Episodes of The Sport Clips Haircuts Hall of Fame Podcast - Haircuts with Heart featuring Help A Hero with TN210

Red Banner with HOF Episode

In this episode, we continue our "Haircuts with Heart" series, where we look at a few of the causes and charities that Sport Clips supports. This week, we focus on Help A Hero as we interview the team from TN210. This store has raised more money for Help A Hero than any other store for the last 5 years! Since 2013, Sport Clips has been the primary supporter of the VFW’s Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship program, which provides scholarships for service members and veterans for use at post-secondary schools and trade schools. To date, we have awarded more than 1,000 scholarships totaling $4.9 million. To learn more about the VFW's "Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship" program, including details on eligibility, visit: https://www.vfw.org/scholarship/

Chad and the team from TN210 with a microphone

Episode Air Date Guest Name Guest Title Topic(s)
September 26, 2018 TN210 Winning Store for Help A Hero Creative ways to raise support and awareness for Help A Hero

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Chad Jordan:                Hey everybody this is Chad Jordan from Sport Clips the Digital Marketing Director. Here today to talk on the Sport Clips Hall of Fame Podcast about Help a Hero. It's Help a Hero month and so we're kicking off a bunch of fundraising activities and other fun stuff.

                                    I'm joined today with a great group of people. We've just wrapped up a leadership and we're all kind of recovering. I'm trying to wake them up because they were bored to tears with the last speaker. We're gonna talk today about Help A Hero. I'm gonna go around the room here. If I could just have you introduce yourself first to my left I've got ...

Steve Nosser:               Oh, Steven Nosser. I'm the Team Leader for the Spring Hill, Tennessee store.

Chad Jordan:                Excellent. Okay, in the middle over here.

Taisha Roberts:             My name is Taisha Roberts and I'm the manager of the Spring Hill, TN 210 location.

Chad Jordan:                Okay, and last but not least ...

Nina Nelson:                 And I'm Nina Nelson. I'm the area manager for Steve and Taisha.

Chad Jordan:                Excellent. The reason we keep mentioning TN 210 is because they're, let me see if I can get this straight, the Help a Hero Store of the Year for the last four years running, five, okay. Or are you just boldly proclaiming that you're gonna win a fifth in a row?

Steve Nosser:               No, it'd be a sixth.

Chad Jordan:                All right, so it'll be six in a row. Let's start over here with Nina. I need for those that are not part of Sport Clips or may be new to Sport Clips and aren't familiar with what Help a Hero is, can you educate us a little bit on what it is and why we're so focused on it?

Nina Nelson:                 Well, Help A Hero helps our veterans. This past year and the last several years it has provided scholarships for returning military, and I think it's a wonderful cause to wrap around. Our CEO is a veteran,-

Chad Jordan:                Gordan, yeah.

Nina Nelson:                 ... Gordan, as well as my father, a lot of our clients and a lot of our families.

Chad Jordan:                Something a lot of people affiliated with Sport Clips are passionate about. Obviously patriotic but, near and dear to our hearts because we have a family connection. Here at Sport Clips we have a career connection and, like you said, Gordan and many of our either managers are married or come from a military background, our team leaders, that have been involved with the United States Military. We focuses the month of October, that we're heading into, what do we do around that month?

Nina Nelson:                 As a store?

Chad Jordan:                Just as a brand.

Nina Nelson:                 Well, we know it's typically October 11th through November 11th, Veterans Day. We do nationwide fundraising for the Help a Hero program. We have those 30 days to put our hearts out to the community, see what they're willing to help us with and do as much as we can to raise money for our veterans.

Chad Jordan:                Taisha, I'll ask you. You're managing TN 210 and your store every year is winning the Store of the Year. Do you guys set a goal at the beginning of the year? Do you get together with Steve, your team leader, and say, "Hey, this is what we want to hit." Then aim for that? What does that look like?

Taisha Roberts:             I think more so than anything we try to beat the previous year of what we got. I wanna say-

Chad Jordan:                You want bragging right over your self?

Taisha Roberts:             Absolutely. I think the year before last, Spring Hill hit about 21,000 this year we're at 23,000. We obviously did beat that, which we'll aim to beat, again this year.

Chad Jordan:                Setting the bar higher and higher.

Taisha Roberts:             Yes, absolutely. We also try to get other teams from other places to see that so, they can jump on board.

Chad Jordan:                It's funny I bet ... Steven how long have you been a team leader?

Steve Nosser:               About 11 years.

Chad Jordan:                I bet your goal as one store is about as big as what the goal was for the brand when you first started.

Steve Nosser:               Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                Can you walk me through when did you really start getting, Steven, really passion about Help a Hero, about having your stores just go out there and fundraise and be part of this. All eleven years or just some'n wake you up one day, you have an interaction, what happened?

Steve Nosser:               Probably, I guess, we met local leader for the ROTC in Spring Hill and got us interested in going. That started about in 2010.

Chad Jordan:                All right. Is that right around the time when your interest got peaked and you thought, man, we could really do something?

Steve Nosser:               Yeah, we could do this. Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                Is there a connection with the ROTC outside of, once Help A Hero's wrapped up, that you continue throughout the year?

Steve Nosser:               Really, just that once a year we get together for that common cause.

Chad Jordan:                Okay, walk me through, I'll have one of the ladies. What are some of the things you're doing? We're talking about big money here. We're not talking 25¢. You're aiming for $20,000 or more, really, within a one month period. What are somethings that you're doing at a store level or regionally that we need to know about that maybe some of these other stores in the country could benefit from trying on their own?

Taisha Roberts:             I think a big thing, as a team, is to get together, sit down, and just make a really good game plan for before Help A Hero time even comes around so, that we have a plan drawn out to make sure that we have good ways of raising money. A big thing is that we make sure we ask all of our clients day in and day out the whole entire month if they want to donate. Sometimes you get a dollar, sometimes you get 20, sometimes you get a hundred.

Chad Jordan:                What is it? You have a tip jar, a fish bowl, what's going on? How you asking for this money and where are you putting it?

Taisha Roberts:             Partially, some of it comes up on the kiosk so, when Help a Hero time comes around they'll put in and ask for donations. When you go through your checkout process, when you go to check out from getting your hair cut, they will have your set donation amount that, I believe, we actually set. They can pre-select an amount. They can select that, they can put whatever they want and then we also have cash jars that we keep up that they can donate.

Chad Jordan:                THat's year round the cash jars?

Taisha Roberts:             We usually just keep that up for the month we do the [crosstalk 00:06:03].

Chad Jordan:                Okay, I want to understand that.

                                    Is there ever any ... boy, I hate to ask this, is there every any fear from team members that boy, once we start collecting donations maybe my tip will go down or they won't buy product or are they all invested?

Taisha Roberts:             I think our teams are pretty much invested to where they are on board with helping. It's such a good cause that they're very much on board with making sure that we [crosstalk 00:06:25].

Chad Jordan:                If it does happen that it affects something they're almost honored to be a part of-

Taisha Roberts:             It's for a month. It's not like the next time they come in and get a hair cut, if they usually tip you $10, and tip you five, and donate five, the next time they come in they're not gonna tip your $10, again. I never really had any complaints or comments about the girls or stylists losing tip money off of this. I think they're just as invested. We try to get everybody excited about it and get 'em on board.

Chad Jordan:                If you do it right, which it sounds like obviously you guys are doing, that will poke a hole in anybody's argument, "Well, maybe we shouldn't or it might take away." You're just keeping your team on track, communicating very well and everybody's invested and locked in.

Nina Nelson:                 I think it gains us team members. I think it gains us clients because the clients love seeing that we're so involved in this. Even in interviewing new team members, if they come in anytime during that timeframe they notice the store's decorated. We're wearing camo headbands or armbands, Help a Hero posters up, even sidewalk signs, so anything we can do. It has gained us staff, and it's gained us clients.

Chad Jordan:                Wow. I thought I heard, was there something about a duck? I feel like you guys are known for doing something creative. Cam Nina, I think it would be best for you to explain exactly what that is, where it started and how it's taken off.

Nina Nelson:                 Well, about seven years ago I was out with a few team members celebrating random success. They served me a large mouth drink with a little ducky.

Chad Jordan:                A Mountain Dew. Okay, you had a big Mountain Dew

Nina Nelson:                 [crosstalk 00:08:03] ice. They had a little ducky. I guess they stir the drink so, it was like a little whirlpool and the ducky was swimming around.

Chad Jordan:                Oh, wow.

Nina Nelson:                 This crazed woman ran up to the table and snatched my duck out of my drink.

Chad Jordan:                Oh, I though you were going to say she snatched the Mountain Dew. Okay.

Nina Nelson:                 No.

Chad Jordan:                She got the duck.

Nina Nelson:                 She got the duck [crosstalk 00:08:24].

Chad Jordan:                You don't know this person?

Nina Nelson:                 No, and she offered, "I'll pay for your drink."

Chad Jordan:                Oh, my gosh.

Nina Nelson:                 I didn't understand so, the waitress came over and explained that with this particular brand of Mountain Dew that they come with little ducks and they're always different kinds. This woman collects and she didn't have that particular duck.

Chad Jordan:                Wow.

Nina Nelson:                 Yeah, it was very odd. I tried to help her out and had a few more duck drinks.

Chad Jordan:                Good for you.

Nina Nelson:                 Gave her all my ducks. Then I researched it a little. Evidently, these little rubber duckies, you said earlier we're not talking about quarters, well, we are. We're talking about quarters. These ducks cost about a quarter a piece.

Chad Jordan:                Wow.

Nina Nelson:                 I went online, and I was like, "I wonder how many people are crazy about these ducks," so, I ordered about 200 duck and paid for it. At our next marketing event, I lined 'em up on a table, and it was like a Hawaiian event. I had ducks with flowers in their hair. They sold out in five minutes flat for a dollar a piece, and I bought them for a quarter a piece.

Chad Jordan:                All the proceeds went to Help a Hero?

Nina Nelson:                 Went to Help a Hero.

Chad Jordan:                Now, did the people know that they were also contributing to this or they just one of the ducks?

Nina Nelson:                 [crosstalk 00:09:27] that very first thing 'cause I didn't know. I was just testing how will this go. I then went online and ordered $500 worth of ducks-

Chad Jordan:                Wow.

Nina Nelson:                 ... and made banners that said, "Help a Hero, ducks for a dollar, donations." It has gotten crazy with the ducks. We literally will have three, six foot tables lined up with ducks and people follow us event to event all through October and November. In October, we have scarecrow ducks, pumpkin duck, witch ducks, any kind of Halloween duck you can imagine. Zombies were very popular this year.

Taisha Roberts:             Monsters, zombies.

Chad Jordan:                I need a social media following of these ducks in a row that you guys got going on. I want to follow these ducks. I want videos. I want a chronicled story 'cause this sounds fascinating.

Nina Nelson:                 It has gotten to where we're having to pre order Christmas ducks because in November, the very beginning of November, we go to all these arts and crafts fairs. We're marketing our stores. We're out handing out coupons to grow our business but, we also have ducks lined up surrounding us. People are just flocking to our table for, "Do you have the Santa Clause duck, do you have the reindeer duck and where's Rudolf?"

Steve Nosser:               Biker duck.

Chad Jordan:                Wow.

Taisha Roberts:             Biker ducks, yeah.

Nina Nelson:                 Biker ducks and baby Jesus seems to do really well here in Tennessee.

Taisha Roberts:             We have Nativity scene.

Nina Nelson:                 We have a Nativity scene and we also run out of that one.

Steve Nosser:               They can give you more than a dollar, right?

Nina Nelson:                 The duck we sell them for a dollar so, that's a pretty good turn around. We have people hand us 10 when they-

Chad Jordan:                When they find out what it's for

Nina Nelson:                 ... find out what the cause is for. We have banners up. They hand us 10, $20. They'll say, "The next kid that comes along and can't afford a duck, give him a duck, here's 20 bucks." It's all for a good cause.

Chad Jordan:                Man.

Taisha Roberts:             Our tables all have our Sport Clips Help a Hero tablecloths on them. We make little banners and signs. We have collection jars that we leave out that they can put money in the collection jars if they don't want to buy a duck.

Nina Nelson:                 We have a wrapped Hummer that says Help a Hero on it.

Taisha Roberts:             We do. We try to market our Help a Hero stuff pretty good. We actually sell haircuts, thankful to Steve, that we take donations for and sell MVP haircuts. All the proceeds go to-

Chad Jordan:                Oh, wow.

Taisha Roberts:             ... at our marketing events in the month of October through November. If they want to buy an MVP haircut the proceeds go to Help a Hero, as well.

Chad Jordan:                Is it the upgrade that goes?

Taisha Roberts:             It's the MVP haircut, $25.

Chad Jordan:                Wow, amazing.

Taisha Roberts:             We usually sell them for, not full price, we give them a little bit of discount on it but, they're still giving $10 or something for it and they get the MVP hair for the $10 [crosstalk 00:11:59].

Steve Nosser:               10 or 15 bucks or something.

Chad Jordan:                It really is a win-win 'cause you're obviously ... the clients going to be happy. He feels like he's giving to a good cause and he's getting a great experience, which will, again, bring him back to Sport Clips. You guys are officially Duck Dynasty.

Nina Nelson:                 Rubber Duck Dynasty.

Chad Jordan:                Rubber Duck Dynasty. We'll have to challenge ... we'll through the challenge out to other stores across the country to come up with something and maybe they can borrow this, I don't know. They need to be a dynasty in another area.

                                    I wanna ask Steve, so now that you five years in a row, what is a store get in recognition or whatever when they win Help a Hero Store of the Year?

Steve Nosser:               It's really just mostly that, just recognition for getting out and doing something good for our veterans. Other than that, Sport Clips Corporate funds a variety of levels of rewards for certain levels starting at about a thousand dollars per store. Since, we're up above 20,000 and number one raise the most money of any store in the country, which now there's more than 1,700, Sport Clips Inc. gives the top store $5,000 and goes down to the top three, I think. Or is it all the way to the top five?

Taisha Roberts:             I think it's top three they give cash prizes.

Steve Nosser:               Cash prize.

Chad Jordan:                You guys in your store probably raise more than some states worth of stores.

Taisha Roberts:             Oh, yeah.

Chad Jordan:                What you guys do with the money that Sport Clips itself kick back as a reward.

Steve Nosser:               Usually-

Nina Nelson:                 Well, the Spring Hills store actually a really small community [crosstalk 00:13:40] but, they really back us up and we know that the ROTC is going to be our future military. That's why we connect with them. We will take the $5,000 prize money-

Steve Nosser:               Split it.

Nina Nelson:                 ... and half of it will go to the ROTC.

Chad Jordan:                Oh, wow.

Nina Nelson:                 It pays for a dance for them, awards for them-

Steve Nosser:               They use it for like a fundraiser, too.

Nina Nelson:                 ... they've done uniforms and bought some-

Chad Jordan:                Wow.

Nina Nelson:                 ... equipment with that money. We're just trying to help out the ROTC. They, like I said, are our future military.

Chad Jordan:                Then they in turn become loyal clients-

Nina Nelson:                 They do.

Chad Jordan:                ... of Sport Clips. I mean, that's not why you're doing it but, it doesn't hurt.

Steve Nosser:               Yeah, it gets the parents involved, too, with the Junior ROTC.

Taisha Roberts:             At the end of Help A Hero we usually give them, as a group, we give them free hair cut coupons so, they can call come in and get a free hair cut.

Steve Nosser:               Yeah, we have a little party for them afterward-

Taisha Roberts:             We have a little dinner party and stuff.

Steve Nosser:               ... and recognized them, give them little awards.

Chad Jordan:                Has anybody met a ... so Help a Hero help funds scholarships for veterans. Has anybody ever met as scholarship recipient?

Steve Nosser:               I have. Two years ago, I went to the check presentation in Kansas City, the headquarters for the-

Chad Jordan:                VFW.

Steve Nosser:               ... VFW and I got a chance to meet one of the recipients-

Chad Jordan:                Wow.

Steve Nosser:               ... in person. It just really nice feeling, have good individual that is helping the-

Chad Jordan:                The weird thing is it's more than one recipient.

Steve Nosser:               Oh, yeah.

Chad Jordan:                We're talking a ton of recipients but, your store alone probably paid for that one recipient-

Steve Nosser:               That's right, yeah.

Chad Jordan:                ... for the scholarships.

Steve Nosser:               Yeah, each scholarship-

Chad Jordan:                That's something.

Steve Nosser:               ... can be up to $5,000. They kind of spread it around a little bit and not pay say 20 grand. That way you can reach out and benefit a lot of our military.

Chad Jordan:                What an amazing feeling. I bet, culturally in your stores this is one team. You guys are all in, everybody's almost patting each other on the back encouraging one another to keep going, keep pushing, beat last years goal. What do you think, this year you can do it again?

Taisha Roberts:             25,000.

Steve Nosser:               I think so.

Chad Jordan:                25,000.

Nina Nelson:                 Hands down.

Chad Jordan:                Do we think any stores anywhere else in the country can beat that?

Taisha Roberts:             I don't think they'll even come close.

Chad Jordan:                You don't think they'll come close.

Nina Nelson:                 Come at us.

Chad Jordan:                All right.

Nina Nelson:                 Come at us. We want it.

Chad Jordan:                All right.

Nina Nelson:                 Bring it. Bring your best game.

Taisha Roberts:             Give us some competition.

Chad Jordan:                All right.

Nina Nelson:                 Give us some ... a good way to start have a pep rally at your store. Five to ten days before Help a Hero starts. Get ideas from your team so that if they can contribute ideas whether they're baking brownies or-

Steve Nosser:               Yeah, and utilize-

Nina Nelson:                 ... what else did we have? Brownies or ducks we made [crosstalk 00:16:05]-

Steve Nosser:               ... your marketing kit.

Nina Nelson:                 ... lanterns-

Steve Nosser:               It comes full of things. You can use the ideas.

Chad Jordan:                You can use stuff from the marketing department. Shout out to the marketing department. Gets you going in the right direction.

Nina Nelson:                 Yeah, get your entire team on board and start it with that pep rally. Make the pep rally fun and exciting. Do a pizza party for your team. It might cost you $30 out pocket to kick it off but, if you kick it off the right way and your whole teams on board. You keep them energized, whether you're tracking it or filling up a thermometer. Get your team energized. We'd like a little bit of competition.

Chad Jordan:                I'd love to see that. What I'm really interested in is the social media aspect of ... even to the point of a quick 30 second, one minute video of the pep rally showing the store getting excited, coming up with ideas, throwing stuff against the wall and seeing kind of what sticks, idea wise.

Taisha Roberts:             Social media's been a big thing for a long time now. Personally, and I don't think in any of our store till this point, especially when it comes Help a Hero, we might individually post something about what we're doing and what we're raising money for but, we've never really made it a big thing with social media. I think that would be a really big help to us, this year especially.

Chad Jordan:                I have it on good authority from the Digital Marketing Department there will be a challenge issued to stores to see what kind of social media stuff that they can put together for Help a Hero. It'd be something for you guys to win both Help a Hero Store of the Year and the Social Media Challenge.

                                    Anything else that you guys want to talk about or want to mention that other stores can benefit from or that you want the Help a Hero recipients to know?

Taisha Roberts:             Just take, as far as your store and raising money and doing what you can, just take any ideas. Even if it's a bunch of small things, bake sale, cookouts, selling hotdogs in front of your store, sodas on a hot day, or whatever the case is.

Steve Nosser:               Silent auctions.

Chad Jordan:                Not Mountain Dew.

Taisha Roberts:             Yeah, silent auctions-

Nina Nelson:                 [crosstalk 00:17:55]

Taisha Roberts:             ... getting out in your community and getting donations from-

Chad Jordan:                It all adds up.

Taisha Roberts:             ... different businesses and doing auctions and stuff like that.

Steve Nosser:               Especially in your center, going around getting 'em to participate by providing your-

Taisha Roberts:             Gift cards, stuff like that.

Steve Nosser:               ... gift card or something for their store. They get notice we'll put 'em on a banner, get some recognition [crosstalk 00:18:14] afterwards.

Chad Jordan:                Again, this is not getting done to market the store but,-

Taisha Roberts:             It helps.

Chad Jordan:                ... it's at the same time you're marketing the store. You can justify your time as, well, marketing but, really you're raising this money and such good will. Anything else?

Nina Nelson:                 We've done motorcycle runs, poker runs, a live band. We had a band volunteer to come out and people could pay $10 to come see the band. Cookouts-

Taisha Roberts:             Golf tournaments.

Nina Nelson:                 It's kind of like everything. Do everything.

Taisha Roberts:             Some of the big stuff takes some planning and definintly some community help because you can't just do it. It takes knowing some people definintly and getting out in the community and putting forth and effort and trying to do things to raise the money, obviously. It's not just that it's just handed to us. It definintly-

Nina Nelson:                 It's a lot of work.

Taisha Roberts:             ... it's work. You gotta put work in it and the get the outcome from it.

Steve Nosser:               Even your clients can help, as some clients are well connected with large companies. Like we have the General Motors Assembly Plant right across the street and he happens to get his haircut there. Started to talking to him and what can he do. He can print us in their internal magazine that went to everybody in the plant about what we were doing, an event. It can be really helpful.

Chad Jordan:                It's like, I don't know if when you guys were in school, I was. My teacher would always tell me there's no such thing as a dumb question. Well, there's no such thing as a small idea when it comes to raising money for Help a Hero and who knows. Like you took a shoot with the rubber ducks. You didn't know that was really gonna turn in to what it's turned into. You just keep taking, like chopping down a tree. You just take that ax and you keep trying to chop it down and eventually it'll fall.

                                    Sounds like you guys have found some good momentum. I want to thank Steven, Taisha, and Nina for joining us today. Good luck to all the other stores out there during Help A Hero. Thanks guys.

Steve Nosser:               Thank you.

Nina Nelson:                 Thanks for having us.