Big Blue Swim School Is a Tech Company Operating in the Swim Lesson Industry

by SwimSwam Partner Content Off

September 28th, 2020 Learn to Swim

Courtesy: Big Blue Swim School

Big Blue Swim School is a mission-driven business focused on creating big, life-changing moments for kids and families, distinguishing itself as much more than just a swim lesson franchise.

Big Blue Swim School is a software company as well as a swim lesson provider,” said Chris Kenny, CEO of Big Blue Swim School. “An essential part of why we are able to deliver on our life-changing mission is because of LessonBuddy™, our proprietary enterprise system. The easy-to-use lesson management software and customer self-service mobile app puts franchise partners ahead of the competition in every way. The platform operationalizes the business for franchise partners and it also provides an easy-to-use scheduling and progress-tracking tool that parents love using.”

From day one, technology has been the core element of Big Blue’s business model. In January 2017, the impressive concept caught the eye of private equity group Level 5 Capital Partners. Level 5 acquired a stake in the company to support the brand’s growth plan through franchising to 150 schools by 2021.

Since LessonBuddy’s inception, Big Blue has disrupted the conventional swim school model. “Big Blue provides a cloud-based platform specifically designed to deliver a best-in-class swim lesson experience for our families and provide real-time information for our associates and franchise partners,” said CTO Casey Morford. “We’re able to bring the most important functions into one system, something that cannot be done with a third-party platform.”

With the entire management platform in the cloud, franchise partners can manage their business remotely. “The platform’s dashboard gives franchise partners the ability to create optimized class schedules, keep employees on track, manage swimmers and update billing,” said Kenny. “Owners can map out class times by age group and make it easy for parents of multiple children to attend classes at the same time. The customer relationship management tool gives onsite team members tools to help build trust with customers with easy access to their latest communications as well as a detailed look into their history in the program.”

On the consumer side, LessonBuddy can be used to track progress and manage lessons via mobile devices, allowing families to visualize their children’s skill advancements as well as reschedule lessons at the touch of a button. This tech-forward approach enhances the swim lesson experience, helps secure repeat customers, and maintains loyalty.

The specific emphasis on cloud-based technology has many inherent benefits for both consumers and pool owners. “The power of our platform is securely available anywhere there is an internet connection and updates are delivered quickly,” said Morford. “All of our data is centrally stored and analyzed, giving our franchisees intelligence to help them make informed and timely business decisions. Plus, the adaptable platform can accommodate the needs of our franchise partners as they grow through the integration of various best-in-class cloud applications.”

Franchise partners don’t have to worry about building a tech stack from scratch and can leverage a turnkey business solution with LessonBuddy. Both Big Blue and franchise partners work together to ensure this model is implemented successfully.

Big Blue is a prime example of a franchisor doing everything they can to adapt to the changing digital business landscape. Since Big Blue has operated as a technology concept since its inception, the brand is uniquely positioned to become a national player in the swim school space.

“Technology has changed the franchising world,” said Kenny. “Big Blue embraces that as a technology company that also teaches swimming, placing us laps ahead of others in the swim lesson segment.

The total investment necessary to begin operation of a new Big Blue Swim School is 2,329,223 to $3,636,998, (refer to item 7 in FDD).

To learn more or inquire about Big Blue Swim School, visit


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

Big Blue Swim School is a SwimSwam Partner. 

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