In his new role as part owner of Walk-On’s Enterprises, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees will do more than lend his well-known name and face to the company’s advertisements, social media campaigns and promotional material. He’ll also lend the Drew Brees brand to internal training, recruitment and franchise materials, says Walk-On’s co-owner and founder Brandon Landry.
“He’ll be in TV commercials but he’ll do a lot of internal marketing for us, too,” Landry says. “There’s a reason why he’s a winner: He’s a leader and he will help us attract a great group of people to the company.”
Walk-On’s announced today that Brees and his wife, Brittany, have become co-owners of the Baton Rouge-based chain of sports bars and restaurants. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Landry confirms the celebrity couple will be minority owners.
The Brees buy-in comes as Walk-On’s launches an expansion of its popular chain, which has four company-owned restaurants in Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Lafayette, and three more under construction in Houma, Zachary and Denham Springs. This fall, Walk-On’s first franchise outlet will open in Lake Charles. Two more franchise deals in Shreveport and Lubbock, Texas, are expected to be finalized in the next two weeks, Landry says. The Texas location will be Walk-On’s first out-of-state restaurant.
While Brees’ ownership in the company will “open doors and create opportunities,” Landry says, the company is sticking with the 18-month expansion plan it devised last year and is not planning a more aggressive growth schedule.
“We’re not going to start opening new stores like crazy just because of this announcement,” he says. “We want to manage our growth the right way. There is no need to speed it up.”
Landry notes that Brees did not only buy into Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar, but into the parent company, Walk-On’s Enterprises, which also owns Happy’s Irish Pub and Walk-On’s Catering. The company’s catering division has grown significantly in recent months, providing meals off site to chemical plants along the Mississippi River.
“Catering is about networking and opening doors,” Landry says. “We hoping he will be able to help us with that.”