Ty Law, left, formerly of the New England Patriots, and Rob Arnold are co-founders of Launch Entertainment.
Ty Law, co-founder of Launch Entertainment, at first didn’t think much of the trampoline park business when he visited one several years ago.
“I couldn’t find it. It was in the middle of nowhere. It smelt like feet,” said Law in an interview yesterday about the evolution of the industry. Law is a former New England Patriots cornerback who was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this year.
“At the same time, when I was leaving—damn, the busloads of kids,” he noticed pouring in, and he began counting them enter the park. “I started saying, there’s $12, $12, $12,” referring to the entrance fees. “I felt there was something to it.”
The result is Launch, co-founded with Rob Arnold in Rhode Island in 2011, which caused Law to change course after retiring from the NFL. “I was looking into franchising in food when I got done playing,” he said, but then considered becoming a franchisee in a competing trampoline park concept that he declined to name.
When the franchisor found out Law was involved, he said, they jacked up the franchise fee. “They thought I was a dumb jock,” he surmises. “We thought we could do it ourselves,” so he visited competing parks in Texas, Florida, California and New York to get ideas.
At one point Law heard that Drew Brees, quarterback for the New Orleans Saints who is also a Jimmy John’s franchisee and an equity partner in the Walk-On’s Bistreaux and Bar franchise, was considering getting into the trampoline park business, but the pair didn’t necessarily want a fellow NFL-er to attract attention at a competitor. So Law called him up to discuss.
“He’s a smart guy and you never know,” said Law, musing about the possibilities if two Hall of Fame-level players one day get together at Launch.“We talk the same language.”
Besides, joked Arnold about Brees, “Ty already had a track record of intercepting him.”
Arnold and Law have radically changed their original Launch concept, which we’ll cover in an upcoming story in Franchise Times, notably growing average unit volumes by 60 percent in one of its second generation parks.