Last September, Gordon Logan, the founder and CEO of the national men's grooming chain Sport Clips, and Frank and Belinda Gambuzza, the co-owners of The Visage Group and Frank’s Barbershop in Knoxville, Tennessee, announced plans to bring an elevated barbering experience to the U.S. market with Gambuzza’s Barbershop. While the existing Frank’s locations in Knoxville were rebranded as Gambuzza's, the partnership opened a new Gambuzza’s location in Austin, Texas.
That partnership recently deepened, as Belinda Gambuzza and Sport Clips President Edward Logan announced that they’ve partnered in buying out the existing franchise of seven Sport Clips locations in Knoxville from Swan and Amy Tate, who established and grew them over the past 15 years.
“After running Salon Visage and Gambuzza’s together with Frank, I am so excited to lead the seven Knoxville Sport Clips locations and their 62 employees, throwing my passion into it and continuing to grow it to the next level,” she says. With this move, Belinda will be relinquishing her responsibilities at Salon Visage to focus fully on managing Knoxville’s Sport Clips.
Edward Logan says this is the first time Sport Clips has partnered on the ownership of one of their franchises with one of their team leaders (franchisees), and believes the partnership is good for the men’s grooming market. “As we’ve gotten to know the Gambuzzas over the years, we realize we have the same values—to do what’s right and to treat others the way they want to be treated,” he says. “Together, we opened Gambuzza’s in Austin in September 2019 and we have plans to three add three more in Austin before growing the brand nationally. It’s been a great experiment to see how the two brands can exist in the same market.”
The Sport Clips brand is considered a value brand, while Gambuzza’s is more of an upscale barbering experience. “Sport Clips has a broad base—it’s a barbershop for every guy, delivering a $50 experience at an average $25 price tag," Logan explains
“The look and feel of Gambuzza’s combines a classic Italian barbershop with a modern look and feel target at a more discerning guest—it delivers a $75 experience at a $50 price tag."
With the Gambuzzas owning both barbership brands in Knoxville, it offers a second market example of how Sport Clips and Gambuzza's can compliment one another. “It’s been going very well in Austin,” Logan continues. “We learned there was only a 13% crossover of Sport Clips clients visiting Gambuzza’s despite the fact the locations are close together—they really serve different markets.”
While the two brands will be serving two different clients, Belinda already is seeing some synergies that will benefit both businesses. “I imagine as some of our Sport Clips employees senior out and are looking for areas to grow, we’ll be able to transition them to Gambuzza’s, and when we bring in national educators we’ll be able to offer the educational opportunities to employees of both brands.
What will be shifting is how Frank and Belinda will manage the collective business together. “We’ve been happily married for 31 years, we both have A-type personalities and our own ideas, but have learned to respect each other’s thoughts and creativity,” she says. “Over the past 10 years I’ve seen what Frank can do by taking the lead on Gambuzza’s and I’m eager to do the same with these seven Sport Clips franchises.”
About Sport Clips Haircuts: Sport Clips Haircuts is the nation's leading men's and boys' hair care franchise with almost 1,900 locations open in the U.S. and Canada. Fully-equipped for the sports enthusiast, Sport Clips surrounds its clients with televisions tuned to sports and sports-themed decor. Stylists enjoy a fun work environment with a guaranteed base-pay plus service, plus retail commission and tips! Sport Clips also supports the growth of their team members through continuing education, exciting contests, and award recognition. Through the Wayne McGlone Memorial Relief Fund, Sport Clips provides assistance to employees facing emergent financial situations. Sport Clips also provides “haircuts with heart” through its annual Help A Hero fundraiser that has given more than $6 million to the VFW; national partnership with St. Baldrick’s Foundation, the largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants; and other national and local philanthropic outreach. To learn more about Sport Clips and job opportunities near you, visit sportclipsjobs.com.
For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.