Mohamed Sanu (left) and Vernon Davis have plans to open six Jamba Juice stores in Northern Virginia. (Courtesy of Franchise Elevator PR)
Mohamed Sanu (left) and Vernon Davis have plans to open six Jamba Juice stores in Northern Virginia. (Courtesy of Franchise Elevator PR)

Native Washingtonian Vernon Davis (Washington Redskins) and Mohamed Sanu (Atlanta Falcons) have each turned childhood dreams into successful careers as professional athletes in the NFL — catching passes in the clutch then outrunning the defense left choking in the dust.

And while Davis and Sanu may be more accustomed to viewing one another as rivals, given their current positions on opposing team in the NFC, they recently announced a move that will make them “teammates” — off the field.

Citing a keen interest in business development, the NFL veterans have entered into a joint partnership to open six Jamba Juice stores in Northern Virginia. No specific locations have been formally revealed, but the admit they’re eyeing areas in Fairfax County (Reston, Chantilly, McClean) and Loudoun County (Ashburn, Leesburg, Sterling) for their stores.

“Jamba Juice is an iconic brand that, like me, cares about helping others live a healthier, higher quality life,” said David, already the owner of five successful Jamba Juice locations in Northern California.

“I honestly couldn’t be more excited about partnering with Mohamed, expanding my relationship with Jamba Juice and, of course, bringing more of the fresh fruit and vegetable goodness of Jamba to the region,” he said.

In similar fashion, Sanu says he considers franchising to be perfectly-suited to the collected set of skills that must be developed and mastered by professional athletes.

“Over the past decade or so, pro athletes have become a rising presence in the franchise world,” he said. “We’re executors comfortable with working within the confines of an established system and with executing a playbook. Like an athlete, a franchisee has to come in and execute the game plan.”
Jamba Juice’s go-to-person for those like Davis and Sanu, partners of newly-formed franchises, expressed his belief that their “team” will undoubtedly achieve an impressive number of winning seasons.

“Anybody who knows anything about the NFL recognizes Vernon and Mohamed as two of the premier players in the game who continue to play prominent roles in their teams’ success year after year,” said Loren Bontrager, Jamba Juice’s director of franchise business development. “They are strong leaders in the ultra-competitive sports world and inherently understand the importance of working both as a team and as part of a system to achieve success,” he said. “We’re thrilled to have [them] as part of the Jamba team.”

Vernon Davis played football at the University of Maryland before being drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in 2006. After nine seasons, he was traded to the Denver Broncos in 2015 where he won his first Super Bowl championship. In 2016, Davis joined his hometown Washington Redskins. Passionate about developing businesses and securing economic solutions for local communities, he’s also launched the Vernon Davis Foundation for the Arts which promotes art education and art appreciation among youth from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Mohamed Sanu, originally from New Brunswick, New Jersey, played college football at Rutgers and was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in 2012. After four seasons, he signed a five-year contract with the Atlanta Falcons where he currently plays wide receiver. Sanu’s dedication goes beyond his team and career, also extending to the community to whom he’s committed to give back. He’s led “Sanu’s Crew” football camp since 2015 which benefits underprivileged youth with serious health challenges, among other charities.

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D. Kevin McNeir – Senior Editor

Dominic Kevin McNeir is an award-winning journalist with more than 25 years of service for the Black Press (NNPA). Prior to moving East to assist his aging parents in their struggles with Alzheimer’s,...

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