Liquid Nutrition

- Canada and U.S. locations

As a two-time MVP and surefire Hall of Famer (when/if he ever stops playing), Steve Nash is one of the greatest NBA point guards ever to play the game. Yet, when it comes to his business ventures, one of his biggest assists these days goes to Liquid Nutrition, an nutritional smoothie, food, vitamin and supplement company (based out of Canada) that he's an equity partner in. Nash spent a little time enlightening YP about his off-the-court vision when it comes to business.

Why Liquid Nutrition for your big splash into franchising?
Steve: I became a partner in Liquid Nutrition in 2010 -- in large part because I believed in the product, products that complimented my own lifestyle choices regarding health and nutrition. LN has created a system that makes it easy, turnkey for partners/franchisees ... [and] I had wanted to develop a market and/or territory that was applicable to my brand. Vancouver and British Columbia gives me that opportunity, a place I grew up and still have many personal and professional ties.
How many Liquid Nutrition franchises are you involved with and where are they exactly?
Steve: We have committed to opening a minimum 20 units in British Columbia, focusing on Vancouver to start. We also plan on adding Liquid Countertops to the 18 sports clubs I am involved with.
How are you involved in the day-to-day operations?
Steve: I always like to take as active role as possible. I work closely with my team at SN Enterprises who assist me with the day to day. We are in the process of hiring a senior operator to manage both the build out and ongoing operations.
Is it tough to juggle the role of business owner/investor with your NBA career?
Steve: I have surrounded myself with a team of qualified business partners, who fully understand my priorities and focus on basketball. They give me the opportunity to manage both my NBA career and my business interests.
What's been the most rewarding part of owning a business?
Steve: There have been many rewards --- the companies, brands and partners all provide great learning for me regarding my own business career. [Also] the opportunity to grow businesses in areas where I have great interest -- again, why I chose to get involved with Liquid.
The most challenging part?
Steve: ...Prioritizing. I don't want to spread myself too thin. As much as I want to roll up my sleeves and be more directly involved in every project, I know I must rely on my partners to manage the day to day.
How do you work your sports achievements into the mix at your particular franchises -- if at all?
Steve: My NBA career gives me the opportunity to be exposed to a number of business ventures I can choose to participate in. At Liquid, we have created TEAM Liquid -- myself and 5 other professional athletes (Matt Ryan, Russell Martin, Vincent Lecavalier, Torah Bright and Suzann Pettersen). We are the face of the brand and our lifestyle (we hope) is an inspiration to others regarding the benefits of living and eating healthy.
What skills from your professional sports career come most in handy in business?
Steve: That's easy: teamwork. Dedication to the task in front of us, ability to overcome challenges/defeats, listening to our coaches, executing a plan and most importantly, our focus to win/be successful.
How involved with your businesses do you plan to be when your NBA career wraps up?
Steve: I suspect I may have more time. :) I look forward to working more directly with the companies and brands I am associated with and help them achieve our goals together.
If you could offer a morsel of advice to other prospective business owners (or NBA players), who might be thinking about the process of franchising, what would it be?
Steve: Do your homework. Find a business you can be as passionate about as you are about your sport. Identify successful franchise systems and ones that are poised for growth. Many are mature and are limited regarding future growth in North America. You are investing your money in the future success of your business. Having the right business partner(s) will provide a solid base for you. Franchising in many ways is consistent with what a pro athlete has experienced in their sports life -- from junior development, through college and into the pros -- a structured environment, where the players are given a playbook to execute.

Read Other Athlete-Owned Business Interviews:
Darryl Strawberry
Bobby LaBonte