What Is i9 Sports?
The Nation’s First and Largest Youth Sports League Business Opportunity!
Based in Tampa, Florida, i9 Sports® is the nation’s first and largest youth sports league franchise business* with more than 1,000,000 player registrations spanning hundreds of communities from New York to Hawaii. Our franchise owners offer youth sports leagues, camps, and clinics for boys and girls ages 3-14 in today’s most popular sports, such as flag football, soccer, basketball and baseball. Since our first franchise was sold in 2003, i9 Sports has given entrepreneurial individuals who have the desire to make a living doing something they love a time-tested way to achieve their dream.
Why are so many entrepreneurs drawn to the i9 Sports franchise business opportunity? Aside from the appeal of sports and the ability to make a difference in the lives of kids, our model makes a huge difference in the lives of our franchise owners and their families! i9 Sports franchises are home-based and offer our franchise owners the freedom, work/life balance and financial independence that only come through owning your own business.
We are an employee-owned company
We began 2016 with an important announcement. Our founder and chairman, Frank Fiume, sold i9 Sports to his employees. Frank described it as fulfilling a lifelong dream.
“Our employees have acted like owners for a long time,” Frank said. “Now, they no longer need to act. All eligible i9 Sports Corporation employees will have a literal ownership stake in the company they are helping to build. This is about more than just compensation. It’s about rewarding the contagious sense of pride and personal ownership our employees have in the company’s success.”
i9 Sports joins about 7,000 U.S. companies in being employee-owned (known as ESOPs or Employee Stock Ownership Plan). An ESOP is designed as a retirement benefit for employee owners linking them to the long term success of the company. Over time, employees are granted shares in the company at no cost to them. Under the plan, which is in addition to regular benefits at i9 Sports Corporation, all eligible company employees with 1,000 hours or more per year will automatically participate in the plan.
Our mission: to help kids succeed in life through sports
There is no better tool to teach a child the skills necessary to succeed in life than sports. Self-discipline, determination, teamwork, and good sportsmanship are only a handful of the many valuable life skills learned through sports participation. Unfortunately, anyone with a ball and a whistle can offer a sports program, and many kids leave organized sports because of a negative experience.
Research has shown that the number one reason kids play sports is to have fun. It is not surprising, then, that the number one reason they quit playing sports is because they stop enjoying it.
Our goal: to put the FUN back into youth sports
i9 Sports franchise owners offer an alternative to the hyper-competitive, win-at-all-cost culture that pervades most youth sports programs today. Through the i9 Sports Experience, our franchisees offer customers age appropriate instruction that’s fun for kids and convenient for today’s busy families. If the idea of working with kids and sports appeals to you, there is no better franchise business opportunity to make a living doing something you love!
i9 Sports franchise offers a variety of programs across multiple sports
As a youth sports league franchise, we encourage our franchise owners to offer a wide variety of programs. This way, they can capitalize on the large demand across multiple sports. Our franchise owners can offer co-ed youth i9 Sports leagues, camps and clinics for children between the ages of 3-14 in six of the most popular team sports. Specifically, they can offer flag football, soccer, basketball, baseball, cheerleading and lacrosse.
We think that a youth sports franchise, which offers just one sport is like an ice cream shop that offers only one flavor. Why limit the business? We could have chosen to be just a flag football franchise, soccer franchise or basketball franchise. Instead, we decided to provide our franchise owners with the greatest potential for year-round business by offering a full range of the most popular team sports.
How did we choose our sports? If you think about youth sports as a business, our choice of sports becomes obvious. We want to “fish where the fish are” by offering sports with the highest participation levels while also offering easy access to playing venues.
Quick overview of our core sports offering
- Flag football –Offering all the fun of tackle football without the same risk of injury, flag football is rapidly becoming the sport of choice among safety conscious parents. In the face of growing media coverage on the long term effects of concussions, i9 Sports franchise owners are already seeing the benefit of offering THE safer alternative.
- Soccer – In a recent study by the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA), outdoor soccer was cited as the second most popular sport for kids under the age of 13. Indoor soccer is quickly becoming popular during the winter season in colder climates. As soccer participation begins at age three, i9 Sports franchise owners are developing customers for life.
- Basketball – Nationally, basketball is the most popular team sport for girls and boys. i9 Sports franchise owners operate basketball programs both indoors and outdoors, which gives a great deal of flexibility in venue options.
- Baseball – In 2012, i9 Sports launched T-ball nationally to the roaring applause of parents with kids ages 3-6. It has allowed i9 Sports franchise owners to reach a whole new audience.
At the end of the day, it’s not the sport that makes the difference. It’s the experience the child and the parents have at the game that makes the difference. i9 Sports franchise owners know that the experience they provide must go far beyond the rules of the game to the hearts of their customers. That’s what brings i9 Sports customers back again and again!
Join the i9 Sports team
We are eager to partner with passionate, sports-minded entrepreneurs who enjoy working with kids. Find out more about becoming an i9 Sports franchise owner by requesting a copy of our free Franchise Report, How to Make a Living in Youth Sports.
*Based on data presented in Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500 2016 issue.