Hey good Pizza People!
I want to share some exciting news. I have made a deal with UW Badger (and soon to be NFL) star running back Jonathan Taylor to be my partner in the 4 Madison Toppers stores. Those 4 stores will become part of a new company called JT23 Pizza LLC.
On the field Jonathan was a 3 time All-American, 2-time Doak Walker Award winner (best running back in the country) and was in the top 10 for the Heisman all 3 years of his college career. He rushed for more than 6100 yards in his 3 seasons at Wisconsin and set the all-time NCAA record for rushing in 3 years. In January he declared for the NFL draft, in March ran a ridiculous 40 yard dash at the NFL combines, and is set to become the likely top running back taken in the NFL draft this week.
Jonathan is an incredible individual, in addition to being a celebrity athlete! I have come to know him as smart, articulate and humble. He is a competitor and a winner. He is a team player and a team builder and has incredibly high expectations for those around him. In short he is a fit for our culture and will push us all to become even better.
While he will be (and has been) seen at the stores in Madison and elsewhere, the management of that company and those stores still lies with me, Adam and Damon. Jonathan’s primary role at Toppers will be at the endorsement, community involvement and team building level, as well as working with me at the business planning level. He will likely attend an occasional franchisee event when his schedule allows, but his full time job of course is playing football in the NFL!
Jonathan considers Madison a second home and spends a lot of time there. This deal came about as a result of his love for Toppers and, in particular, our garlic parmesan wings! As soon as he declared for the draft, his people reached out to me to discuss potentially working together. Once I got to know a little bit about him, I suggested this partnership. Some people have asked me if he really is a true owner, and the answer is YES! The specifics of the deal are private between us, but at a basic level it’s a true partnership. He is driven to bring what he can to the table to create success at Toppers and to grow the brand long term.
Over the next few days and beyond you will see and hear more about Jonathan’s connection to Toppers. But this week is incredibly important to him because he will be drafted by a lucky team and begin his professional football career. It’ll be fun to see a Toppers person get drafted in the NFL. Watch it with me and share the fun news with your friends.
Click here to learn more about Jonathan (and order his favorite garlic parmesan wings)!