Destination Athlete®, franchise leader in the team sports market, knows the importance of achieving winning outcomes.  Established in 2008, with product offerings of sports apparel and equipment as well as one-on-one services in fundraising, customer satisfaction, and holistic development, Destination Athlete® adheres to Building Better Communities Through Athletes® by providing young athletes, coaches, and families, with the confidence in knowing they have everything necessary to succeed.

This vision of success is also presented through its veteran program, Operation Athlete, designed and delivered by Doug Dickison, Founder and President of Destination Athlete®. Doug recognizes military veterans possess unique leadership skills, discipline, and a strong work ethic, making them ideal candidates for entrepreneurial ventures with his company. Operation Athlete is a one-of-a-kind military veteran program where Destination Athlete® gives back to the service men and women by offering a free franchise annually and 15% discount fees throughout the year to qualified applicants.  To date, Destination Athlete’s veteran franchise owners encompass 15% of all its owners nationwide. According to VetFran, military veterans account for only 7% of the population, but 14% of franchise owners are vets. (Franchise Business Review, October 2023)


Operation Athlete: Words from Veteran Franchise Owners

Chief Petty Officer, Aaron Guisinger enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 2006. He spent 12 years on active duty serving at various commands. During his time at Naval Special Warfare Special Reconnaissance Team Two (SRT-2) in Virginia he deployed multiple times to Afghanistan. Chief Guisinger transitioned to the Naval Reserves in 2018 and at that time applied for and was awarded a Destination Athlete® franchise through the Operation Athlete program.

Becoming a Destination Athlete® franchisee was appealing to me as I always had a passion for sports, and it met my post military career desires to run my own business. I was looking for a business model that would allow me the flexibility to spend as much time as I could with my family and Destination Athlete’s low-cost at home business model was a perfect fit. “

“The Destination Athlete® team provided me with a smooth transition from the Navy to starting up my franchise through the detailed systems and processes that have been put in place. From the initial interview process, training plans, and launch, I always knew that I had the team behind me and their support whenever I needed it.”

Stephanie Pavlick, West Point graduate and owner of a Destination Athlete® franchise in North Carolina, served in several leadership positions with the Army Corps of Engineers.  Stephanie shared, “Over the last ten years, I have relied on the skills I learned as an Army Officer to build a successful Destination Athlete® franchise.  Running a small business is like leading a military unit.  As a veteran, I am familiar with being dedicated to a mission, setting goals, delegating tasks and wearing many hats daily.  My time in the military has trained me to handle challenges, remain agile and problem solve both efficiently and effectively.  As a Destination Athlete® franchise owner, I enjoy serving my community, helping young athletes succeed and building positive relationships.”  


Home-Based Opportunities: Low-Cost, High Rewards

One of the many advantages of owning a Destination Athlete® franchise is its home-based model where entrepreneurs can start their own business from home. Keeping pace with advancements in technology, servicing customers is streamlined through its e-commerce platform and CRM software. A home-based franchise modeled by Destination Athlete® not only eliminates the need for a brick-and-mortar establishment, significantly reducing overhead costs, but also offers convenience and flexibility for the veteran entrepreneur. This flexibility allows franchise owners to balance personal commitments while building a successful business.


Flexible Business Plan: Tailored to Individual Needs

Destination Athlete® provides a flexible business plan that can be customized to suit the unique needs and goals of individual entrepreneurs. Destination Athlete® franchise owners have the freedom to choose the extent of their involvement, from being a hands-on owner-operator to managing a team of employees. This flexibility is crucial as it accommodates the different skill sets, preferences, and resources of veterans entering the business world.

Veterans can leverage their previous experiences in military operations, management, and leadership to create a business plan that aligns with their expertise. The ability to adapt and tailor the business plan contributes to the long-term success of the franchise, as it incorporates the strengths and passions of the veteran entrepreneur.


Scalable Growth: Expanding Horizons

For veterans aspiring to build a thriving business, the scalability of the Destination Athlete® franchise model is key. This franchisor offers business owners growth opportunities through expansion into multiple territories, increased market presence, and diversified revenue streams. This scalability allows veterans to start small, refine their operations, and gradually expand their business according to market demand.


In the competitive business landscape, the scalability offered by Destination Athlete® gives veterans a competitive edge, as they can grow their businesses without risking excessive financial burden. Moreover, Destination Athlete® provides continued training, support, and resources required for expansion, making it easier for veterans to pursue ambitious growth plans.





Turnkey Business Model: Minimizing Risk

Launching a business involves various risks, including market volatility, operational challenges, and the need for extensive industry knowledge. A turnkey business model, as offered by Destination Athlete®, mitigates these risks significantly.

The turnkey model provides veterans with a ready-made, pre-established business framework that has been proven successful. Unlike a stand-alone business where it can be lonely at the top, Destination Athlete® provides being part of a team, working together for a winning outcome, comparable to a veteran’s military experience. The corporate headquarters staff impart comprehensive training and support to all franchise owners across the country, equipping them with essential skills and knowledge to run the franchise smoothly. Additionally, all Destination Athlete® entrepreneurs benefit from established nationwide branding, localized marketing strategies, and established relationships, eliminating the need for extensive market research in their local communities.



A Destination Athlete® franchise with home-based opportunities, flexible business plans, scalable growth, and turnkey business model have unlocked unprecedented entrepreneurial opportunities for veterans transitioning to civilian life. The advantages of a home-based franchise, coupled with a flexible business plan that caters to individual needs, empowers veterans to enjoy a work-life balance while running a prosperous business.

Furthermore, the scalability and turnkey nature of the franchise minimizes risk while providing a foundation for growth and expansion. By capitalizing on their unique skills and experiences, veterans can make a triumphant transition from the military to entrepreneurship, ultimately achieving financial independence and success.

Learn more at www.destinationathlete/