If you happen to see some folks on the streets in Middle Georgia spinning large arrow-shaped signs around their bodies, they have done their job getting your attention.
The signs have advertisements on them, and the spinners’ job is to perform tricks with the signs to bring attention to the ad.
A local couple, Troy and Amy Tarpley, have bought a franchise of AArrow Advertising, based in San Diego. The Tarpleys also own Dent Tricks, a paintless vehicle dent removal business.
Amy Tarpley said when her husband first brought up the idea of diversifying by getting into the sign spinning business, she wasn’t sold on it.
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“I thought we were busy enough with one business,” she said.
Then the company took them to Miami the week before the Super Bowl this year where 50 of the best sign spinners in the world performed for a Pepsi ad. While the show was impressive, Tarpley said she was motivated by other aspects of the business.
“I saw the youth employment and what they were doing with a lot of these kids — helping them get through college and teaching them about finances and human resources,” she said. “Most of the kids do not have a lot of opportunities and I thought that’s something they can really use.”
Another franchise owner said his slogan was: “If you are spinning signs, you are not committing crimes,” she said.
While there is no upper age limit, the traditional age range of sign spinners is 16 to 24. The signs are about 4 pounds and are 72 inches by 20 inches. New spinners are trained two hours a day, five days a week.
“We’ve been at this a week, and we have two kids who are ready to go on their own,” she said. “There are about 400 tricks they can learn and once they learn about 30 they are ready to go out on a job. ... Most of them pick up the basic skills after the second practice.”
So far, 13 people have been hired in Macon, and the Tarpleys expect to create teams of 10 spinners — male and female — and to have teams in Milledgeville, Warner Robins and Dublin, in addition to the team in Macon.
“The whole concept is around a sports team and being on a team and showing up for practice,” Tarpley said. “They are required to come to practice, if they don’t show up they don’t get to work.”
Depending on what the client wants, a job can be from three hours to as long as 11 hours, including breaks, she said. Most jobs are four to six hours.The business has signed two local businesses so far and has four other proposals in the works. Butler Toyota was the first customer and it wants spinners in Warner Robins to pull customers to the Macon dealership, she said.
Also spinners will be performing at the recently opened Fountain Car Wash Express on Gray Highway.
The Tarpleys’ franchise is the second AArrow business in Georgia. The first opened in Atlanta.
Anyone interested in becoming a sign spinner can apply online at www.aarrowads.com and click on the “contact us” link, or call 733-0674.
To contact writer Linda S. Morris, call 744-4223.