Zack & Brittany Groesbeck Bring Big Blue Swim School to Salt Lake City

by SwimSwam Partner Content Off

May 14th, 2019 Learn to Swim

Leading swim instruction franchise Big Blue Swim School is coming to Salt Lake City this year as part of a three-unit deal signed by husband-and-wife franchisees Zack and Brittany Groesbeck. The pair own a series of sunglass retail locations throughout Utah and Zack is a Director of Sales for Maui Jim Sunglasses. The Groesbecks are still working with the Big Blue development team to secure prime real estate, but plan to open one location each year for the next three years and to potentially develop the entire Utah market.

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 Swim School 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 $20 billion swim school industry thanks to key differentiators such as Lesson Buddy™, 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.

Zack and Brittany Groesbeck – courtesy Big Blue Swim School

The Groesbecks’ journey to Big Blue Swim School is a fascinating one. After witnessing a tragic drowning incident at their local pool several summers ago, the Groesbecks—themselves parents of two young children—knew that they wanted to commit themselves to promoting pool safety and providing unparalleled swim instruction through a swim school franchising opportunity. They first looked into Goldfish Swim School, where their children were enrolled. After unsuccessfully negotiating territories with Goldfish, Zack decided to look elsewhere. Once the Groesbecks learned about Big Blue’s proprietary teaching and real estate-sourcing technology, scheduling software and dual-pool model, they were hooked.

The Groesbecks have signed a three-unit development deal with plans to open one location a year for three years, along with the goal of eventually developing the entire market and expanding the Big Blue footprint to eight or nine locations. The duo is presently in the midst of locking in real estate for their first location, but is ecstatic to bring Big Blue Swim School to Salt Lake City this year.

“Zack and Brittany are just truly awesome people,” said Big Blue Swim School’s Chief Development Officer, Scott Thompson. “They have young kids in a swim school and Brittany herself embodies our target customer, so they have an incredibly valuable perspective. Additionally, they understand the Salt Lake City market and are right in-line with Big Blue’s philosophy concerning the importance of water safety and swim education. We’re thrilled to welcome them to the Big Blue family.”

The Groesbecks identified Salt Lake City as the perfect market for Big Blue Swim School development because Utah claims the youngest population in the U.S. and families in the state often include four or more children.

“It’s an extremely family-oriented community—every extra dollar goes to their children, and into extracurricular activities or programs to their benefit,” said Brittany Groesbeck.

“Today, parents are leery of contact sports and looking for alternatives for their children,” said Zack Groesbeck. “That’s 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.

Learn to swim news is courtesy of Big Blue Swim School, a SwimSwam partner. 

Comments are closed.