Tulsa High School Sports Magazine Expands Franchises to Three New Markets

Following only one year of print in the Tulsa area, “High School Sports — The Magazine” (HSSTM) has now sold four franchises, expanding to three new markets: Oklahoma City and two in Arkansas.
Lynn Mitchell, founder and CEO of the magazine, made the sale public on September 1st announcing that Kevin Hern (long time Oklahoma McDonald’s franchisee) had not only purchased the three new markets, but the original Tulsa magazine as well. Hern plans to launch the OKC magazine in December and the Arkansas publications by the end of the current school year.
“Our magazine is about the local high school athletes — their schools, programs and fans. It is a community-minded magazine that the public has enthusiastically embraced.” Mitchell said. “Our goal is to expand nationwide through franchising and getting our proven system into the hands of local franchisees who know the communities and markets in which they are launching.”
A “High School Sports — The Magazine” franchise fee starts at $30,000, with a total expected initial investment ranging from $150,000 to $300,000, depending on the size of the market. Chief Financial Officer, Robert Haefner defines the initial investment as working capital for operations and printing, editing, writers, photography and sales staff.
“We’re handing people a business model,” Mitchell said. “We’re showing them the path they can follow to success, so people don’t have to figure it out on their own. Launching a magazine isn’t easy, you need someone to show you the ropes.” According to Mitchell, interested parties from 36 different cities across the country have contacted the corporate office in Tulsa for more information about a High School Sports the Magazine franchise.
Haefner declares the flood of inquiries as “very encouraging” given the fact that HSSTM has not even begun to market the availability of franchises outside of a single sentence across the bottom of each issue simply stating “Franchises available: 800-614-8061”. Haefner considers the response an indication of the increasing popularity of high school sports, and the potential success of the concept.
The Tulsa magazine was launched in July 2005 by Mitchell who had recently sold another publication he owned in Oklahoma City. Looking for another opportunity in the publishing industry, his love of high school sports and the Tulsa community became the perfect combination.
“The level of competition in high school sports has become more intense over the last several years,” he said. “People want to know who the next big college star is going to be or in some cases, maybe even the next Lebron James headed straight to the NBA. In either case we intend to highlight those kids with our magazine. I think our timing is perfect.”
When asked if the format would work in other markets as well as Tulsa Haefner responded, “What we’ve found is that people across the country keep making the same statement when talking with us, ‘you’ll never believe how big high school sports are where we live.’ I think it’s because parents love their kids everywhere, so high school sports are big everywhere.”

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