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Entrepreneurial Student Spearheads Ad Franchise

Published: December 15, 2008
 When senior business student Kyle Wright heard about a franchise opportunity with a new company that was selling advertisements on golf carts, he was immediately intrigued.

A few phone calls and an interview later, the University of Tampa senior was named president of Golf Cart Ads Florida, LLC (GCA Florida).

“It’s a completely new idea that a lot of people have never heard of,” Wright said. “The challenge is persuading people about why they should do this as opposed to traditional media advertising like billboards and TV.”

GCA Florida is essentially a niche-marketing firm that sells vinyl wrap advertisements to be placed on golf carts owned by individual golf courses. As a franchise owner, Wright works to create partnerships with the courses, which grant permission to use their carts for the ads as a means to generate extra revenue. He then seeks local and national businesses that want to advertise on the courses.

“If you’re out in the sun playing golf for four hours and you keep seeing a restaurant ad on the front of the golf carts, there’s no way you’re not going to go to that restaurant when the game is over,” Wright said.

A December graduate, Wright juggled a full-load of classes in his final semester at UT while also completing an internship with an equity firm and working to startup the business at the same time.

“It’s been a delicate balance this semester,” he said.

Upon hearing about the business early in the fall semester, Wright recruited UT alum and fellow business grad Ryan Shaffer ’08 to join him in starting the Florida franchise.

“Within two weeks we had hit the ground running and we were signing courses and selling ads,” Wright said. “We place a full vinyl wrap around the carts. It not only looks great, but it also protects the carts from damage and makes them easy to clean.”

As Wright has worked to complete a double major in international business and government and world affairs, Shaffer helped maintain ad sales in addition to assisting with placement of the ads on the golf carts.

Upon graduation, Wright intends to focus on the business full-time. In addition to his dual B.S. and B.A. degrees, Wright also minored in economics and Spanish.

An Honors student, he is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, the business honors society, as well as Delta Sigma Pi, the UT business fraternity that was recently honored at the Leadership and Excellence Academies for Deltasigs (LEAD) conference as the most outstanding chapter for the southern province.