Spotlight: Former Stuntman Finds New Excitement with Ninja Nation Franchise

What can you do for a career when you’re already used to the challenge and adrenaline of being a professional stuntman? For one entrepreneur, the answer was purchasing a franchise that focuses on American Ninja Warrior courses.

Learn more about the Ninja Nation franchise in Huntersville, North Carolina in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.

What the Business Does

Offers an American Ninja Warrior obstacle course facility focused on youth.

Business Niche

The 3 E’s: Energy, Engagement, and Encouragement.

Owner Kevin Cassidy told Small Business Trends, “It’s a very hands-on learning environment that challenges the most seasoned ninja and at the same time is optimized for the beginner.”

How the Business Got Started

After a long career as a stuntman.

Cassidy says, “As I was leaving an 18-year career as a Hollywood stuntman, I was searching for a business model that would incorporate physical and mental challenges for children without the cutthroat mentality that often exists in mainstream sports. I wrote many business plans and decided Ninja and Parkour were the way to go. On this search, I found Ninja Nation based in CO and partnered with them to open their second franchise.”

Biggest Win

Making it through the pandemic and successfully introducing a new concept to the area.

Cassidy adds, “??Powered by the great staff, great product, and great group of core members, we pushed through and established a brand name in the area. That means everything to a service-based business like us.”

Biggest Risk

Leasing the building instead of buying.

Cassidy explains, “I now have to personally guarantee the SBA loan as opposed to having the tangible real estate as capital. Much lower upfront cost but a riskier investment.”

How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000

Paying down debt, increasing marketing spend, and developing an afterschool program.

Most Rewarding Element

Seeing improved confidence in kids.

Cassidy says, “It’s great to see the committed high-end athlete improve month over month and go to big competitions. But it’s even more rewarding to see the kids who couldn’t find an athletic outlet and maybe aren’t the best athletes improve physically as well as mentally. The self-confidence the business brings out in all ages is awesome.”

Favorite Quote

“I judge you unfortunate because you have never lived through misfortune. You have passed through life without an opponent—no one can ever know what you are capable of, not even you.” – Seneca.

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Image: Ninja Nation Huntersville

Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 12 years. Annie covers feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. She has a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College Chicago in Journalism and Marketing Communications.