Professional Athlete Franchise Initiative Announces New Leading Ambassador

TITLE Boxing Club Joins Dream Team of Educators to Fill the Void in Athletes' Post-Career Business Decisions

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| Source: TITLE Boxing Club

ATLANTA, Feb. 12, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The International Franchise Association (IFA) and the Professional Athlete Franchise Initiative (PAFI) announced an expanded partnership with TITLE Boxing Club, as the nation's leading boxing franchise becomes the prime sponsor, recognized as the Diamond Ambassador of PAFI. The goal of the expanded partnership is to provide education and support to fill the void in athletes' post-career business decisions.

Athletes have a competitive advantage to succeed in the business world due to their years of discipline, practice, leadership and determination. Yet, more times than not, professional athletes are so focused on their athletic career that they overlook the opportunity to set up their post-sports career. Enter PAFI and TITLE Boxing Club. This powerhouse business relationship couples PAFI's drive to educate athletes with TITLE Boxing Club's will to mentor athletes and help them succeed. Winning is a mindset that isn't turned off when an athlete retires, but unlike business professionals that have the benefit of lifelong education and career path guidance, these athletes often lack the direction necessary to continue their success once they've left the playing field. Together the IFA, PAFI, and TITLE Boxing Club are providing a centralized platform for athletes seeking to get involved in the franchise industry and for franchisors interested in getting involved with the professional athlete community.

"We applaud the leadership of John Rotche and TITLE Boxing Club in this important initiative to help current and former athletes find their next career in franchising," said IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira. "Providing professional athletes the education and tools they need to be better informed about the power of the franchise model is critical to becoming successful business owners."

"We are excited to partner with PAFI because of their commitment to connecting professional athletes to the franchise industry through education, research, and interaction," said John Rotche, president of TITLE Boxing Club. "We have a common bond to provide resources for active and retired athletes to own a business and have a successful career after pro sports in order to take care of their families, and to continue goodwill in their communities."

Rotche's passion for mentoring athletes of all ages stemmed from his own experience as a college athlete. Rotche knows far too well the twists and turns an athlete's path can take after having been recruited to play for the University of Michigan under legendary coach Bo Schembechler, yet suffered from a career-ending hit before he was able to step foot onto the field. He experienced a traumatic neck injury that left him quadriplegic for six months. Doctors told him he probably wouldn't walk again, yet his athletic spirit, determination, pride and honor kicked into overdrive and Rotche prevailed. One step at a time, Rotche returned to football, only this time on the sidelines as a coach for the University of Michigan football program. From there, renowned head coach Bo Schembechler introduced him to the world of franchising with his friend Tom Monaghan, founder of Domino's Pizza. Rotche took the best advice Coach Schembechler ever gave him and dove head first into what would be a life of success in the franchise world with a deeply rooted passion for educating athletes with the 'Xs' and 'Os' of business ethics and fundamentals.

PAFI, initiated by former NFL cornerback Michael Stone began with his passion to educate athletes about exploring business ownership. After sitting out the first four weeks of the 2007 season due to injury, Stone learned he had been cut from the New York Giants while driving home from a medical exam. At that moment, he was confronted with the reality of a now abruptly ended career, and no clear path toward where his future would take him. Because of this, Stone realized the importance of athletes looking to the future and exploring all possible options. Joining the franchise industry allows athletes to once again become part of a team that will enable them to maintain control of their future.

"We are looking forward to this expanded partnership with TITLE Boxing Club as they become our key sponsor," said Stone. "We feel that this relationship is a perfect fit and will assist us in broadening our reach and strengthening our connection with the sports community."

About the Professional Athlete Franchise Initiative (PAFI)

PAFI, a strategic initiative of the International Franchise Association, is a bridge that connects the professional athlete community to the franchise community through education, research and interaction. PAFI fulfills its mission by partnering with stakeholders in the professional sports and franchise communities to build education based programming for professional athletes interested in learning about the franchise model and franchisors and suppliers interested in discovering ways to open doors to this niche audience. To learn more about PAFI visit www.thepafi.org.

About the International Franchise Association (IFA)

The International Franchise Association is the world's oldest and largest organization representing franchising worldwide. Celebrating over 50 years of excellence, education and advocacy, IFA works through its government relations, media relations and educational programs to protect, enhance and promote franchising. Through its media awareness campaign highlighting the theme, Franchising: Building Local Businesses, One Opportunity at a Time, IFA promotes the economic impact of the franchise industry, which supports nearly 18 million jobs and $2.1 trillion of economic output for the U.S. economy. IFA members include franchise companies in over 300 different business format categories, individual franchisees and companies that support the industry in marketing, law and business development. For more information on IFA, please visit www.franchise.org.

About TITLE Boxing Club®

TBC International, LLC opened the first TITLE Boxing Club fitness center January 2, 2008 in Overland Park, Kansas. TITLE Boxing Clubs offer explosive total body boxing and kickboxing fitness workouts that help women and men burn up to 1,000 calories an hour in group classes. The company is ranked number 235 in 2014's Entrepreneur magazine's 35th Annual Franchise 500® list. TITLE Boxing Club was founded by retired professional boxer and promoter Danny Campbell and Kansas businessmen Tom Lyons. Current ownership is under Lyons, Campbell, and Rick Washburn; experienced franchise executive John Rotche; and Title Boxing Company, the premiere distributor of boxing, kickboxing and MMA equipment, apparel and accessories. For more details, visit www.TITLEboxingclub.com.

Kelly McNamara, Fishman Public Relations
(847) 945-1300, ext. 231