Seattle Seahawk Sidney Rice is using the off-season to earn his wings. The wide receiver has signed on with Wingstop, the 570-unit wing expert restaurant chain, to open five new locations in the Seattle-Tacoma area.
"Wingstop is my favorite restaurant. I travel a lot, and as soon as I land, the first thing I do is find the closest Wingstop,” Rice says. “They have the best wings and always make them fresh to order. When I was given the opportunity to join the company, I knew it was a chance I couldn’t pass up.”
Seattle’s first Wingstop opened last October in Bellevue, and has quickly developed a fan following in the area. Rice recently formed Rice Wings LLC and will partner with the current owner-operators of Wingstop in Bellevue, Washington, Emerald Sound Wings, to open five Wingstop locations.
“I think the made-to-order quality and awesome flavors of Wingstop wings is what sets them apart from fast food options in Seattle,” Rice adds. “And unlike other wing places, Wingstop has a family atmosphere, so it fits in with the community. I know it will be a big hit as we continue to expand throughout Seattle.”
Rice’s first restaurants are scheduled to open later this year in Kent and Tacoma, and he believes his experience in the NFL is the perfect training to co-operate Wingstop.
“The discipline required as a professional athlete has helped me prepare to be a business owner, because I know how to work hard and sweat the details,” Rice says. “I’m looking forward to working with such experienced operating partners like Emerald Sound Wings. I’m excited to get started.”
Before joining the NFL in 2007, Rice attended the University of South Carolina where he played football from 2004 to 2006 before being drafted by the Minnesota Vikings. He signed a five-year contract with the Seattle Seahawks in 2011, where he currently plays at wide receiver.
Rice joins the ranks of other professional athletes who have partnered with the award-winning chicken wing chain, including former NFL players Willie McGinest, Ron Stone, and Shawntae Spencer, NBA’s Drew Gooden and Voshon Lenard, and the chain’s national spokesperson and Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman.