Smoothie King Teams Up with the Challenged Athletes Foundation to Expand its Purpose-Driven Mission

Smoothie King in Houston, Texas expands its purpose-driven mission by teaming up with the Challenged Athletes Foundation.

When a company teams up with a nonprofit organization, it’s important the two have something in common to ensure they are compatible. Smoothie King and the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) have very similar missions, making them ideal partners for working to improve the lifestyles of the people they are involved with. The leading smoothie franchise company recently partnered with the foundation that provides fitness and athletic opportunities to people with physical challenges.

Smoothie King, whose purpose is to inspire people to live a healthy and active lifestyle, is assisting the Challenged Athletes Foundation provide grants for adaptive sports equipment, training and competition expenses. Dollars raised by Smoothie King also fund CAF’s commitment to mentorship and building a supportive and inspiring community. By donating 25 cents from each bottle of Hydrate and Help spring water sold, Smoothie King aims to fund grants totaling $150,000 that will help acquire the sports equipment. Smoothie King is also kicked off the partnership by donating money to the Challenged Athletes Foundation each time the New Orleans Pelicans block a shot at the Smoothie King Center during the 2016-2017 basketball season.

Missions Accomplished

In 2017, the Challenged Athletes Foundation distributed 2,448 grants to recipients – a 17 percent increase over 2016 – ranging in age from 5 to 83 participating in 97 sports. The foundation helps people with the following physical challenges and more:

  • Amputation
  • Paraplegia
  • Visual impairment
  • Spina bifida
  • Cerebral palsy

The top 10 sports where the Challenged Athletes Foundation helped someone participate with a grant include:

  • Wheelchair basketball
  • Track and field
  • Beep baseball
  • Triathlon
  • Wheelchair rugby
  • Running
  • Handcycling
  • Cycling
  • Swimming
  • Sled hockey

The grants were distributed in 49 states and Puerto Rico, and in 42 countries.

CAF has helped athletes with physical challenges go on to compete at the highest levels. For example, Alana Nichols, who was paralyzed in a 2002 snowboarding accident, received a grant soon after her accident for a basketball wheelchair. She went on to win a gold medal in the 2008 Paralympics as part of the Wheelchair Basketball Team. In the 2010 Winter Paralympics in Vancouver, she won two gold medals, a silver medal and a bronze medal in downhill skiing. She also participated in the Sochi Winter Paralympics in 2014, where she won a silver medal. And in 2018, Alana will be on the downhill ski team, once again, competing in PyeongChang, South Korea.

Expanding Mission

Smoothie King, with more than 900 stores worldwide and experiencing tremendous growth, saw an opportunity to expand its mission in a meaningful way.

“Both Smoothie King and the Challenged Athletes Foundation are purpose-driven, and we both want to help improve and promote healthy lifestyles,” said Wan Kim, CEO of Smoothie King. “It makes sense for us to share our success with a like-minded organization. We blend smoothies to meet each guest’s purpose, whether it’s to slim down, firm up or simply feel better, as part of a sensible diet and regular exercise routine. The Challenged Athletes Foundation provides opportunities to people with physical challenges to meet their athletic and fitness goals – which boosts self-esteem, promotes independence and enriches quality of life.”

Good for All Involved

While supporting CAF impacts the lives of many individuals living wiuth permanent physical challenges, this partnership will help create a culture of doing good, giving back and promoting a healthy lifestyle for everyone.  This partnership will help:

  • Boost Morale – Franchisees and their store’s team will feel good about helping others with challenges to achieve their purpose. Smoothie King franchisees already do this by providing custom blended smoothies. But, Smoothie King’s partnership with CAF provides them and their teams with another way to feel good through helping other people and rallying around a common cause.
  • Attract Talent – Compassion for others is attractive. Helping a charitable organization has the potential to expand the pool of candidates. Millennials, the largest demographic in the workforce, want to work for companies with a heart and a clearly communicated purpose.
  • Generate Positive Associations – When a company does something good, consumers view the brand in a positive light. Consumers then want to reward it by becoming a customer. Purpose driven brands are winning more with consumers.

Helping others is in Smoothie King’s DNA; the company and its franchisees have participated in disaster relief efforts and partnered with the Make-A-Wish Foundation in years past. And this new venture represents a deeper commitment to giving back in a way that aligns with our mission.

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