to work on, and it was up to me to decide and act upon the necessary steps. The worst part [about starting the franchise] was not having anyone below me. Before, I had two administrative assistants to turn to; now, when a letter has to be typed, I have to do it. Q: Do you think starting this business would have been easier if you had been younger? April: While I certainly believe the energy, fearlessness and enthusiasm of the young can help them succeed in my industry, I also believe my life and work experience were quite helpful in my situation. In a business that requires you to wear many hats throughout the course of an average day, having already worn a good number of hats throughout my life is certainly a benefit. Q: If you could do it all over again, would you still go the franchise route? April: Thereís no question that I would go the franchise route again. I donít have to tell you how many pitfalls lie in the path of the start-up business. Crown Trophy is a perfect fit. They give support when I need it, but they donít prevent me from exercising my entrepreneurial spirit. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Young Gun - This new kid on the franchise block says he's more "aggressive" than older franchisees. Brian Keesee, now 29, single and fresh out of the Air Force when he opened his Crown store in Waldorf, Maryland. Question: Why did you go into franchising rather than start your own business? Brian Keesee: It was just a matter of finding the right idea. I couldnít come up with a unique niche and wanted to get something going right away, so I started looking at franchises. I was looking for something a little less uncertain [than starting a business from scratch], yet uniqueósomething that allowed me to be more creative with ideas. Q: What impact did starting the franchise have on your personal life? Keesee: What personal life? It became my personal life. My friends knew I was into it, and they would come by and try to give me some support, but basically the franchise became my personal life. When you put that many hours in, you really donít have a choice. Itís not necessarily as bad as it seems on the outside, because, when you risk it all, when you put that much into something and youíre getting it off the ground, thatís all you think about 24/7. Hopefully youíve picked a franchise that interests you, so it was exciting at the same time. But the business engulfs your life, so I considered it an advantage not to have a family pulling me away from it. Q: What sort of monetary/security issues did you have going in to this? Keesee: I guess some of the disadvantages I had, certainly I didnít have a lot of money. I had gotten my college out of the way, and I didnít have student loans because I went into the service, but my personal balance sheet was zero. In fact, it was probably negative because I still had some bills left on my credit cards that I had used to help me get through college. I didnít have any major debts, but at the same time, I didnít have any assets to use to start up the business. My biggest struggle was actually getting the funding. I spent about a month putting together a business plan and trying to get some gift loans from family members, temporary ones until I could stand on my own and refinance and pay them back. Q: Whatís it like being the boss? Keesee: I had a little bit of management experience. While I was waiting to go into the service, I actually worked at a McDonaldís for a little less than a year as a manager. In the service, obviously, the first couple of years you have absolutely no supervisory [responsibilities]. You work for everybody else, and there are a lot of jerks out there. The whole time I was in the service, though, I was able to look and learnólearn what not to do as far as being a supervisor. Obviously, I learned a lot of lessons as far as what to do and what not to do as an employer. Employing people has been the biggest challenge so far in my business. The labor market, the way it is right now, doesnít help employers. Itís [difficult] as an employer to find decent people and hang on to them. Q: Do you think starting this business would have been easier if you had been older? Keesee: I guess in a lot of respects it would. Recently, Iíve been trying to become friends with a lot of the other franchisees in the area. In fact, Iím good friends with an older franchise owner, who opened a franchise about the same time I did. When we get together and talk about business matters, heís doing well, too, but I realize the huge differences between the two of us. Heís very conservative. Heís seen rougher times than I have, so heís a little apprehensive to take on an extra employee or start a new marketing program and put the investment in because heís more leery about the economy. He has more knowledge, more experience, but heís also been burned a little more, which sometimes in business can make you a little slow to act, a little too conservative. I see that as one of my advantagesóthe fact that Iím a little more aggressive. Iím young, and I want to take over the world. Iím willing to risk a little more; obviously, since Iím single, thereís a little less to risk. I donít know if you can attribute that strictly to my age or just to our personality differences, but I would tend to say itís more about age. Heís a little more cynical because heís been around longer. Q: If you could do it all over again, would you still go the franchise route? Keesee: Iíd have to say I would do it all again. The only exception would be if I could come up with that fresh idea, that certain niche to start up my own company. Thatís very hard to doóit was my goal, and I never did come up with that idea. I enjoy franchising. Itís nice to be part of a team. You donít feel quite as if youíre on your own.
Contact Information Crown Trophy Headquarters 9 Skyline Drive Hawthorne, NY 10532 800-583-8228 FAX: 914-347-0211