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Meet the Former Athletes Teaming Up to Open a Play It Again Sports

They say that extracurricular activities, such as sports, can form unbreakable bonds. For Brian Melakian and Michael Ingersoll, their 30-year friendship has brought them together on the field - and now, in the franchise world.

The two played college sports together and recently teamed up to bring Play It Again Sports® back to Lubbock, TX.

Discovering the Play It Again Sports Franchise

Brian first learned about Play It Again Sports when he got a part-time job there in college. He was an active baseball player but was unable to play following shoulder surgery. He wanted to find a way to continue his passion for sports from the sidelines and help other kids like him follow their dreams.

When he found out his manager was leaving to pursue other opportunities, he stepped in and asked if he could take over. At just 20 years old, he started running the store and continued for a year and a half.

After going back to school and working at a car dealership for 18 years, he and Michael, who had spent his career in the restaurant and automotive industries, began discussing what they wanted next in their careers.

A Full-Circle Moment

The pair knew they wanted to open a business together, but they went back and forth over what kind. They looked into restaurants, storage facilities and more, but there were already so many of them. They wanted something unique that would be profitable and fill a gap in their community.

One night, Brian’s wife, Marissa, asked why he didn’t just open a Play It Again Sports since he’d loved running his store so much all those years ago. It clicked immediately, and he picked up the phone to call Michael.

“We liked the idea of doing something we were familiar with and that would inspire kids,” said Michael. “I’m an introvert so I was hesitant about running a store at first, but it’s so motivating to play a role in helping them follow their dreams because I used to be one of them.”

Looking Ahead

Brian and Michael look forward to opening their Play It Again Sports resale store at the end of this year. They credit the Winmark team for their crucial support and getting them in touch with other franchisees to learn the ins and outs of running a resale store.

Brian will continue his job at the car dealership while he oversees the “big picture” business tasks like inventory, cash flow and advertising. Meanwhile, Michael will manage the store and work alongside Marissa to fill the sporting goods gap in the community.

“It’s really great to see parents who came to Play It Again Sports as a kid look forward to this new opening and bringing their own kids,” Brian explained.

Passionate about sports and looking to fill the gap in your community? Contact us today to learn more about opening a Winmark store in your area.