Episodes of The Sport Clips Haircuts Hall of Fame Podcast - Gordon Logan

Red Banner with HOF Episode

In this episode recorded in July of 2018, we interview Gordon Logan. Gordon is the CEO and Founder of Sport Clips and is an icon in the haircare industry. In this episode, he discusses the circumstances that lead to the creation of Sport Clips, including early obstacles and challenges he and the brand had to overcome. Gordon shares a number of behind-the-scenes stories and secrets to his success and the growth of the haircut giant, Sport Clips.

Gordon Logan and Chad Jordan holding microphones

Episode Air Date Guest Name Guest Title Topic(s)
July 18, 2018 Gordon Logan CEO & Founder of Sport Clips, Inc. Discussion on what lead to the creation of Sport Clips and the early days of the brand.

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Chad Jordan:               Hey, everybody. Thanks for joining us today. This is another edition of Sport Clips Hall of Fame podcast. This is Chad Jordan. I'm the Director of Digital Marketing here at Sport Clips. And excited because I am joined today by, who do we have with us?

Gordon Logan:              Hi, I'm Gordon Logan, CEO and Founder of Sport Clips.

Chad Jordan:                So, surprise, we have Gordon with us today. He is literally THE Sport Clips Hall of Fame. When we named this, we actually named it after him. It just took me a couple months to finally wrangle Gordon down and get him here, but we're going to have a good time. What we want to do today, if you listened to the last podcast we had with Julie Vargas, first of all it's tremendous. Make sure you go back and listen to that. We took a leap back 25 years ago to 1993, and we went in a DeLorean, the Back to the Future time machine now. Gordon is a big car fan. I don't know if you guys knew that out there. But his car is more ... So, I think your time machine would have to be more of a Jaguar, is that what we think?

Gordon Logan:              Well, it could be a Jaguar. That works. I still have my '69 Jaguar that I bought new in 1969.

Chad Jordan:                So, we might retrofit that-

Gordon Logan:              Yeah, it could work.

Chad Jordan:                ... to be a time machine. In fact, if you ever make it out to ... We're here in Georgetown, Texas. If you ever make it out to the Sport Clips headquarters, there is a garage full of ... Your favorite car over there. Which one would that be?

Gordon Logan:              Well, that'd have to be 1928 Packard that my father bought new in 1928.

Chad Jordan:                And that's the one after the podcast you said I'd get a chance to drive if things go well. Is that right?

Gordon Logan:              A long time after the podcast, yes.

Chad Jordan:                Okay, we'll see. Chances are this podcast will not go well enough for me to do that. But so, we take a drive back. We go 88 miles an hour, and we go back to 1990. Actually, I don't even want to go back to 1993. Can we go back a little bit further? Because what I'm really interested in is what is going on in your life in the early 90s in which you begin to think, "Hey, there's something else I want out of life." I mean, you were an Air Force veteran.

Gordon Logan:              Mm-hmm (affirmative), correct.

Chad Jordan:                CPA.

Gordon Logan:              That's correct.

Chad Jordan:                MIT graduate, Ivy League MBA. There's probably a bunch of other things thrown in there. In the late 80s, early 90s, has that entrepreneur spirit already to kind of burst forth, or are you starting to dip your toe in the water? What's going on around you?

Gordon Logan:              Well, I'd been in the salon industry for 12 years or so by the early 90s. Opened my first salon in Austin in 1979, February of '79. I had been in business for myself for quite some time running salons all over Texas. Had salons in Austin and in Dallas-Ft. Worth area out in Abilene, Waco, Temple. Opportunity came for me and another franchisee to purchase the franchise that we were in called Command Performance at the time. In December of 1991, we become franchisors. That's really the background of where we were.

Chad Jordan:                You went from being a franchisee to now being a franchisor with this partner.

Gordon Logan:              Correct.

Chad Jordan:                Are we talking a dozen locations? Are we talking ...

Gordon Logan:              At that time, we probably had about 100 locations.

Chad Jordan:                Throughout?

Gordon Logan:              Throughout, I don't know, 20, 30 states.

Chad Jordan:                Wow.

Gordon Logan:              Quite a few.

Chad Jordan:                Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Gordon Logan:              The system had been in bankruptcy. It had been bought and sold several times, so it was not in the best of shape.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah.

Gordon Logan:              We worked on that system for several years trying to rejuvenate it and get it re-energized, and people had been going their own way for too long. There was very little consistency in the system. We had a lot of-

Chad Jordan:                Issues with operational control.

Gordon Logan:              Very difficult.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah.

Gordon Logan:              And so, we had a lot of franchisees who had been in the business for quite some time and they were looking for exit strategies. We then started looking into the future and what trends we felt like were developing and where the opportunities were. Twenty-five years ago, no one was paying any attention to the men and boys market.

Chad Jordan:                This was mostly a female salon? Guys would come to it, but…

Gordon Logan:              That's right, it was ... We had both men and women as clients, mostly women. We started looking out into the future where we wanted to be in 20, 30 years. We felt like it was more productive, would be more productive for us to create a unique concept that would take advantage of the vanishing barbershops. Back in the early 90s, traditional barbershops were going away and there weren't very many young barbers coming along, so men really didn't have a good option. We felt like if we created the concept specifically for men and boys, that would be an opportunity that would carry a long, long way.

Chad Jordan:                Why sports and not a dinosaur themed or LEGO or whatever else men and boys ... What was it about sports that just made it seem to click?

Gordon Logan:              Well, we thought about the Hair Force, but then said, "Well, no. That's ..."

Chad Jordan:                You thought you might get sued by your old employer, right?

Gordon Logan:              Right. Once we decided to focus on men and boys, sport became kind of a natural for two reasons. One was to cut through the marketing clutter to get people's attention when you were trying to advertise, and two was to create the environment and the ambiance. Our goal was when a man or boy walked through the front door, they'd look around and say, "Okay, this is my kind of place. I feel comfortable here." We felt like sports was a good way to do that.

Chad Jordan:                So, you landed ... So, now we're around 1992, right?

Gordon Logan:              Correct.

Chad Jordan:                That's kind of where we are.

Gordon Logan:              That's correct. That's when we were in the thought process, yeah.

Chad Jordan:                How do you go about at that time ... I assume you've had experience, so now you're putting the system together. You're putting the layout of the first store ... How do you pick where the first location is?

Gordon Logan:              It wasn't easy, and there really weren't many options in Austin at that time. Texas was still in the tail-end of a recession, almost a depression in Texas back then. Hadn't been any new shopping centers built in quite some time, so the options for location were limited, especially for a brand new startup concept. We picked one that was on a high traffic area, easy to find, major intersection in northwest Austin. It wasn't an ideal center. Had a dance studio on one side.

Chad Jordan:                I heard about that.

Gordon Logan:              Which Julie told you about that. A nail salon on the other side, and an Indian restaurant on one side, and a Cajun restaurant called Pearl's Oyster Bar that subsequently burned down when they were having Elvis' birthday party one night.

Chad Jordan:                Wow. They could have used the flooding from the first day's location to help, yeah.

Gordon Logan:              It could have worked. Could have worked, yeah. We came up with a location that today we probably wouldn't put a Sport Clips in, but at the time it was the best we could do, so we made it work.

Chad Jordan:                It was judicious, yeah.

Gordon Logan:              We made it work. I think it really points out Julie did a fantastic job for us as our manager, and if you run a good operation within the four walls, real estate is not as important.

Chad Jordan:                It's not location, location, location.

Gordon Logan:              That's correct.

Chad Jordan:                It's operation, operation, operation.

Gordon Logan:              Yeah, that's right.

Chad Jordan:                A question that I got just burning in my brain from my time with Julie. She told me the very first day the store opened, you were at a wedding. Did John Paul, did he pick the wedding date first or the grand opening date? Which of those two? Was that the chicken and egg thing? How did that work out that his wedding just happened to be on what turned out to be one of the most important days of your life?

Gordon Logan:              Well, in hindsight, I don't know why we didn't postpone the grand opening a week or accelerated it a week.

Chad Jordan:                Did you ask him to postpone the wedding? That's the real question.

Gordon Logan:              Didn't think of that, Chad. Didn't think of that. But we felt like it was important to be there at the wedding for relationship purposes, and JP and Eloise got to be good friends. It was quite an event. It was a wedding of a lifetime, trust me, up in the hills of Malibu in a 30,000 square foot mansion they'd built up there on the top of two hills they leveled. The guest list was like Hollywood, and Robin Leach was there doing-

Chad Jordan:                Oh my God, yeah.

Gordon Logan:              ... interviews for the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. Who was the leader singer for The Who? Roger Daltrey-

Chad Jordan:                Oh my God.

Gordon Logan:              ... was singing You Are So Beautiful to Eloise when she came down.

                                    Cher was there. Daryl Hannah was there.

Chad Jordan:                I think you're giving us some good ideas for some grand ... You remember this. This is like a grand opening's first day. Maybe you could have brought a little bit of that…

Gordon Logan:              That would have been great. Unfortunately, we were not here when it happened. We called in Saturday morning to see how things were going. Karen Haney, that Julie talked about a good bit yesterday, was our vice president of operations, and only time I ever heard Karen cry when she answered the phone.

Chad Jordan:                It was flooded.

Gordon Logan:              "How's things going, Karen?" and she was bawling. "You wouldn't believe what happened. We left last night at midnight and everything was perfect. We came in this morning at 7:00, and the whole salon-"

Chad Jordan:                Just the frustration alone of having left a pristine and gotten everything right, only to have it really washed away.

Gordon Logan:              She was very resourceful and she got some emergency people out there to help clean up the water and put the heaters and everything. I think they opened around noon.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah. That's, yeah, that's amazing.

Gordon Logan:              Didn't slow us down that much, and didn't do so much damage to our shop, but-

Chad Jordan:                Yeah, that…

Gordon Logan:              ... the dance people weren't too happy with us.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah, I bet. Free haircuts for life. Do you have any other, since we're still looking at 1993, any memories from that first year or two? Any struggles, challenges that you had to overcome or some highlights that you care to share with us?

Gordon Logan:              Well, we had a lot of ... The process of developing, you asked me earlier about how did we develop the concept, we did have a foundation in it. We'd been working within a franchise system for quite some time, and we had an eight step play in the command performance. We pared that down to a five step. Actually, we conformed that five point play to the Paul Mitchell five point system they had for training salons and hairstylists. Slightly different version, but we were using Paul Mitchell training programs and advisor programs as a pattern for our training programs.

Chad Jordan:                Was that like a wedding favor that they let you ... Since you came to the wedding, we'll give you this five point ...

Gordon Logan:              Well, JP was always very, and Luke were very good to us and cooperative. We had known them for some years at that point. We adopted a lot of their philosophies and training programs and used a lot of their trainers. The cutting system that we came up with, All Star cutting system using the clock as a reference point, we used a couple of Paul Mitchell trainers who had developed that. Tommy Callahan working with some other folks had developed the cutting system, and it was primarily for female, but we adapted it to men's cuts.

Chad Jordan:                So Tommy goes 25 years back with Sport Clips.

Gordon Logan:              Absolutely, absolutely.

Chad Jordan:                Oh my God. Wow.

Gordon Logan:              Known Tommy longer than that. We're very tight. When we first opened up, we were 100% Paul Mitchell. That's the only product we carried for about four or five years, and then American Crew got to be popular and I called JP and said, "JP, I know we've been-"

Chad Jordan:                "Even though I was at your wedding the first day we were open ..."

Gordon Logan:              "I know we've been 100% Paul Mitchell," but he said, "Whatever you think's best. Whatever's going to make Sport Clips more successful." We added the American Crew in the late 90s as our second line. The design, we knew in our mind what we wanted to create. Working with salon designers, every design they came back looked like a beauty salon with some posters on the wall. Just weren't happy. Our trade association was having a meeting, our annual meeting out in Phoenix, that January. We had hired a retail store consultant designer to come in and look at some of our members' salons and give us pointers about how better to merchandise products. I thought those ladies did a fantastic job on that, and I said, "I think that's who we need to design our store." We literally had the blueprints, we were permitted, we were ready to go. And we, with the-

Chad Jordan:                With the other layout that you were going to go with.

Gordon Logan:              And so we threw it in the trash and started all over. They did a bang up job for us. They did a great job for us.

Chad Jordan:                Best decision, yeah. One of the best decisions you guys made in the early days.

Gordon Logan:              They captured the spirit of what we were looking for.

Chad Jordan:                Now, were you looking ... I remember talking to Julie. She said there's some concepts, I think it was Planet Diva if I remember right.

Gordon Logan:              Yes, that's right. That's a good memory.

Chad Jordan:                That that was intended to be in a mall, right?

Gordon Logan:              Yes, that was a mall-based concept.

Chad Jordan:                But did you have the vision that Sport Clips could pretty much go anywhere, or were you aiming for strip malls, or malls, stand alones? Again, in our time machine here in the early 90s, what was your thought around that?

Gordon Logan:              Well, we actually had three concepts. We still had the Command Performance, which was a full service salon.

Chad Jordan:                Everywhere? I mean, or was that in malls mostly?

Gordon Logan:              Both.

Chad Jordan:                Okay.

Gordon Logan:              Both. We did have one in the mall where we put Planet Diva. We envisioned a three tier program that we were thinking we'd hire young stylists, perhaps right out of school, in Sport Clips and train them like in evenings or whatever on how to do perms and colors and ladies hair styles, and then promote them up to Command Performance, and then take our best stylists out of Command Performance and put them in Planet Diva, which was higher end.

Chad Jordan:                So, going upscale from Sport Clips all the way up to Diva, yeah.

Gordon Logan:              Right. What we quickly found was the stylists who were really passionate about Sport Clips didn't want to go.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah. Don't throw me in that briar patch. Let me stay here, yeah.

Gordon Logan:              They had no desire to go do perms, colors, and ladies hair in Command Performance, so that didn't work out so red hot. We've came to the conclusion fairly quickly that Sport Clips was where we wanted to focus our attentions, and so we sold our Command Performance and the Planet Diva in the mall to Regis Corporation. It was buying a lot of salons back then. Also, we negotiated with Paul Finkelstein, the CEO of Regis, that our Command Performance franchisees that were looking for an exit strategy, we would introduce them, facilitate, and they would pay us a termination fee to compensate us for lost royalties. They bought 75 or 80 Command Performances, almost all of them around the country, and that's where we got the seed money to start-

Chad Jordan:                So they helped finance-

Gordon Logan:              Oh, absolutely.

Chad Jordan:                ... everything that came about.

Gordon Logan:              Absolutely. I reminded Paul about that many times.

Chad Jordan:                Now HE wants a time machine so he can go back. Did you know early on, yeah, within a year or two that, "Hey, we got something here"? I know you're confident in that this was going to work, but now that you realize, "We don't need the three tier. We got this one-"

Gordon Logan:              Exactly.

Chad Jordan:                ... was it pretty instantaneous within a year, two years, you're like this is it.

Gordon Logan:              It took us six to twelve months to really get the kinks worked out of Sport Clips to really get it start moving in the right direction where we felt comfortable. Then we perfected the cutting system, the training programs, all the operating manuals, the marketing programs and so forth, and started franchising two and a half years later in November of '95.

Chad Jordan:                How many people ... Just thinking about this. Julie, I know, was managing, but she was probably also doing some of the office stuff that you're describing here, putting together operations manuals or anything like that?

Gordon Logan:              No, not so much. Nancy Vandiver, who's our vice president of education, who had also been vice president of education for Command Performance, so I've known Nancy for 10 years at that time. She and Karen had a lot to do with that, and I actually hired a consultant company out of Houston, a franchise consultant company, to help us put the manuals together.

Chad Jordan:                Right, excellent. We're now two, three, four, five locations all around Austin, or has it started spreading out from the hot spot here?

Gordon Logan:              Well, the first franchise location we had was in Houston. That opened in November of '95.

Chad Jordan:                Was that ... That team leader at the time was ...

Gordon Logan:              Jean Booth.

Chad Jordan:                You're kidding. I didn't know that.

Gordon Logan:              She was partners with a lady that was a vice president of something or another back then who she had worked with in a consulting firm out of Houston.

Chad Jordan:                Did they move to Houston and run the store?

Gordon Logan:              Jean always lived-

Chad Jordan:                Gotcha.

Gordon Logan:              She'd been living in Houston for quite some time.

Chad Jordan:                Okay.

Gordon Logan:              And Jenny lived in Houston, so they were there and that store opened in '95. Then we opened three, I think, company stores in Austin area in '96, plus another franchise location, two more franchise locations in Houston, I think...

Chad Jordan:                Did you know, was it easier now picking locations, you didn't have to just go somewhere or at this point the recession is maybe over?

Gordon Logan:              We were coming out of it by then, there was some new construction, new shopping centers going on. There was one in Houston, Jean and I were the real estate department, back then. We all had multiple hats back then, Jean was real estate and field operations, running that and team leader and marketing and I was kinda the chief cook and bottle washer where ever I needed to be. I tried to help out, so Jean and I visited I'm sure every real estate developer in Houston and Austin, trying to convince them to take a shot with this new start up franchise.

                                    One of the funniest ones was, there was a center there in Houston, right across from the Galleria that we still have a store in and it was a brand new shopping center, upscale shopping center by Weingarten and the lady who was in charge of it, who is still with Weingarten, her vision was upscale. Upstairs, it was a two level deal, upstairs they had a nice salon, Morton Steakhouse, they had a FAO Schwarz which is gone now but it was like a super upscale toy store there. Very very nice shopping center, Patty Bender was her name, she didn't understand our concept and we explained it to her, showed her the pictures and so forth. She said, you know I just don't understand why would anybody want to watch sports while getting a haircut.

                                    Our real estate agent knew she was married and had a kid, had a son. So I gave her a couple of free haircut coupons and said why don't you give this to your husband and your son and let them go try it and tell you what they think. So she called me a week later and says, well they loved it. I still don't get it but okay we'll cut a deal.

Chad Jordan:                That's a great example of some on the ground marketing. Giving out a couple of free haircuts and look what you got out of it.

Gordon Logan:              We got a really-that store did really well almost from day one.

Chad Jordan:                That's tremendous. You've been mentioning some names, I want to know some more about these, they could be sung or unsung heroes, some of the early contributors to Sports Clips success and what they meant to especially in those early to mid 90s to the growth of Sports Clips. Can you give me some people?

Gordon Logan:              Well, Karin, Nancy and Julie were probably the three that had the most to do and Jean Booth. We had a very small support team back then.

Chad Jordan:                Nothing like the five buildings and everything you have going on here now.

Gordon Logan:              Well, we were in the building, which we call Building 1 where my office is. I moved into that building in December of 91. So I think we had a lady that answered the phones, a bookkeeper and I think one other person. That was it and then Nancy, Karin and Jean, so that small group got a lot done in a relatively short period of time. Although, the first five years were a struggle, it took five years to get 50 locations up and all in Texas.

Chad Jordan:                Okay.

Gordon Logan:              Started here, went to Houston and then we went to San Antonio, had a couple of locations down there and then I can't remember it was around 2000 we went to Dallas. Mark Mansfield was one of the first franchisees we had up there.

Chad Jordan:                What had he been doing at the time?

Gordon Logan:              He was selling software for something to do with Alpatch and his client, he traveled a lot. He was a super platinum plus on Southwest Airlines, in fact the only Dallas Cowboys game I've ever been to was from tickets from Southwest Airlines gave to Mark because he was such a great customer. He was spending a lot of time in Houston and was one of his clients and their office was a couple of blocks away from our Sports Clip there, so he was getting his hair cut at Sports Clips, that is how he got introduced to us.

Chad Jordan:                He started as a client and now he is “Jan and Mark Mansfield”

Gordon Logan:              I remember the most difficult part of the thing. Mark wanted to negotiate the franchise agreement and we had a clause in there, I think it's still in there, that if a franchisee went public that we could charge them $25,000 for legal fees to review it because if you go public there is a lot of review and SCC and this that and the other and Mark didn't like that. Best to my knowledge he hasn't gone public yet.

Chad Jordan:                Its only been twenty some years or whatever so give him some time. I'd like to know something about- 25 years ago there is a young boy by the name of Edward-

Gordon Logan:              Yes.

Chad Jordan:                Riding bike, was he going by Gordon, GE, what was he going by?

Gordon Logan:              Well, we called him Gordon Edward for years.

Chad Jordan:                Gordon Edward okay, so Gordon Edward he is five, six, seven years old when you started.

Gordon Logan:              Well let's see in 93 he would have been seven years old.

Chad Jordan:                Seven, so is he in there as a coordinator? Is he sweeping up, because there were no vacuums back then I believe.

Gordon Logan:              Oh absolutely there were vacuums.

Chad Jordan:                There were vacuums?

Gordon Logan:              Absolutely.

Chad Jordan:                In 1993?

Gordon Logan:              From day one.

Chad Jordan:                Wow, I love it.

Gordon Logan:              From day one.

Chad Jordan:                So he knows not to bring in his own broom. Is he in the store helping out and kinda learning that kind of stuff or is he playing with legos?

Gordon Logan:              When we had the grand opening there at TX 101, we had a radio station do a remote, and the Coors girls came by.

Chad Jordan:                Oh I like where this is going.

Gordon Logan:              He really enjoyed it.

Chad Jordan:                All of a sudden he took a new interest in dad's line of work.

Gordon Logan:              I think this is alright dad.

Chad Jordan:                So he is now President, COO.

Gordon Logan:              Yes he is.

Chad Jordan:                You have literally seen him grow up in Sports Clips.

Gordon Logan:              Oh absolutely.

Chad Jordan:                Can you give me some proud dad moments of where you kinda seen him grow and what he is doing now?

Gordon Logan:              You know its interesting how kids develop and from a very early age he had an interest in the business. I had my office in the home until 91 and when he was just a little fella he hears us answering the phone, "Command Performance, may I help you?"

                                    And one day, he was maybe two years old and the phone rang, he picked it up "Command Performance, may I help you?". So he has always been interested in it. He worked in the office after school or in the summers and we still do review all the plans for the stores to make sure things are conformed and so forth and I trained him on how to review the plans. So while he was in college even, he reviewed plans for us, paid him $100 for every plan he reviewed which was a good deal for us and it gave him some beer money so it worked out.

Chad Jordan:                I'm sure it went to good use.

Gordon Logan:              We agreed that once he gets out of school he would go to work somewhere else for a couple of years to get some experience.

Chad Jordan:                Why?

Gordon Logan:              We felt like it would be good to see the real world.

Chad Jordan:                Was it to make sure that he wanted this.

Gordon Logan:              That is what he wanted to do.

Chad Jordan:                That he wasn't trapped or anything?

Gordon Logan:              Correct. So it was his call whether he wanted to come back or not. He worked for Deloitte Consulting, which is first rate operation for a couple of years, got some really good experience and came back to us in January 2010.

Chad Jordan:                Okay.

Gordon Logan:              So a little over eight years ago. He started working with Betty, my wife Betty, was running our company stores at the time, which I think at the time we had 14.

Chad Jordan:                14 and now?

Gordon Logan:              70.

Chad Jordan:                70 and this is July 2018 so who knows how many more.

Gordon Logan:              He started out running a single location, he was responsible for a single location.

Chad Jordan:                Which one?

Gordon Logan:              I think it was TX 101 but I wouldn't swear to it.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah okay.

Gordon Logan:              He did well there, so Betty have him half a dozen in North Austin or something like that. Did well there so eventually-

Chad Jordan:                What was he doing while running that?

Gordon Logan:              Working with the managers and you know support. Manager training and support and helping them with scheduling. Whatever needed to be done, just like a team leader would and doing some marketing as well. Eventually he became really good at store operations so Betty kinda faded into the background and let Edward.

Chad Jordan:                She saw the writing on the wall and she saw a great pivot point for her. I got some guy here who can help out.

Gordon Logan:              It worked out. Betty is a stylist so she'd been in the business a long long time and she is very good at operating salons also and was doing a good job but she saw that Edward was really taking off so he became in charge of our company stores. At the time we had a Vice President of Operations, Connie Boltinghouse who worked with Mark Clark at Regis for years, 15 years, ten or 15 years and she retired and went back to school I think and got her Divinity degree, master’s degree. I met Connie through a mutual friend who had worked with her for a long long time and she became our Vice President of Operations, came out of retirement.

Chad Jordan:                So retired from Regis and had some time in ministry and then came here.

Gordon Logan:              She came out of retirement and with our understanding that it was probably a five year, it was about how long she wanted to work and so forth and I thought that would be really good for Edward to work with Connie for that length of time.

Chad Jordan:                For her and help grow in the role

Gordon Logan:              Yeah right, so he worked with Connie for four or five years and when she retired he became Vice President of Operations and later got promoted to Chief Operating Officer and then in April was promoted to President.

Chad Jordan:                And things are now coming along, great year?

Gordon Logan:              We are really having a really good year. Things are running well and I am freed up to some degree. Edward is taking care of more of the day to day operations that I had been looking after and that works out well for everybody. I'm just gradually kinda backing off here and there.

Chad Jordan:                I see on social media that you are visiting stores, they're looping in to be coordinator. So I've seen you cleaning up after, I actually love that part where you come in not just to sign autographs but you're there to help, to build up.

Gordon Logan:              I enjoy visiting stores. I was up in Minnesota week before last and Chicago, in about two weeks I'm going to be in northern Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, Tennessee.

Chad Jordan:                So there are, you might know the exact number, 1700 in the US. 1700 and-

Gordon Logan:              30.

Chad Jordan:                1730 locations and Canada has?

Gordon Logan:              40.

Chad Jordan:                Okay. You're way better at math than I am anyway so I was told there would be no math on this podcast but out of those, how many do you think you have actually stepped foot inside? A couple hundred?

Gordon Logan:              Well over half I'd say.

Chad Jordan:                Wow okay.

Gordon Logan:              Including quite a few in Canada.

Chad Jordan:                So, a couple more things and then I'll let you get out of here. You mention Betty and you mention that she by trade and nature is a stylist, so does that factor in to where you were in the late 70s deciding to do the whole Command Performance thing or the 80s, 90s or whatever. Has that fed into your love for this industry and the fact that you're married to a stylist?

Gordon Logan:              I like to tell people that I'm not a stylist but I like stylist so much I married one.

Chad Jordan:                Excellent.

Gordon Logan:              I met Betty when I was running Command Performances.

Chad Jordan:                Okay.

Gordon Logan:              Okay, Betty came, we met after I had been in business for about two years, something like that.

Chad Jordan:                Excellent and so I imagine, what I have seen about stylist their care for people, how they want people to feel better, look better all that kind of stuff, so that has certainly been at the heart of everything you've done with Sports Clips.

Gordon Logan:              There is no question that Betty has had a big influence on my philosophies and we work together for years, running salons and then she kinda retired when the kids, our daughter was born in 89 and then she came back in 06 to help run, not help but to run our company stores. We've worked together for a long long time.

Chad Jordan:                That's why she needed a break because she worked together with you so long so you are traveling quite a bit now, now that you've transitioned some of the stuff off. Do you guys get go together, are you taking her on some of these and other fun things?

Gordon Logan:              It depends, some things we were in South Carolina we were visiting, I forgot about that I was in South Carolina last month too.

Chad Jordan:                Your home state?

Gordon Logan:              And Georgia, visiting with Bill and Maryann Vogtel down there. We were there in South Carolina for IFA, International Franchises Association board meeting, so that is one of the things I'm spending a lot of time on, trade associations, our chain salon franchises, ISBN I ended up being active in for many many years, president for eight years I think it was. I can't remember it seemed like eight but it might have been four.

Chad Jordan:                To everyone else it seemed like eight but to you-

Gordon Logan:              I was on the board for like 10 or 12 and still very active with that and we have a coalition called Future of Beauty Industry Coalition working for change in regulations, the way our industry is regulated in the states so that was one of the reasons I was in Minnesota, meeting with that group as well. VFW Foundation Board, USO Advisory Board up in Fort Hood, I'm involved in a lot of things, I'm still busy but the pressure is off as far as day to day operations.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah, exactly you don't feel everything on your shoulders in terms of keeping the plates spinning.

Gordon Logan:              We have such a great leadership here, the whole leadership team is just outstanding so I feel very comfortable that it is in very good hands.

Chad Jordan:                And we are probably later this year going to do a separate podcast on this topic but I did want to ask one or two questions around our charitable partnerships and obviously you being a veteran we are very veteran focused company, not just with Helping Heroes and other things but a lot of franchisees, team leaders that are veterans as well. Can you describe some of the positive experiences you've seen over the years that Sports Clips makes in the communities or even nationally with some of this charitable work?

Gordon Logan:              Well I think the most obvious example is our Help a Hero program with the VFW and we have raised over $6 million for the VFW Foundation and we started out funding essentially all the free phone calls home for troops overseas and in hospitals. As the troops started coming home and the need for those phone calls decreased we still fund that but we shifted our emphasis to a scholarship program. We have awarded over $4 million is scholarships, roughly a thousand scholarships have been awarded and we've helped people get everything from commercial truck driver license to law school and medical school.

Chad Jordan:                Wow.

Gordon Logan:              It's a whole gamut.

Chad Jordan:                How do they qualify for that, is there a process, a form?

Gordon Logan:              Yeah we have a third party company that the VFW Foundation retains and that is what their business is. Helping select people for scholarship so we have a ranking system. Veterans can apply through the VFW Foundation website and then the third party company goes through all the applications and ranks them and makes recommendations for what it is. We still could use a lot more funding, only about 15 or 16% of the applications we get we are able to fund, so there is a big need there.

Chad Jordan:                What we will do with this podcast is we will get a transcription and I will link to that process for this part of the conversation, so that people can both request and is there a donate button on the VFW site?

Gordon Logan:              I'm sure there is but it is on our website too, so if somebody does donate through the VFW make sure they note that it is Help a Hero scholarship program. We also work with the Red Cross every September in their blood drive coming up, Matt Lewis and his team in North Carolina started that program, geez five, six years ago and it became regional program and we adopted it as a national program.

Gordon Logan:              Yeah, and it became a regional program, and then we adopted it as a national program, which has helped them set records for blood donations.

Chad Jordan:                Cause, what do they do? They do free haircuts for if you donate blood-

Gordon Logan:              Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                ...for the month of-

Gordon Logan:              I think 17,000 were redeemed last year. So ...

Chad Jordan:                That's a lot of blood and a lot of hair.

Gordon Logan:              Yes, both. We also do a lot of other things. We do-

Chad Jordan:                St Baldrick's?

Gordon Logan:              St Baldrick's, we're the first national sponsor of Saint Baldrick's. We committed a million dollars over three years to Saint Baldrick's, and I think we're about two years into that program. We're around-

Chad Jordan:                You still don't have your beard from when it got shaved by them…

Gordon Logan:              I do not.

Chad Jordan:                ... a couple years ago.

Gordon Logan:              Saved my mustache, but not my beard. So we're around $750-$800,000 we've raised already with another year, year and a half to go. Ageless Aviation Dreams, a great program, we're the primary sponsor on that, with the Stearman biplanes giving rides to veterans in assisted living homes.

Chad Jordan:                I love seeing those, when stores participate and put it on their social media.

Gordon Logan:              Oh, yeah.

Chad Jordan:                It's just heartwarming.

Gordon Logan:              It is. It means a lot to the veterans, and it means a lot to our team leaders.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah, exactly. It's so intrinsically rewarding, right, to go and do that.

Gordon Logan:              So, we do some other things. When I'm up in northern Virginia in a couple of weeks, we sponsor the Aleethia Foundation there, sponsors dinners every Friday night for soldiers going through rehab at Walter Reed Naval Hospital. They, and their families, and some of them are there for a long, long time. So, getting-

Chad Jordan:                This is once a year?

Gordon Logan:              They do it every Friday night.

Chad Jordan:                Oh, my God. Okay.

Gordon Logan:              We do two or three a year that we sponsor.

Chad Jordan:                Oh, okay. So, we actually sponsor a couple a year, okay.

Gordon Logan:              And so, they ... It's really nice for them and their caregiver, their family members to get off campus.

Chad Jordan:                Are we talking soup kitchen or are we talking-

Gordon Logan:              We're talking about Morton's Steakhouse.

Chad Jordan:                Oh, okay.

Gordon Logan:              Nice. Really nice. It was started by a fellow who owns a steakhouse in a hotel there in Washington, I don't know, 20 years ago. Something like that. Yeah, and it's taken on a life of its own now. So, we do a lot of dinners at the National Press Club, which is a really cool place. But, yes, first class. Then USO, locally, we do the Boys and Girls clubs. We do CASA, which is Court Appointed-

Chad Jordan:                Special Advocate.

Gordon Logan:              ... Special Advocate, yeah. We do that. We have some county child advocacy center. We do ROCK, which is Ride On Center for Kids, which is equine therapy for kids, special kids with emotional problems or autistic problems, and veterans with PTSD. So, that's a very, very worthwhile program. We're the title sponsor for the USO fundraiser every year for Fort Hood. Fort Hood's the largest military installation in the US, in the world I think. And the USO does a great job up there supporting those families.

Chad Jordan:                You guys stay busy just to fund all these charitable activities and endeavors that Sport Clips is supporting.

Gordon Logan:              Well, and there's other smaller things that we help out with, the YMCAs and so forth. But then our team leaders in our stores around the country do things on their own, too, so ... Sport Clips gives a lot back to the community, and I think that's very important. It's part of our culture. And I think that's one of the reasons why we're able to attract and retain some of the outstanding people that we do, because we are a caring, giving organization. And I would be remiss if I didn't mention the Wayne McGlone Memorial Relief Fund. As you know, Wayne was an area developer in Maryland, and had a heart attack and passed away at a very young age. And we established this program in his memory because Wayne passed away a Monday or Tuesday of a week. That weekend we lost two stylists. One was a manager, one was a stylist, in a car accident. We went like, "Oh, man."

Chad Jordan:                Yeah. How many gut punches can you take?

Gordon Logan:              So, we have 17, 18,000 people in our system. So, it's inevitably that bad things are gonna happen to good people. So, we established this fund about five years ago to help our team members when they have unexpected tragedies, serious illnesses, tornadoes, floods, car wrecked, whatever. And to date, we've awarded, I think it's $1.85 million to our team members.

Chad Jordan:                Tremendous. What about ... Two more questions.

Gordon Logan:              Okay.

Chad Jordan:                Two more questions that can have follow-ups, and then I'm gonna ask you some that I can't follow up on. So, the first question. Speaking about all this charitable activity and core values and treating others the way they want to be treated, that sort of thing, just looking back, what do you think has been, over these 25 years, one of the most rewarding parts or rewarding features of your Sport Clips experience?

Gordon Logan:              Well, one of my favorite sayings is Zig Ziglar, who is a motivational speaker, and loves ... He's not with us anymore, but he was a great speaker, motivational speaker. And one of his sayings was, "You can have everything you want if you help other people get what they want." And that's really what franchising is about. We've been able to help our team leaders achieve their dreams or goals of financial independence, and we've been able to help a lot of our team members achieve their career objectives, raise a family, buy a home. So, a lot of opportunities have been created for a lot of people that might not have been available to them otherwise. That's the most rewarding part about our experience, is seeing so many people happy and feeling good about themselves, about their personal and their professional lives. That's a great of part of what we've accomplished.

Chad Jordan:                Was that one of the main factors in the early days on why you wanted to franchise? I mean, you could have taken this, especially when you were so successful, and just kept it to yourself, and gotten financing, and done it all. Was that one of the ... What was the key reason on why franchising?

Gordon Logan:              Well, the key reason was that we recognized that if we were successful, which I intended to be, that there would be copycats, knockoffs. And I wanted to grow it from a local, to a regional, to a national brand as quickly as possible. So, that even though when copycats come along, we would be top of mind awareness when people think haircuts for men and boys. And a good example of that, is Regis Corporation started a knockoff concept six or eight years ago, called ProCuts Sport. And even with all their resources, a New York Stock Exchange company, with a huge balance sheet, was not successful. And that whole system came up and they opened 20 or 30, and they're all gone. And that's because, I think, that we had established ourselves, and other people were trying to piggyback on the sports theme and so forth, and it just didn't work.

Chad Jordan:                So, is that now a nod or kind of recognition that copycats are gonna come and mimic you out of envy? Or is there any personal offense? Like, "Here comes another one. They're even taking our colors," right, "our logo colors."

Gordon Logan:              I think the time I got insulted a little bit was when Aaron Grondin and his dad who started Roosters in Michigan, moved their headquarters to Round Rock, which is 10 miles down ...

Chad Jordan:                That one's crossing literally a state line, a county line ...

Gordon Logan:              Right in my backyard, what is this? But there's ... America's a very entrepreneurial country, so there's always going to people looking for opportunity. And they see our success, and they think, "Well, if he can do it, we can do it." So, we have a lot of competition out there. Obviously, everybody's getting their hair cut somewhere, and we have to take market share away from people that exist today, and they're trying to take market share away from us. So, that's why it's so important for us to focus on inside the four walls, and executing the five-point play. If we do that, we're just fine. We've got many locations that in the same shopping center, in some cases, literally next door to competitors like Great Clips and Hair Cuttery, Supercuts, and others. We do fine. We do fine.

Chad Jordan:                I was visiting a store in Philly-

Gordon Logan:              Yeah, in North Philly, yeah.

Chad Jordan:                And there's a-

Gordon Logan:              A Hair Cuttery. Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                ... right next door. And a mom with two kids went right by the Hair Cuttery and came into that location.

Gordon Logan:              Now, she may go next door to Hair Cuttery.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah, she might, while her kids are getting lollipops and the MVP experience next door. So, last question, and then the quick follow up questions. I know you gotta go. What is maybe the biggest change you've seen in 25 years, industry-wide, from 1993 to where we are today?

Gordon Logan:              This industry doesn't change a lot. It's very slow to change. If you think about it, it's pretty basic. You use a pair shears and a clipper and you cut hair. Styles change, techniques may be modified a little bit. I think the biggest change, really, is technology.

Chad Jordan:                Oh, right. Yeah.

Gordon Logan:              We're using ... We were computerized back in the early days with 286s and 144 modems. It was pretty primitive by today's standards, but it got the job done. And at the time, we were cutting edge. From day one, we always had sales reports available to us from all the stores, so we could monitor trends and identify where we needed to put attention and so forth. Today, of course, it's much more sophisticated. We have the online check-in and the wall board showing people where they are in the queue, and introducing a texting program here shortly, and iPhone apps, and Android apps. Those things are really-

Chad Jordan:                Podcasts, shutout to the podcast.

Gordon Logan:              Oh, yeah. That, too.

Chad Jordan:                But yeah, technology. What a great answer.

Gordon Logan:              And you don't think about technology impact in the salon industry so much, but from the client's perspective, that's a big plus. And it also gives us a lot of good information that helps us run the business. The scheduling tool, that's a fantastic tool. When I started out, we didn't even have computers. We had spreadsheets. And we had-

Chad Jordan:                We had dot matrix printers.

Gordon Logan:              Exactly. And we had appointment books and everything was done manually. We had client record cards. I mean, literally cards-

Chad Jordan:                Like a flip kind of thing?

Gordon Logan:              They were four by six, I think, and we boxes of those damn things.

Chad Jordan:                Like a Rolodex kind of things, or whatever. Yeah.

Gordon Logan:              And it was really interesting to do, in the full service business we had all kinds of questions on there. And what kind of style, and this and that, and another, what do you like, what do you don't like? You're allergic to this and that and other. Ladies would sit down and fill out that thing and take 10, 15 minutes.

Chad Jordan:                Of course.

Gordon Logan:              You give a card like that to a guy ...

Chad Jordan:                He's walking out, he's a walk-out.

Gordon Logan:              I want a haircut. I don't give you my life history. Well, we started Sport Clips, and our computer system we used the last four digits of your phone number as an identifier. And then we asked for the zip code, so we knew where people were coming from. And we had guys going, "Why do you wanna know? What are you gonna do with that information?"

Chad Jordan:                Already distrustful.

Gordon Logan:              What can we do with that information? So, it's been interesting to see how it's evolved.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah, I love it. So, I usually have a list of five to ten questions. Since I know I'm gonna have you on a future podcast when you talk about charitable causes, did I get you to drive that car yet? That 28-Packard ... We'll answer that offline. I know I'm gonna hopefully have you on a future podcast. I'm only gonna ask you five of these questions, but I cannot ask followups. All right?

Gordon Logan:              Okay. All right.

Chad Jordan:                So, these are just for fun. Which superpower would you most like to have?

Gordon Logan:              That I don't already?

Chad Jordan:                You just answered it, thank you. Okay, number two. What is your personal motto?

Gordon Logan:              Well, I think what I said about Zig Ziglar's. "You can have anything you want if you help other people get what they want."

Chad Jordan:                Okay. Other than where you live now, where else in the world would you most like to live?

Gordon Logan:              Probably on the beach in South Carolina.

Chad Jordan:                Okay.

Gordon Logan:              Still have a fondness for South Carolina and the beach. The low country and South Carolina's pretty terrific.

Chad Jordan:                Who was the celebrity, I mean, you've met a lot. But who was the celebrity you would most like to meet one day?

Gordon Logan:              That I haven't? I have met a lot, you're right. One of the most fun was Muhammad Ali.

Chad Jordan:                That you've already met?

Gordon Logan:              Well, it's too late now, but ...

Chad Jordan:                Yeah. But the one that you would like to meet?

Gordon Logan:              Who would I like to meet? I should have been thinking about this ...

Chad Jordan:                You're fine.

Gordon Logan:              Warren Buffet, I think. Although, I've met Warren, but just briefly.

Chad Jordan:                Okay. But not a sit-down conversation, have a meal with. That's what we're talking about.

Gordon Logan:              I met him on the starting grid on Daytona one year, because he's involved with M and Ms, helping the Mars family buy Wrigley's chewing gum, I think it was. And so, he was Coach Gibb's guest, and he was down there sponsoring Kyle Busch. And I think we were sponsoring Joey Logano at the time.

Chad Jordan:                Okay, so this was five, six years ago?

Gordon Logan:              So, he was standing there with Coach Gibbs, and Coach Gibbs motioned to me to come over. We qualified second or third, I think it was. Or maybe that time we may have been on the pole. And they qualified fifth, and so Coach Gibbs goes, "Gordon, come over here and meet Warren Buffet." I said, "Mister Buffet, I just want to point out to you, for just a few dollars more, you too could be ..."

Chad Jordan:                How did that go over?

Gordon Logan:              He had a good sense of humor.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah, I was gonna say, maybe that's the last time you got to meet him.

Gordon Logan:              He seemed to have a good sense of humor.

Chad Jordan:                I like it. Last question. Which words or phrases do you most often overuse? That is not ... That is suitable for broadcast.

Gordon Logan:              That's why I had to think hard. I don't know that ... Hopefully, I don't use any particular words too much.

Chad Jordan:                A man of a few words, but many actions. How about that?

Gordon Logan:              Well, thank you very much. I appreciate it.

Chad Jordan:                So, it's been a pleasure having you. Our guest today is ... What's the B stand for, Gordon B Logan?

Gordon Logan:              Baker, my mother's maiden name.

Chad Jordan:                Mother's maiden name. Gordon Baker Logan. And this has been Chad Jordan. Thanks everybody for tuning in, and we hope to see you again and you have a listen, soon.

Gordon Logan:              Thank y'all.