Sport Clips Haircuts: 25 Years of Team Work

It is said that the idea for Sport Clips Haircuts was sketched out on a cocktail napkin on a pier in Monterey Bay, and rumors are that Bloody Mary’s may have been involved! Taking that idea to the brand it is today, one of the fastest growing and most successful haircare franchises with almost 1,800 locations (and the only haircutting franchise with a presence in all 50 states and Canada), has been an incredible journey and one that required a lot of team work.

Much has been written about the company’s founder and CEO Gordon Logan, but like every great leader, Logan is quick to point to the strength of the Sport Clips team as instrumental in the company’s success. It is Sport Clips' team culture, strong values and "people first" mentality that has helped position the brand as a leader in franchising.

Jerry Lewis, a Sport Clips team leader who was Gordon’s partner when Sport Clips was developed, attests to this, saying, “The thing about this company is that even with all of the growth that has gone on, its values and culture have stayed the same. They were the same 25 years ago, they are the same now, and they will be the same 25 years from now. It’s about people first.”

In the early 1990s, the number of barber shops began to decline and many men who were uncomfortable with a traditional salon environment or a “family haircutter” began to feel left behind. Gordon felt that there had to be a better way, that there was a huge opportunity to create a concept designed especially for men and boys and delivering a great haircut experience.

Having been a franchisee of a failed system, Gordon had seen first-hand what not to do, and he knew there must be a better way. Setting out to do just that, he assembled a team of industry professionals with the mission to provide “a championship haircut experience for men and boys in an exciting sports environment.”

Lewis, who had also been a franchisee of the same failed system, helped Gordon develop the “new improved” franchise system. He says, “As franchisees and operators ourselves, we couldsee flaws in the previous system and could fine tune them. An example of this is Sport Clips Haircuts’ innovative vacuuming system. Even during the busiest times, the salon is kept clean, adding to the championship experience.”

Another thing Logan realized was the importance of never outgrowing the support systems or supply line, demonstrated by thebrand’s responsible growth strategy. By developing the strong infrastructure of support and supply lines, Sport Clips has been able to provide a solid business model that has stood the test of time.

In honor of its 25th anniversary, Sport Clips wants to recognize some of those all-star team members who played an instrumental role in the beginning and helped build the infrastructure and foundation that sets the brand apart today. We will feature a few of them over this anniversary month, taking a look at how the brand's unparalleled training and operational support was developed. We’ll meet industry consultant Tommy Callahan; former Sport Clips Vice President of Education, Nancy Vandiver, who is now a team leader in Utah; Julie Vargas, Sport Clips’ very first store manager in 1993, now Senior Director of Career Opportunities for Sport Clips; Jean Booth, Vice President of Franchise Development for Sport Clips (since 1996); and Neal Geiger, Sport Clips Creative Director since 2006, will discuss how the brand has grown over the years. And we will talk with Curt Brannon, President and founder of Sympateco, which has been designing and building Sport Clips stores since 1995. These hardworking individuals have a unique perspective on how Sport Clips has been able to create such a solid, scalable business model and positioned itself as one of the fastest growing and most successful haircare franchises.