Courtesy: Big Blue Swim School
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 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. To learn more about franchise opportunities with Big Blue Swim School, visit http://YourBigMomentStartsHere.com.
Big Blue Swim School is a SwimSwam Partner.