For the past 10 years, Bradie James has seen firsthand that true team spirit can go a long way—both on the field and off.

James was playing football for Louisiana State University when tragedy struck his family. Just as his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and his father fell ill with liver disease. He lost both of his parents within a few short months of each other, and the heartbreak fueled a fire inside James; he decided it was time to act. James finished college with the highest accolades (he was named a National Scholar Athlete and a member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll), landed a spot with the Dallas Cowboys, and, in the midst of his storied career as a linebacker, established Foundation 56, an outreach program dedicated to providing resources for breast cancer patients and survivors, in honor of his mother.

Today, that unchanged drive energizes James’ every move. And as the new director of brand engagement for Mooyah Burgers, Fries & Shakes, a leader in the fast-casual “better burger” segment, he’s imparting that same characteristic passion to the world of franchise development. In this new role, James will work to engage and connect athletes, military veterans, and his vast network of entrepreneurs with Mooyah—a chain hailing from the Dallas Cowboys’ home turf. His goal is simple: Utilize the strong value of teamwork that he has come to know so well over the years to help this brand strategically grow in a very big way.

“We are proud to be a Dallas-based brand, so we are extremely excited that Bradie is joining the Mooyah team as our director of brand engagement,” says Michael Mabry, COO of Mooyah. “Bradie has proven to be an incredible business-minded entrepreneur, an excellent role model and a true community servant in the greater Dallas area since his time on the gridiron with the Dallas Cowboys. Bradie brings a competitiveness and unrelenting desire to win to the Mooyah brand. We’re proud and honored to have him as part of our team.”

James isn’t new to the franchise model, and he understands its great potential for new entrepreneurs searching for a way to get their foot in the door. After retiring from the National Football League in 2014, wearing the jersey of his beloved Dallas Cowboys, he was looking for the perfect opportunity to take him into the next chapter of his life. He eventually became a part owner of two Mooyah locations in the Dallas/Fort Worth area—a move that was a tribute to his Texan roots and spurred by a genuine love for the brand’s quality food.

“Franchising was a real change for me. Those of my generation, Millennials, have an entrepreneurial spirit but sometimes aren’t sure how to take the step into business ownership. With franchising, you have a strong model behind you to help you along the way,” James says. “Mooyah has been as a true partner during my foray into business ownership, and that’s why we have been so successful.”

James also knows what it takes to lead and grow a brand, and it starts with building a truly impactful team. In the past few years, he’s watched as Mooyah grew from 15 restaurants to approaching its 100th location this year. But, he has even bigger numbers in mind for the years to come.

“Throughout my career, I’ve been lucky to learn how to be the president and CEO of my own brand. I’ve also realized that there are many former athletes, military veterans, and others who have dreams of owning their own business one day,” James says. “My goal is to reach out to those people and encourage them to join our team. Ultimately, we want to have the best team in place to support our continued growth process. We want to make sure we’re all taking that next step forward as a brand and as a team.”

Charitable Giving, Franchising, News, Mooyah