Athletic Republic was founded in 1990 by John Fappier, a year before the collapse of the famed Berlin Wall. It was originally named Fappier Acceleration. It stayed in the business under the same name for 17 years until Charlie Graves (CEO), a long-time athlete from Wisconsin, US, bought the business in 2006, opening up its gates in franchise markets. After acquiring the company, he rebranded the franchise as Athletic Republic, which has achieved many milestones in its appreciable 33-year-long history and counting. Charlie spent a remarkable childhood in Wisconsin; his interest in swimming and business became his strength. He was a seasoned athlete who entered the 1980 Summer Olympic Games as the third-best swimmer in the world—games that were ultimately boycotted. He was also a professional triathlete and started his career in sports management. His passion for sports and athletics and his belief that there is a better way to train athletes are why he chose this franchise. All of its customers are athletes, and it primarily caters to parents of athletes who want to help their children improve.
At Athletic Republic, all the employees have a strong background in sports. They were either professionals, collegiate athletes, or overall passionate about sports and athletics for the next generation. They are all competitive and trying to be the best at their jobs and the best for the network. Most importantly, one of the company’s core values is that the employees are always attempting to improve. “I love that about our corporate culture; we continue to challenge the norm,” he exclaims. Its employees are always trying to make its processes better for its franchisees, customers, and employee stratification. The company believes that listening to employees is the key to growth. Charlie pays close attention to what his staff has to say, regularly checking in with them to ensure that he is providing them with the opportunity for professional growth, autonomy, and ongoing education. Athletic Republic distinguishes itself in the franchise market for both its clients and its franchisees by making effective use of data and technology.
The owners of Athletic Republic Capitol Region, Carl Williams, Russell Thomas, and Mark McCain, were named the 2023 Franchisee of the Year by the International Franchise Association (IFA) in March. Williams, Thomas, and McCain were honored at the 63rd IFA Annual Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada, for being outstanding franchise establishment owner-operators. Charlie says, “These three gentlemen embody everything that Athletic Republic stands for and our commitment to providing world-class training to youth athletes and are changing lives.”