Who dat sayin' they want to run my startup?
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees has announced that he's starting a business and is on the hunt for a CEO to run it.
Brees' business, a lifestyle clothing company for men and women of all ages, will sell apparel that "carries the spirit of New Orleans," the 33-year old Pro Bowl quarterback said in an interview with The Huffington Post.
The startup, launching in The Big Easy in fall 2012, will be a for-profit venture with a charitable component aimed at rejuvenating the city.
Brees said he thought up the idea for a clothing line that symbolizes New Orleans after he and his teammates printed and sold T-shirts with the team's "Finish Strong" mantra leading up to the Saints' Superbowl victory in early 2010. The charitable project made headlines when it sold 40,000 shirts in less than a week, breaking local T-shirt sales records.
The Saints' captain eventually plugged himself into the New Orleans startup scene with the help of The Idea Village, a local non-profit business incubator that connected him with a team of MBA students from Harvard who hashed out a business plan for his own line of apparel.
Lauren Baum, a New Orleans native and one of the Harvard students who created the business plan, says the startup's model will resemble other celebrity-endorsed brands that donate a portion or all of profits to charity, such as Bono's Project Red or Lance Armstrong's Livestrong.
Now all Brees needs is a saavy entrepreneur to run the startup "with minimal oversight or training," according to the job description. Think you've got what it takes to do business with the Saints' signal caller? Apply here.
What kind of person are you looking for to run this company?
We're seeking a young entrepreneur who's ready to relocate to New Orleans, if they're not in New Orleans already, and throw themselves full-force into our business. We want somebody who has incredible creativity, certainly sales and distribution experience, very self-motivated, somebody with marketing experience and who shares our vision to capture in this brand what we all love about the city of New Orleans.
Why build the startup in New Orleans?
New Orleans is the land of opportunity for a lot of young entrepreneurs and we wanted to foster that vibe by establishing our own business and bringing the best and brightest young minds to the city to help develop the business the way we see it.
How did you get involved with The Idea Village?
The partnership started back in 2009 with a campaign called Trust Your Crazy Ideas. We identified four high schools in New Orleans and gave them a small operating budget and had each school come up their own entrepreneurial idea, which they would develop and then present to us. Now each year we make a donation to the school that wins the competition. Since then, our foundation has worked with The Idea Village to bring more commerce and jobs to the city through entrepreneurship.
Any age restrictions on who can apply for this job?
No specific age restrictions but we're looking for someone with at least five year of sales, marketing and distribution experience, preferably in the apparel industry.
Are you a tough interviewer?
Well, I've obviously got a day job and I'm working hard to prepare myself for the season. But I'll be involved at times throughout the interview process.
Will the CEO get hooked up with Saints tickets during the season?
[Laughter] We want people to apply to this for the right reason. This is not a fan club opportunity. This is an opportunity to be involved in a serious business through which we hope to develop a lot of jobs and commerce within the city of New Orleans and then expand upon that.
Applications are due at 12pm CT on Tuesday, June 5. Qualified candidates will be invited to an information session on Wednesday, June 6, as well as an interview, conducted the week of June 11. Please visit www.ideavillage.org for additional information and to apply.