Vernon Davis of the Washington Redskins and Mohamed Sanu of the Atlanta Falcons are best known for catching passes and outrunning defenders. But the NFL standouts also have a keen interest in business development, and recently announced a joint partnership to bring more Jamba Juice stores to the Washington, DC metro area.
Davis and Sanu are planning to develop six stores throughout the region. While no locations have been formally announced, they expect to open their first store early next year in Northern Virginia, likely in Louden County.
“Jamba Juice is an iconic brand that, like me, cares about helping others live a healthier, higher quality life,” says Davis, who already owns five successful Jamba Juice locations in Northern California. “I honestly couldn’t be more excited about partnering with Mohamed, expanding my relationship with Jamba Juice and, of course, bringing more of the fresh fruit and vegetable goodness of Jamba to my hometown.”
Sanu believes franchising is well-suited to the skill sets of professional athletes. “Over the past decade or so, pro athletes have become a rising presence in the franchise world. We’re executors who are comfortable working within the confines of an established system and executing a playbook. Like an athlete, a franchisee has to come in and execute the game plan.”
A native of Washington, D.C., Davis played college football at the University of Maryland before being drafted by the San Francisco 49ers sixth overall in the 2006 NFL Draft. He played his first nine seasons in the league for the 49ers, before being traded to the Denver Broncos in 2015 where he won his first Super Bowl championship. In 2016, Davis joined his hometown Washington Redskins. Off the playing field, he has a deep passion for business and building economic solutions in his immediate community. In addition to his five Jamba Juice franchises in Northern California, he is the co-owner of various commercial and residential properties throughout California and Maryland. He has also proudly launched the Vernon Davis Foundation for the Arts, which promotes art education and art appreciation among youth from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Sanu, originally from New Brunswick, New Jersey, played college football at Rutgers and was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft. After four seasons with the Bengals, he signed a five-year contract with the Atlanta Falcons where he currently plays wide receiver. Sanu is not only dedicated to his team and career, his commitment to giving back to the community is evident. Since 2015, he has lead his "Sanu's Crew" football camp which benefits underprivileged youth with serious health challenges. Visiting local autism centers and raising money for cancer research are just a few other ways Sanu supports local charities in the Atlanta, New Jersey and New York areas.
“Anybody who knows anything about the NFL recognizes Vernon and Mohamed as two of the premier players in the game who continue to play prominent roles in their teams’ success year after year,” says Loren Bontrager, Jamba Juice’s Director of Franchise Business Development. “They are strong leaders in the ultra-competitive sports world and inherently understand the importance of working as a team and as part of a system to achieve success. We’re thrilled to have both Vernon and Mohammed as part of the Jamba team.”
This recent expansion announcement comes at a time when Jamba Juice is re-energizing its franchise program and looking to expand eastward. With the majority of the company's more than 900 stores operating west of the Rocky Mountains, Jamba Juice recently announced plans to cover the country in a more balanced way and ultimately expand its presence on the east coast.