Basketball is one of the most popular sports, and the one loved by all. There are quite a few clubs that provide aspiring players with a fitness program that is focused wholly on the making and fitness of a basketball player.
Breaking the stereotypes and providing something new to all the players is PickUp USA Fitness, a gym that is focused on providing basketball players with the best fitness programs.
Featuring in The Enterprise World’s this issue of The Best Franchises To Buy in 2022 is their story.
In this interview with Jordan Meinster / CEO, get exclusive insights about the journey of the company.
Brief us about at the PickUp USA Fitness, what inspired you to start the company?
PickUp USA Fitness is a full-service basketball-focused gym. We opened our first gym in 2012 in Irwindale, CA. Ten years later, we have awarded 43 franchise licenses and have gyms open across the country.
I was inspired to start PickUp USA Fitness based on my experience playing PickUp basketball growing up. I loved playing but was always agitated by the lack of organization at the gyms I would play at.
We started PickUp USA as a gym that provided PickUp basketball with referees to solve the issues I dealt with at other gyms. We developed a proprietary queuing system to organize the games and all of our games are officiated by two referees.
Today, our gyms offer the PickUp USA Fitness games, in addition to full fitness rooms, group and private basketball training, basketball tournaments, youth development programs, and more!
What are the products or services the company focuses on? How are your services different from those in the market?
Are company is dedicated to basketball. All of our gyms have full weight and cardio rooms, and are equipped with multiple basketball courts, Dr. Dish shooting guns, Vertimax trainers, and more.
PickUp USA Fitness services are all basketball focused. For adults, we run PickUp basketball with referees daily, have weekly tournaments, and offer basketball training sessions. For youth, we have Youth Development leagues, one-on-one training, and more.
PickUp USA Fitness is the largest basketball gym chain in the US. What sets us apart is our world-class facilities, our industry-leading customer service, and our exclusive focus on basketball.
Please tell us about your team.
I lead a team at the corporate office that handles our franchise program from end-to-end.
At the front-end is our development team. They filter 200+ inquiries per month from groups that want to franchise with us. They select the top candidates and take them through an intensive discovery process to make sure there is a good fit. Those selected get awarded a territory and onboarded by our development team.
Once onboarded, we have a finance team that supports our franchise owners in obtaining financing for their project. We have traditional and non-traditional financing methods, and we are nationally recognized for our franchisee support in this area.
After the franchise owner obtains financing, they work with our real estate team to secure a facility for their club. We allocate substantial resources to this process and have a strong track record of delivering multiple facility options to our franchisees, helping them negotiate a lease or purchase, and getting them terms that set them up for long-term success.
With the franchisees financing and facility secured, they are passed to our operations and marketing teams that work hand-in-hand with the franchise owner to buildout their club, run a successful pre-sales campaign, conduct a soft and grand opening, and work with the franchisee after their launch.
We have a dedicated team with decades of experience to work with our franchisees from the day they first inquire with us, through discovery, financing, and site selection, and be by their side for the life of their business endeavour with us. We’re truly unmatched when it comes to support.
Please brief us about your professional experience.
Prior to starting PickUp USA Fitness, I held a variety of jobs. In high school, I worked for restaurants, as a window cleaner, and at Jiffy Lube. Jiffy Lube was my first introduction to franchising, and I was always intrigued by the business model.
I put myself through college managing a fine dining restaurant. This is where I met my wife, Casey, who later would become the co-founder of PickUp USA Fitness!
After college, I worked various banking and finance positions, including as a VP at HSBC, and a Business Banker at Citibank. This experience has been valuable for me at PickUp USA Fitness because I understand the perspective of the banks and can help our franchisees navigate the financing process.
I left the banking world in 2011 to start PickUp USA. I ran our first location for several years before turning it over to a manager to start franchising the concept. I now am the CEO of PickUp USA Fitness Franchise Company.
What are the key achievements of your business journey?
One of the biggest achievements in this journey has been getting the first location open. When we open locations today we have a track record, strong franchisees, a solid reputation, ten years of experience, we’ve never closed a location, we survived COVID, we’re a fast growing brand, and more. That makes starting a PickUp USA a lot easier than when I had no track record, no brand, and no money.
That experience still shapes how we operate today. We know how tough it can be to launch a business, and we work day and night to ensure that our franchisees have all the tools to launch their business and take it to its full potential.
Any client experience you would like to highlight?
I would love to highlight one of our first franchise owners, Erick Acosta in Houston. Erick runs a top performing club and has been a key part of many of our initiatives. His attitude, work ethic, and grit are admirable, and it’s because of franchise owners like him that we are where we are today!
Which one is your favourite quote?
“Lessons are learned in the fight”
In other words, stop thinking about it and go do it! You’ll learn as you go.