Michael Browning, CEO and founder of Unleashed Brands, on Feb. 1 began serving on the International Franchise Association (IFA) Board of Directors. Unleashed Brands is a parent company to The Little Gym, Premier Martial Arts, Snapology and Urban Air Adventure Park, all of which are geared toward helping kids learn, play and grow. Unleased Brands has more than 1,300 franchise locations around the globe and has disclosed plans to expand by 275 additional franchises this year.
Browning will join nine other new directors tapped to serve initial three-year terms on the IFA Board. Franchisees and franchisors from a wide range of business types are among those serving on the expanded IFA Board of Directors. The organization is the franchising industry’s only global trade association.
Bringing diversity to IFA Board of Directors
IFA President and CEO Matt Haller is pleased by the varied backgrounds that the 10 new IFA directors bring to the table. “The 2022 class of IFA Board members will bring new and diverse perspectives at a pivotal time for our members,” Haller said in a news release. He pointed out that the franchises represented on the organization’s board run the gamut from restaurant and hospitality to retail and assorted service providers.
“What’s exciting to me is this chance to be a true advocate of the franchise model and the opportunity it creates in local economies for franchisees,” Browning said in a statement announcing his selection. “Being on the IFA Board validates our mission and the investment Unleashed Brands has for franchise owners within our system.”
Owning more than one Unleashed Brand
The Unleashed Brands portfolio concentrates on promoting child and adolescent development by learning (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics – often referred to as STEAM), playing (celebrating, escaping and connecting) and growing (music, arts, martial arts, swimming and sports). The umbrella franchisor eases the way for small-business owners to take command of the child-enrichment market in their locales by operating more than one franchise within the Unleashed Brands portfolio.
This unusual franchise opportunity is catching fire, according to Unleashed Brands. Eighteen Urban Air franchisees have added Snapology classrooms inside their adventure park locations. And in January, a longtime Urban Air franchisee also launched The Little Gym in his community. In addition, Unleashed Brands will launch co-branded locations this year.
“We’re seeing significant demand with franchisees of one Unleashed Brand who want to invest in another, and we’re expecting this number to grow materially as we progress into 2022,” Browning said. “The franchise model works and has only been strengthened with our economy in the last several years.”