child care franchise

20 02, 2020

Local Entrepreneurs to Open Two Big Blue Swim Schools in North Atlanta

2020-02-20T14:42:00-05:00February 20th, 2020|Tags: , , , , |

Abhay Shinde, Tanmay Dharmadhikari and Sagar Laghate Will Open Pools in East Cobb and Roswell.

ATLANTABig Blue Swim School, one of the nation’s fastest-growing swim school franchises, is partnering with Abhay Shinde, Tanmay Dharmadhikari, and Sagar Laghate to bring two pools to North Atlanta over the next two years. The trio signed on to be Big Blue franchise partners because they were drawn to the high-quality investment opportunity and best-in-class consumer offerings.

“Abhay, Tanmay, and Sagar make a  powerhouse team as franchise partners and we are excited about the expansion they will bring to  Atlanta,” said Scott Thompson, Big Blue’s Chief Development Officer. “Sagar, Abhay, and Tanmay have always wanted to own a business together in the child enrichment space, and we know they will live the Big Blue mission and create inspiring moments for kids and families throughout the greater Atlanta area.”

This is the first franchise partnership for the trio and they look forward to the services and expertise provided by Big Blue’s leadership team, including full support in site location, lease negotiation, construction, and facilities management.

“As part of the Big Blue Swim School family, we will help the youth and families in our community with this vital life skill,” said Dharmadhikari. “Big Blue teaches children how to be safe around the water and grow in confidence as they learn to swim. Most importantly, they have fun while learning.  We are proud to have the opportunity to deliver Big Blue’s mission to the families in Atlanta.”

Atlanta is the home to Level 5 Capital Partners, who invested in  Big Blue Swim School in  2017 to grow the company through franchising. Big Blue Swim School will open its first pool in Atlanta  this spring in Johns Creek.

Since launching in 2009, Big Blue has approached swim instruction holistically, imparting confidence and self-esteem in students while providing parents with feedback on their child’s progress. Started by five-time National Champion swimmer Chris DeJong, Big Blue Swim School is emerging as one of the dominant players in the $3 billion swim school industry. The brand’s semi-absentee business model supports franchise partners with proprietary enterprise technology, a recession-resistant business model, and strong unit economics. With 66 franchises locations sold in 14 states, Big Blue is positioned to be the market leader in an underserved and fragmented industry valued at $3B annually.

ABOUT BIG BLUE SWIM SCHOOL

Big Blue Swim School was founded in 2009 by competitive swimmer Chris DeJong. The first location opened in Wilmette, Illinois, followed by four additional Chicagoland schools. In 2017, Level 5 Capital Partners acquired a stake in the brand. Through that investment, Big Blue plans to grow through franchising to 150 pools by 2021. Big Blue Swim School’s real estate expertise, strong brand, proprietary technology, and leadership support, coupled with its best-in-class consumer offerings, position its franchise partners for long-term success. To learn more about franchise opportunities with Big Blue Swim School, visit http://YourBigMomentStartsHere.com.

18 02, 2020

Big Blue Swim School Wraps Up a Strong First Year of Franchise Sales and Plans to Hit the 150-Unit Mark by the End of 2021

2020-02-18T09:43:42-05:00February 18th, 2020|Tags: , , , , |

With best-in-class consumer offerings, strong leadership support, and a recession-resistant business model, Big Blue has grown to five corporate-owned pools and 66 sold franchise units across 14 states.

CHICAGO — Big Blue Swim School, one of the nation’s fastest-growing swim school franchises, is wrapping up its first year of franchise sales with 66 units sold. Big Blue Swim School has received recognition as a Top 100 Game Changer according to Franchise Dictionary Magazine, expanded its leadership team and further developed its stellar local marketing support. Fueled by its incredible momentum in 2019, the brand is well on its way to signing 150 pools by 2021 and becoming the dominant swim lesson brand in America.

Since last year, Chicago-based Big Blue has staked its claim within the lucrative $3 billion swim school industry, establishing an ever-growing footprint with signed franchise agreements in strategic markets including Chicago, Salt Lake City, Minneapolis, Raleigh, and Austin, as well as in the states of New Jersey, Florida, Washington, Virginia, Maryland, and South Carolina. The brand has also signed leases in Colorado, Virginia, and Maryland, and is nearing an Atlanta area opening this spring.

“As an emerging franchise brand, we accomplished the 50-units sold mark in less than a year,” said founder and U.S. competitive swimmer Chris DeJong. “Because of our strong leadership team, proprietary enterprise technology and consumer focused differentiators in the space, we know that our 2021 goal of 150 locations is completely achievable. Every Dive-in Day brings in  five to ten buying groups, and they’re typically purchasing multiple units, so we’re feeling confident about reaching our growth goals.”

In March of 2019, Big Blue opened a new pool in the North Center neighborhood of Chicago, marking the company’s best opening and strongest first month sales. The company attributes that success to its New Pool Opening process. This proven weekly process includes a robust marketing plan ensuring that each location will operate on day one like it is year five.

Last year also saw an expansion of Big Blue’s leadership team with the hiring of former PepsiCo exec Brooke Mallick and franchise industry veteran Justin Waltz to lead marketing and operations, respectively.

“Brooke and Justin have hit the ground running, focusing on developing strong marketing and operations programs for our franchise partners as we grow the brand,” said CEO Chris Kenny. “The goal of every person on our corporate team is to provide hands-on support to our franchise partners to get them to profitability more quickly so they can open more locations to provide families across the country with  a valuable life skill.”

In addition, the brand has built an impressive board of directors, including franchise industry veterans like 2020 International Franchise Association Chairperson and FASTSIGNS CEO Catherine Monson, who are helping position the brand for explosive success with strategic guidance and operational expertise.

Big Blue’s white-hot franchise growth can be attributed to semi-absentee franchise partners looking to maximize their time and their capital. Among other consumer-facing features, the company’s cloud-based enterprise system, LessonBuddy™ is designed so franchise partners can operate successful pools without needing a daily presence.

Plus, Big Blue leverages its team of real estate professionals to assist in site selection, construction, and facilities management . The team uses market knowledge and data-driven real estate assessment methodology to identify prime locations in trade areas across the country that are in a parent’s path of least resistance. Each location is analyzed to fit the brand’s member profile. This allows franchise partners to scale quickly across multiple units and, ultimately, contribute to Big Blue’s rapid franchise growth.

“We have always known that Big Blue is a special opportunity thanks to our mission-driven business focused on creating big, life-changing moments for kids and our strong support infrastructure for franchise partners. After our successful 2019, we are proud to be recognized for our achievements,” said DeJong. “We are uniquely positioned to go from game changer to industry leader.”

By combining a data-driven business model, growth-oriented franchise partners, and the insight of an expert leadership team, Big Blue is ready to make an even bigger splash in 2020.

Multi-unit opportunities are available for qualified candidates looking for their next big opportunity, and veterans can receive a 10 percent discount on the $75,000 franchise fee. The total investment necessary to begin operation of a new Big Blue Swim School is $1,825,500 to $3,687,000 (refer to item 7 in FDD). To learn more or inquire about Big Blue Swim School, visit https://www.bigblueswimschool.com/franchising/.

ABOUT BIG BLUE SWIM SCHOOL

Big Blue Swim School was founded in 2009 by competitive swimmer Chris DeJong. The first location opened in Wilmette, Illinois, followed by four additional Chicagoland schools. In 2017, Level 5 Capital Partners acquired a stake in the brand. Through that investment, Big Blue plans to grow through franchising to 150 pools by 2021. Big Blue Swim School’s real estate expertise, strong brand, proprietary technology, and leadership support, coupled with its best-in-class consumer offerings, position its franchise partners for long-term success. To learn more about franchise opportunities with Big Blue Swim School, visit http://YourBigMomentStartsHere.com.

14 01, 2020

Neel and Rohit Patel Sign On to Open Texas’ First Big Blue Swim Schools

2020-01-14T13:22:08-05:00January 14th, 2020|Tags: , , , , |

Father and Son Team Will Open Three Pools in the Austin Area

AUSTIN, TexasBig Blue Swim School, one of the nation’s fastest-growing swim school franchises, is officially coming to the Lone Star State, through franchise partners Neel and Rohit Patel. The father-and-son franchising duo plan to open three Big Blue Swim Schools in the Austin area over the next three years. The two recently signed on as franchise partners as they were drawn to the high-quality investment opportunity and best-in-class consumer offerings of Big Blue.

“We are very excited to have Neel and Rohit join the Big Blue team and lead our program in  Austin,” said Scott Thompson, Big Blue’s Chief Development Officer. “As successful entrepreneurs with strong commitments to serving their community, we know they will live the Big Blue mission and inspire big moments for kids and families throughout the greater Austin area.”

Both Neel and Rohit believe the Austin market is ideal for Big Blue’s swim school offering. This is the first franchise partnership for the pair and they look forward to the services and expertise provided by Big Blue’s leadership team, including insight into site selection, lease negotiation, facility construction, and management.

“Big Blue features a recession-resistant model, data-driven enterprise system and solid lasting power in the market, but most importantly, it’s a mission-driven business that helps to prevent drowning by teaching a critical life skill,” said Rohit Patel. “Big Blue provides each child with an opportunity for a lifetime of positive swimming experiences and we are proud to deliver that mission to the families of Austin.”

“We look forward to working with the team to expand and grow throughout Austin,” said Neel Patel. “When we were debating where to locate our pools, we immediately thought of Austin. In addition to a booming economy and job market, the city has one of the fastest-growing family populations in the U.S. The area is perfect for delivering Big Blue’s programs and creating big, life-changing moments for kids and families.”

Since launching in 2009, Big Blue has approached swim instruction holistically, imparting confidence and self-esteem in students while providing parents with feedback on their child’s progress. The brands semi-absentee business model supports franchise partners with proprietary technology, top-tier franchisor support, and strong unit economics. With 59 franchises locations sold in 12 states, Big Blue is positioned to be the market leader in an underserved and fragmented industry valued at $3B annually.

ABOUT BIG BLUE SWIM SCHOOL

Big Blue Swim School was founded in 2009 by competitive swimmer Chris DeJong. The first location opened in Wilmette, Illinois, followed by four additional Chicagoland schools. In 2017, Level 5 Capital Partners acquired a stake in the brand. Through that investment, Big Blue plans to grow through franchising to 150 pools by 2021. Big Blue Swim School’s real estate expertise, strong brand, proprietary technology, and leadership support, coupled with its best-in-class consumer offerings, position its franchise partners for long-term success. To learn more about franchise opportunities with Big Blue Swim School, visit http://YourBigMomentStartsHere.com.

31 12, 2019

Dennis Campbell Joins Big Blue Swim School as Vice President of Franchise Development

2019-12-31T12:14:48-05:00December 31st, 2019|Tags: , , , , |

Industry veteran helps execute growth plan to position the franchise as a national leader

CHICAGO — Big Blue Swim Schoolone of the nation’s fastest growing swim school franchises, has announced the appointment of franchise veteran Dennis Campbell as Vice President of Franchise Development.

“I am excited to join the team as Big Blue Swim School’s Vice President of Franchise Development,” said Campbell. “Their best-in-class offerings, data-driven approach, and proprietary technology position them well for longevity and success in the swim instruction industry and I look forward to bringing Big Blue’s high-performing investment opportunity to franchise partners around the country.”

Founded by U.S. National Champion swimmer Chris DeJong, Big Blue Swim School takes a holistic approach to swim instruction, developing critical life skills like confidence and self-esteem consistent with children’s developmental levels. The brand has the depth of leadership and strong investment model to emerge as a leader in the swim school industry.

Campbell has more than 12 years of experience in franchise development and has a strong track record of helping brands expand through franchising. He most recently served as Vice President of Fuzz Wax Bar, Canada’s leading wax bar franchise, helping educate and guide potential franchise partners through the investment opportunity. Prior to that, he worked as the Vice President of Franchise Development at the premier in-home tutoring service franchise, Tutor Doctor.

“Since launching its franchise program, Big Blue Swim School has signed 58 franchise locations,” said Scott Thompson, Chief Development Officer at Big Blue Swim School. “Dennis’ knowledge and expertise in franchising will allow him to leverage Big Blue’s strong unit model to accelerate our growth in key markets around the country.”

With key differentiators such as LessonBuddy™, a proprietary and easy-to-use lesson management platform, a proven curriculum, and optimized operational model involving data-driven capacity planning, Big Blue is positioned to become a dominant player in the $3 billion swim school industry.

“In addition to the consumer proposition, strong support for both incoming and established franchise partners makes Big Blue a franchising opportunity not to be missed,” said Thompson. “Everyone on the development team is excited about the skill set and expertise Dennis is bringing to Big Blue Swim School.”

Big Blue Swim School is a mission-driven business focused on creating big, life-changing moments for kids and families. The semi-absentee business model supports franchise partners with proprietary technology, top-tier franchisor support, and strong unit economics. The company is currently rolling out an aggressive strategy to grow through franchising to 150 pools in 2021.

ABOUT BIG BLUE SWIM SCHOOL

Big Blue Swim School was founded in 2009 by competitive swimmer Chris DeJong. The first location opened in Wilmette, Illinois, followed by four additional Chicagoland schools. In 2017, Level 5 Capital Partners acquired a stake in the brand. Through that investment, Big Blue plans to grow through franchising to 150 pools by 2021. Big Blue Swim School’s real estate expertise, strong brand, proprietary technology, and leadership support, coupled with its best-in-class consumer offerings, position its franchise partners for long-term success. To learn more about franchise opportunities with Big Blue Swim School, visit http://YourBigMomentStartsHere.com.

23 12, 2019

Wendy and Erik Skaalerud Sign Lease for Denver Area’s First Big Blue Swim School in Centennial, Colorado

2019-12-23T10:30:47-05:00December 23rd, 2019|Tags: , , , , |

Denver-based entrepreneurs sign lease on the first of five Big Blue pools

DENVER — Big Blue Swim School, one of the nation’s fastest-growing swim school franchises, is coming to Colorado thanks to Denver-based entrepreneurs Wendy and Erik Skaalerud. The pair recently signed a lease for their first pool, which will be located at the intersection of Himalaya and Smokey Hill Road in Centennial, Colorado.

As initial investors and franchisees of Orangetheory Fitness, Erik and Wendy grew their Denver footprint for Orangetheory to 30 locations before selling. The couple also started their own finance company 15 years ago—Capital Lending—to help small business owners get off the ground financially. When the two learned about Big Blue Swim School while looking for their next franchising endeavor, they were attracted to the high-quality investment opportunity and the best-in-class consumer offering.

“Big Blue offers a recession-resistant model with solid lasting power in the market, but most importantly, it’s a mission-driven business that helps prevent drowning by teaching a necessary and critical life skill,” said Erik Skaalerud. “We are excited to create a whole culture of quality swimmers and open the door to a new level of swim instruction in Colorado.”

The Skaaleruds signed a five-unit deal in March of 2019, becoming Big Blue’s first franchise partner. As they prepare to open the Centennial Big Blue Swim School, they will continue scouting real estate for four additional Big Blue pools in the surrounding areas.

“As we grow with Big Blue Swim School, we look forward to building an incredible community of families who value confidence, water safety and fun,” said Wendy Skaalerud. “Erik and I made a life commitment to align with people of integrity, kindness, grace and authenticity and the team at Big Blue fits the bill completely.”

Since opening in 2009, Big Blue has worked to change the way swim lessons are taught. “Everything we do is focused on showing kids they can do anything through the magic of weekly swim lessons,” said Chris DeJong, Founder of President of Big Blue Swim School. “This mission drives every operation at Big Blue and we think Erik and Wendy will deliver that mission with passion and enthusiasm.”

With an aggressive growth plan in place, Big Blue has already signed 58 units across the country. With a goal of reaching 150 units by 2021, the brand is uniquely positioned to be the leader in the $3 billion learn-to-swim industry. “The Big Blue brand offers franchise partners strong differentiators like a superior curriculum focused on distance-based learning, an innovative proprietary enterprise system, a data-driven real estate strategy and top-tier franchisor support,” said Big Blue’s Chief Development Officer, Scott Thompson. “Beyond that, Big Blue has the experience and data-driven approach needed to scale quickly.”

“We are very excited about Erik and Wendy’s first Big Blue Swim School opening in Centennial,” said Thompson. “Their franchise and business experience will help set them up to be strong and successful franchise partners in Colorado. Their passion for mission-driven work means they will deliver on the Big Blue mission to inspire big moments for kids in the communities they serve.”

ABOUT BIG BLUE SWIM SCHOOL

Big Blue Swim School was founded in 2009 by competitive swimmer Chris DeJong. The first location opened in Wilmette, Illinois, followed by four additional Chicagoland schools. In 2017, Level 5 Capital Partners acquired a stake in the brand. Through that investment, Big Blue plans to grow through franchising to 150 pools by 2021. Big Blue Swim School’s real estate expertise, strong brand, proprietary technology, and leadership support, coupled with its best-in-class consumer offerings, position its franchise partners for long-term success. To learn more about franchise opportunities with Big Blue Swim School, visit http://YourBigMomentStartsHere.com.

16 12, 2019

Franchise Dictionary Magazine Ranks Big Blue Swim School Among Top 100 Game Changers in 2019

2019-12-16T16:28:17-05:00December 16th, 2019|Tags: , , , , |

The swim school franchise ranks as a Game Changer for the second year in a row thanks to differentiators like a proprietary enterprise system, top-tier franchisor support, and strong unit economics

CHICAGO — Big Blue Swim School, one of the fastest-growing swim school franchises, was ranked among the Top 100 Game Changers by Franchise Dictionary Magazine for the second consecutive year.

The annual Game Changer list is part of the magazine’s December issue.  Franchises on the 2019 Game Changers list were evaluated on a variety of criteria including how they serve communities, if they create an opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs to fulfill a niche, if they impact veterans, and how well they appeal to millennials.

“We are honored to be listed again as a Game Changer franchise in 2019,” said Chris DeJong, founder and President of Big Blue Swim School. “We have always known that Big Blue is a special opportunity thanks to our mission-driven business focused on creating big, life-changing moments for kids, and our strong support infrastructure for franchisees, and we are proud to be recognized for our achievements.”

Founded by U.S. National Champion swimmer Chris DeJong in 2009, Big Blue takes a holistic approach to swim instruction, developing critical life skills like confidence and self-esteem consistent with children’s developmental levels. Backed by private equity firm Level 5 Capital Partners, the largest CorePower Yoga franchisee and third-largest national yoga studio operator, the brand has the depth of leadership and strong investment model to emerge as a leader in the underserved swim school industry.

“Since starting to franchise last year, Big Blue has awarded 55 franchises in key markets across the country,” said Scott Thompson, Chief Development Officer at Big Blue Swim School and Level 5 Capital Partners. “As we continue to expand our presence through strong partnerships, we will further set ourselves apart as game-changers in the $3 billion swim school industry. With best-in-class consumer offerings, strong leadership support, a recession-resistant business model and an aggressive growth plan, Big Blue Swim School is uniquely positioned to go from Game-Changer, to industry leader.”

Big Blue currently has franchise agreements in place in several targeted markets such as Illinois, Utah, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Texas, North Carolina, Virginia, and Arizona. The game changing swim school’s aggressive growth plan aims to franchise to 150 units signed by 2021.

ABOUT BIG BLUE SWIM SCHOOL

Big Blue Swim School was founded in 2009 by competitive swimmer Chris DeJong. The first location opened in Wilmette, Illinois, followed by four additional Chicagoland schools. In 2017, Level 5 Capital Partners acquired a stake in the brand. Through that investment, Big Blue plans to grow through franchising to 150 pools by 2021. Big Blue Swim School’s real estate expertise, strong brand, proprietary technology, and leadership support, coupled with its best-in-class consumer offerings, position its franchise partners for long-term success. To learn more about franchise opportunities with Big Blue Swim School, visit http://YourBigMomentStartsHere.com.

26 11, 2019

Husband-and-Wife Franchise Partners Chris Burden and Penelope Clark Sign a Three-Unit Deal To Bring Big Blue Swim School to the Garden State

2019-11-26T11:51:30-05:00November 26th, 2019|Tags: , , , , |

The multi-unit franchisee pair look forward to positively impacting the families and communities of northern New Jersey with the technology-rich swim school concept.

PARAMUS, N.J. — Premier swim school franchise Big Blue Swim School is coming to northern New Jersey next year as part of a three-unit deal signed by husband-and-wife franchisees Chris Burden and Penelope Clark. The avid swimmers come from a background of business management, marketing, and finance. While Burden and Clark are still working with Big Blue Swim School‘s development team to secure prime real estate in the three New Jersey territories of Paramus, Clifton and Union, they plan to open their first location next year.

“We are thrilled to be bringing Big Blue to the northern New Jersey community,” said Burden. “We have a deep passion for swimming and know how much joy, enrichment and confidence the essential skill can bring to a child’s life. The Big Blue executive team is fantastic and their approach to swim instruction is designed not just to teach skills but to help empower the kids and make them enthusiastic about the activity.”

Big Blue Swim School was founded by U.S. National Champion swimmer Chris DeJong after he missed qualifying for the U.S. Olympic team in 2004 and 2008 by three-tenths of a second—just behind Michael Phelps. Big Blue takes a holistic approach to swim instruction, developing critical life skills like confidence and self-esteem consistent with children’s developmental levels. Big Blue is now positioned to become a dominant player in the $3 billion/year swim school industry thanks to key differentiators such as LessonBuddy™, a proprietary and easy-to-use lesson management platform and customer self-service mobile app; a proven curriculum; and optimized operational model involving data-driven capacity planning.

When the Manhattan-based couple decided to look into franchising, Big Blue’s concept of promoting pool safety and providing unparalleled swim instruction drew them in immediately. As parents themselves, Burden and Clark are well-aware of how difficult scheduling can be and loved how the brand makes it easy for families to coordinate swimming lessons—and how much work is taken off of a franchise partner’s plate as a result.

Their addition to the Big Blue franchise system is also heralded by the executive team.

Chris Burden and Penelope Clark are perfect additions to the Big Blue team,” said Big Blue Swim School’s Chief Development Officer, Scott Thompson. “Their business and marketing experience set them up to be amazing franchise partners in New Jersey. In addition, our data-driven real estate assessment, pre-opening marketing strategy and executive leadership-provided support position the couple for continued success.”

As New Yorkers, Burden and Clark identified northern New Jersey as the perfect market for Big Blue Swim School development because of the tremendous number of families and young children that live in the suburbs of New York City and who are looking for convenient and community-friendly swim instruction.

“Swimming is an amazing fitness activity that has the potential to be a life-changing experience for children,” said Clark. “We can’t wait to bring our past business experience to this new opportunity and embrace the Big Blue mission of inspiring Life’s Big Moments for kids in the communities we serve.”

ABOUT BIG BLUE SWIM SCHOOL

Big Blue Swim School was founded in 2009 by competitive swimmer Chris DeJong. The first location opened in Wilmette, Illinois, followed by four additional Chicagoland schools. In 2017, Level 5 Capital Partners acquired a stake in the brand. Through that investment, Big Blue plans to grow through franchising to 150 pools by 2021. Big Blue Swim School’s real estate expertise, strong brand, proprietary technology, and leadership support, coupled with its best-in-class consumer offerings, position its franchise partners for long-term success. To learn more about franchise opportunities with Big Blue Swim School, visit http://YourBigMomentStartsHere.com.

11 11, 2019

i9 Sports® Announces First Annual Veteran Franchise Giveaway

2019-11-11T11:36:51-05:00November 11th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , |

Nathan Fleming to Open Franchise Serving Plymouth County, Massachusetts

TAMPA, Fla. — i9 Sports Corporation, the nation’s first and largest youth sports league franchise business, just announced the launch of their exciting franchise giveaway opportunity specifically for veterans, a first for the unique sports concept brand. The giveaway serves i9 Sports’ mission of helping kids succeed in life through sports by connecting a qualified veteran with a meaningful business opportunity at the local community level. Valued at $45,000, the giveaway includes a five-year franchise agreement, a waived territory fee and no repayment of the franchise fee.

In an announcement made at the Arlington, TexasBusiness Beyond the Battlefield” conference—before an audience of veteran participants—Nathan J. Fleming, an American Army veteran of 15 Active Duty and four National Guard Years, and native of Van Vleck, TX, was named as the recipient of his own new i9 Sports franchise. The franchise territory will cover the majority of Plymouth County, an area not far from Boston, MA.

This was the first franchise giveaway organized by i9 Sports, but the company already has plans to continue offering the award to qualified veterans on an annual basis.

“I’m excited that a company like i9 Sports wants to do their part to give back to the military veteran community,” said Fleming. “As a parent of three boys who have played i9 Sports for the past five years, I’ve been able to see for myself the positives of a sports experience that puts fun first. I was willing to make my own investment to become an i9 Sports franchisee, so the fact that they made it available in a giveaway says a lot about them as a company.”

Over the course of Fleming’s Active Duty military career, he has been deployed overseas five times and held the position of Commander of the United States Army Advanced Airborne School where he was responsible for the training and safety for a force of over 30,000 Paratroopers to execute airborne missions in a combat environment. As a civilian, Fleming majored in kinesiology and is completing a master’s degree program in sports administration. He knew he wanted to find his own way in the sports realm of business after leaving the military. Receiving the i9 Sports franchise giveaway means Fleming will relocate with his family from their residence in North Carolina to be closer to his new territory in Massachusetts.

“My wife is originally from Massachusetts and she’s moved around with me to countless Army postings over my Active Duty career,” said Fleming. “To be able to start a new chapter and a new business back in her home state makes us really excited for what’s to come.”

“It is an honor to give back to those who have given so much for our country. Nathan’s demonstrated ability to offer world-class training to American soldiers, a passion for sports and serving his local community convinced us he would be a perfect fit as an i9 Sports franchise owner,” said Brian Sanders, President and CEO of i9 Sports. “All of this fit squarely into Nate’s wheelhouse and is a recipe for success in our franchise system. Nate will benefit from our strong operational systems, continual support from our home office team, and our enviable work-life balance on his way to success. We want to show veterans that a transition from the battlefield to the ballfield with us can be fun, rewarding and profitable at the same time.”

About i9 Sports®
Since 2003, i9 Sports, the first and largest youth sports league franchise business in the United States, has served 2 million participants at over 925 locations across 30 states nationwide. Based in Tampa, Florida, i9 Sports has replaced a high pressure, adult-centered experience with a child-centered model that puts fun first. Customers enjoy the i9 Sports Experience which emphasizes age-appropriate instruction that is fun for kids and convenient for today’s busy families. It’s the Way Youth Sports Should Be®.

With 15 consecutive years of record-revenue, franchise owners offer youth sports programs for boys and girls in popular sports such as flag football, soccer, basketball, baseball, volleyball, and ZIP Lacrosse™. i9 Sports is ranked in Entrepreneur’s prestigious list of top 500 franchises, featured as a top 100 Game Changer by Franchise Dictionary, and selected as a Project Play Champion by the Aspen Institute for taking meaningful actions to encourage multi-sport sampling and help grow national youth sports participation rates.
To learn more about i9 Sports youth sports programs and locations, visit www.i9sports.com.
For more information on i9 Sports franchising opportunities, visit www.i9sportsfranchise.com.

23 10, 2019

Wayne and Linda van der Poll Are Bringing Big Blue Swim School to Wake County, NC

2019-10-23T11:13:40-04:00October 23rd, 2019|Tags: , , , , |

The husband-and-wife team signed a three-unit deal to develop the state-of-the-art swim instruction concept in the Raleigh market

RALEIGH, N.C. — Fast-growing swim instruction franchise Big Blue Swim School is coming to Wake County, North Carolina as part of a three-unit deal signed by husband-and-wife franchisees Wayne and Linda van der Poll. The pair originally hails from South Africa, but relocated to Apex, North Carolina nearly six years ago to bring new opportunities and a more diverse experience into their two children’s lives. The van der Poll’s children, ages 19 and 20, are currently attending college nearby at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University.

Big Blue Swim School was founded in Chicago, IL by U.S. National Champion swimmer Chris DeJong after coming in just behind Michael Phelps for qualifying for the U.S. Olympic team in 2004 and 2008.

“We are so thrilled to have Wayne and Linda as franchise partners. Not only do they bring an impressive level of business acumen but also a shared passion for helping kids,” said DeJong.

The brand approaches swim instruction holistically, imparting life skills like confidence and self-esteem in students while benchmarking swimming progress. Big Blue Swim School is well-positioned as a dominant player in the $20 billion swim school industry, with national expansion currently ongoing. Big Blue Swim School’s key differentiators include their proprietary lesson-management platform Lesson Buddy™, a more effective curriculum that teaches independence, and a data-driven operational model.

Wayne is currently Chief Financial Officer of Landmark Management Partners with a background in accounting and enterprise development. He was looking to diversify his portfolio with a franchising opportunity in the services sector, with a diverse client base and recurring revenue. Then he discovered Big Blue Swim School. “When I started researching Big Blue Swim School, it met all of my qualifications and I felt that being involved with a school really resonated with my skill set,” said Wayne.”The Raleigh territory is ripe for opportunity with Big Blue Swim School.” Raleigh’s high concentration of young families makes it a perfect fit for Big Blue. Given that it’s one of the fastest-growing cities in North Carolina and one of the top cities for millennials, Wayne feels the market is primed for a convenient and technology-driven swim instruction brand to take hold.

In 2017, private equity group Level 5 Capital Partners acquired a majority stake in Big Blue Swim School and began to grow the brand through franchising. This partnership largely influenced Wayne’s choice to invest. “I wanted to buy into this process because I really believe in the way that Chris Kenny, Managing Partner of Level 5 Capital Partners, is leading this organization.”

Big Blue Swim School’s Chief Development Officer Scott Thompson shared that he is thrilled to see the van der Polls join the Big Blue system.

“They are passionate about unlocking children’s full potential and believe swimming is a fantastic vehicle to deliver on this,” said Thompson. “Their experience in operating schools in South Africa and the states—accompanied by Wayne’s background in accounting and enterprise development—makes this partnership invaluable for the brand.”

ABOUT BIG BLUE SWIM SCHOOL

Big Blue Swim School was founded in 2009 by competitive swimmer Chris DeJong. The first location opened in Wilmette, followed by Niles, Buffalo Grove and Hoffman Estates. In 2017, Level 5 Capital Partners acquired a majority stake in the brand, and is rolling out an aggressive strategy to grow through franchising to 150 locations by 2021. Big Blue Swim School’s real estate footprint, proprietary technology Lesson Buddy™, coupled with its practice of employing full-time child engagement specialists that teach based on a proprietary distance-based swimming methodology sets Big Blue up for long-term success.

10 07, 2019

Adryenne Hearne-Alvarez and Derek Hearne Sign 5-Unit Deal to Bring Big Blue Swim School to South Florida, Orlando and South Carolina

2019-07-10T12:16:39-04:00July 10th, 2019|Tags: , , , , |

The Chicago-based siblings look forward to positively impacting communities while bringing vital life skills to local families.

CHICAGO — Leading children’s swim instruction brand Big Blue Swim School is officially coming to South Florida, Orlando and South Carolina, thanks to the recent five-unit signing of accomplished franchisee duo Adryenne Hearne-Alvarez and Derek Hearne.

Born and raised in Chicago, the Hearne siblings both graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago; Derek received a degree in economics while Adryenne holds an MBA and an undergraduate degree in sociology. They both worked in the corporate world for several years before making the transition to multi-unit franchise ownership with Amazing Lash Studio and seven Orangetheory Fitness locations.

An avid fitness enthusiast, Adryenne has worked in the industry in several capacities such as personal trainer to boutique gym owner before taking the plunge into franchising. Derek had a successful sales and operations management career in logistics, marketing and IT Security prior to starting with Orangetheory Fitness in late 2014. For their next venture, the sister-and-brother duo were looking for a proven business model that would positively impact the community. When they discovered Big Blue Swim School at a multi-unit franchising conference in Las Vegas, the Hearnes were sold.

“There are a few things we look at when evaluating a new concept, and Big Blue checked all the boxes,” said Adryenne Hearne-Alvarez. “We had the opportunity to meet the team at a Dive-in Day in Chicago, and we were really impressed by the business model and the effort put into growing the brand. We didn’t look back. This is what we want to do, and it fits our short-term and long-term strategy.”

The Hearnes seized on the opportunity to be first-to-market in South Florida, Orlando and South Carolina. As multi-unit franchisees, they were impressed with the model’s scalability, strong unit economics and use of technology, including the LessonBuddy™ app, an easy-to-use customer-facing lesson management and scheduling platform.

Big Blue Swim School was founded by U.S. National Champion swimmer Chris DeJong after coming in just behind Michael Phelps in qualifying for the U.S. Olympic team in 2004 and 2008. The brand approaches swim instruction holistically, imparting life skills like confidence and self-esteem in students while benchmarking swimming progress. Big Blue Swim School is well-positioned as a dominant player in the $20 billion swim school industry, with national expansion currently ongoing.

“When people walk into your business, they want to feel a sense of happiness, belonging and community. That’s what we’re looking to bring,” said Adryenne Hearne-Alvarez. “Parents will be able to come in and enjoy themselves, watch their children gain major survival skills, and be proud to and show their friends and family pictures of what their children learned. For us, success is bringing that to the community.”

Big Blue Swim School’s Chief Development Officer Scott Thompson shared that he is excited to see the Hearnes join the Big Blue system.

“Adryenne and Derek radiate energy and passion. They are always reaching beyond their grasp and going the extra mile for their clients,” said Thompson. “They cultivate great teamwork between with their employees, and embrace others’ differences. They are just awesome—you can’t find better people than them.”

ABOUT BIG BLUE SWIM SCHOOL

Big Blue Swim School was founded in 2009 by competitive swimmer Chris DeJong. The first location opened in Wilmette, followed by Niles, Buffalo Grove and Hoffman Estates. In 2017, Level 5 Capital Partners acquired a majority stake in the brand, and is rolling out an aggressive strategy to grow through franchising to 150 locations by 2020. Big Blue Swim School’s real estate footprint, proprietary technology Lesson Buddy, coupled with its practice of employing full-time child engagement specialists that teach based on a proprietary distance-based swimming methodology sets Big Blue up for long-term success.