Inside Kendrick Perkins’ multimillion-dollar Frenchie business

Inside Kendrick Perkins’ multimillion-dollar Frenchie business

Kendrick Perkins, a former NBA champion and star analyst at ESPN, may well make more money from his French business than he does from broadcasting in the next five years.

About four years ago, Perkins was approached by his brother-in-law Thomas Alpough with a succinct business pitch: “Man, we’ve got to get into this dog breeding business.”

Perkins has always been a fan of dogs and had them as pets, but didn’t know what Alpough was talking about.

“What dog breeding business?” he asked.

“Frenchies,” Alpough replied. “I tell you, man, it’s the best thing ever.”

At the time, Perkins brushed off the idea, but his interest was piqued when Alpough obtained a male and female on his own, bred them and had a litter of puppies.

“I need you to post this on your Instagram. Let’s start it up. I don’t need money from you. And we’re going to sell them, Alpough told Perkins.

The six puppies ranged in price from $8,000 to $20,000 apiece, and they sold out in three days, for a total of nearly $60,000.

Star ESPN NBA analyst Kendrick Perkins has scaled up his Frenchie breeding business.
Star ESPN NBA analyst Kendrick Perkins has scaled up his Frenchie breeding business.
Instagram / Big League Exotics

Alpough bought another female dog, and another litter of seven puppies appeared, and they sold out immediately again.

“I was like, ‘OK, you’re really getting money right now,'” Perkins said. “Now he got my attention, and I’m all in.”

The brothers-in-law formalized a partnership in a company called Big League Exotics (BLE), built a kennel, social media pages and began reinvesting the proceeds from the litters to buy more adult Frenchies to breed.

BLE is a four-person company: Perkins, Alpough, Dung Nguyen — a serial entrepreneur who works with Alpough on other ventures, including real estate — and John Shenkir, another businessman who struck up a friendship with Alpough after the two met at the vet.

Now BLE has 42 dogs, and Perkins estimates their sales value to be around $4-5 million in total. The dogs are spread between their own facility, and other families and kennels that may be possible partners in the business. Considerable emphasis is placed on the dogs’ welfare and quality of life.

There are cutting edge strategies to implement – it’s not just as simple as getting two dogs to fornicate and collect the profits. There is a constant need to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to genetics, which means anticipating future breeds that will be in demand even if they don’t exist yet.

“Frenchies. I’m telling you, man, it’s the best thing that comes along.”

“Originally, Frenchies started out, and there were black and white Frenchies. Then, all of a sudden, they started coming out with purple Frenchies, which were blue and white, with spots and things like that,” Perkins said. “Then you have Merles [which resemble Dalmations’ patterns]. But now you have fluffy Frenchies, which cost a lot. Fluffy Frenchies have fur, different colors, it’s the new wave. These dogs start at $100K-$150K.

“We started developing relationships. I started learning more about the DNA, the color, the structure — the things that people want. And now we’re to the point where we actually have dogs that are in our kennel that are worth $250K, $500K — and we even have one that’s worth $1 million.”

And this brings us to Jay-Z, a pink husky fluffy purchased from a British-based breeder named Diego Sanchez, whom Perkins refers to as “the godfather of the French.” Sanchez works with his life and business partner, Susan Bello, and runs a company called Deziner Bullz.

Jay-Z has pink fur and spots like a panda bear, and is a pioneer in his bloodline that had never been seen before in the United States. His purchase price? As Dr. Evil once said, a million dollars.

A Merle Frenchie from Big League Exotics.
A Merle Frenchie from Big League Exotics.
Instagram / Big League Exotics
Big League Exotics purchased Jay-Z, a pink fluffy Frenchie, from UK-based Deziner Bullz for $1 million.
Big League Exotics purchased Jay-Z, a pink fluffy Frenchie, from UK-based Deziner Bullz for $1 million.
Instagram / Big League Exotics

He was originally posted on Instagram as not for sale; that was until BLE blew Deziner away with the biggest offer they had ever received.

“It was hard, because they didn’t want to give Jay-Z up at all. They knew he was one of a kind, Perkins said.

There is, Perkins explained, a misconception where people think female dogs, who carry babies, are more valuable than males. But if you think of them along the lines of, say, a Kentucky Derby-winning horse, a male can foal repeatedly, while females can only carry one litter at a time.

“You make money selling their semen,” Perkins, who played 14 years in the NBA, said matter-of-factly. “You have your breeding fees, and with Jay-Z, the semen starts at $100,000.”

The breeding process is complicated.

“There’s a lot of work behind the scenes, like making sure the dogs’ progesterone levels are tested, and making sure it’s the optimal time to breed for the female’s fertility rate. If you send the semen, you need to know that it’s only good for a certain time and meet the window of customer expectations, said Shenkir.

There are big costs associated with the business and the progesterone testing is not cheap, Nguyen elaborated.

“We really take care of the dogs. We give them first-class food and take care of their health,” he said.

Perkins said they received a multi-million dollar offer for Jay-Z, which meant his value would have tripled in no time. This offer was nevertheless refused.

Jay-Z as a puppy.
Jay-Z as a puppy.
Instagram / Deziner Pedz

“We know how much money he can make long term,” Perkins said. “We just did his first official breeding two weeks ago because he just turned 11 months.”

Perkins also recorded a video of his colleagues walking down Newbury Street in Boston with Jay-Z and a koi Frenchie.

A group contacted them, knew they would only be in town for a short time, found out where they were and approached them on four-wheelers—giving Alpough $10,000 in cash as a down payment, a 10 percent “early lock-in” on Jay-Z’s cum.

“It was amazing,” laughed Shenkir.

Kendrick Perkins played for the Cavaliers in 2015.
Kendrick Perkins played for the Cavaliers in 2015.
Getty Images

Bello and Sanchez, the Deziner team, have been breeding dogs for about 20 years. They have evolved to be one of the premier Frenchie breeders in the world and they are constantly trying to mix DNA to create breeds with new textures and colors – husky Frenchies, koi Frenchies, pink Frenchies, fluffy Frenchies, etc.

“To make all these advanced special dogs, we need to know everything about DNA; we need to know the right types of dogs to start the program. It takes five to seven years to make [a new breed]”, Bello said. “It’s not a quick process to finally get the finished article. There’s a lot of work that went into creating that dog.”

To come up with a dog with a shade of pink like Jay-Z, there is a mix of generations of dominant and recessive genes – where dogs can carry, say, a purple gene, but not necessarily show it.

“You have to match a boy and girl with the right DNA to make sure they have an opportunity to make the dog you’re looking for. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t, Bello said. “You can get seven, eight puppies, and only one in the litter comes out what you’re looking for. It’s a mixture of luck, education and understanding.”

After the Jay-Z purchase, BLE and Deziner Bullz formed a partnership, with the British group sending cutting-edge puppies to Perkins’ group, which sells the dogs and/or breeding skills in the United States. The profit is then shared.

“They sent us three pregnant dogs, expecting exotic huskies that are like Jay-Z but in their natural color and look like panda bears,” Perkins, 37, said of one of their first partnerships.

A Koi Frenchie from Big League Exotics
A Koi Frenchie from Big League Exotics
Instagram / Kendrick Perkins

Both BLE and Deziner have high standards. The companies must reconcile the desire to maximize revenue with caution against flooding the market and keeping their creations scarce. Both companies wanted to emphasize that they are licensed businesses that treat their dogs with care.

The highest price BLE has received for a dog so far came when they sold a pink husky Frenchie for $250K. Farthest they’ve sold a dog? Australia. They made the sale a couple of weeks ago and are in the process of ensuring that the puppy meets all vaccination requirements.

Another element of BLE’s business is helping other breeders sell their Frenchies. Because of Perkins’ social media prowess — he has over 370,000 followers on Instagram, and the Exotics account has another 31,000 — they can move dogs much faster than the average mom-and-pop shop.

Of course, there are many buyers out there who cannot afford a six-figure Frenchie from BLE for breeding purposes, but would like to purchase a $5,000-$10,000 Frenchie as a pet. A Frenchie can be for sale from a small breeder for months without any, and find a buyer within hours if Perkins and the team get involved.

Fluffy husky puppies from Deziner Pedz.
Fluffy husky puppies from Deziner Pedz.
Instagram / Deziner Pedz

“We just play middleman and charge the breeder a brokerage fee,” Perkins said; their cut could be something in the neighborhood of $1,500 on a $6,500 sale.

With so much money at stake, extreme precautions must be taken. The only people who know where BLE’s French are staying, in an undisclosed location in rural Texas, are the four people who work together. The house sits on around 100 hectares of property, with a 10 acre garden that is fenced, with surveillance cameras everywhere and four Cane Corso dogs on patrol. When they take the dogs to the show, they have to hire security guards.

When a massive sale goes down, one of the four from BLE must deliver.

“When you’re dealing with a transaction that big, you can’t trust anyone except someone in your inner circle to deliver that dog,” Perkins said. “Because you could drop a person off at the airport with their dog, and that person could take a detour and not even get on the plane, and change their phone number, and now all of a sudden they’ve walked away with a $100,000 dog and everybody loses. »

Frenchies are the most stolen dogs in the United States, notes Nguyen.

“Even in Houston, they were on the news to be careful if you own one because people are losing their lives or getting robbed because it’s so hot,” Perkins said. “The French are hotter than property.”

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