New group of i9 Sports owners complete first round of training

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May 14, 2021

New group of i9 Sports owners complete 1st round of training

i9 Sports’ franchisee training gets new owners on the right path toward success

Several new i9 Sports Area Developers attended their first round of training recently to learn everything they need to know about running a successful franchise. i9 Sports has been onboarding many new owners in the past several months who are excited to join a growing opportunity in the booming field of youth sports. Here’s a look at a few of our newest i9 Sports owners:

Lee and Candace Cottle with son Kash.
Lee and Candace Cottle with son Kash.

Lee and Candace Cottle, NE Louisville, KY/SE Clark County, IN. Lee is making the transition from a high school social studies teacher and girls’ basketball coach to a franchise owner. Candace will continue to work as a pharmacist but will help Lee with behind-the-scenes details. Lee and Candace fell in love with the i9 Sports experience after watching their son, Kash, play flag football in the fall of 2020. “Operating an i9 Sports franchise is a great business opportunity that allows us to mesh our passion for sports with helping kids,” Lee says. The Cottles and their son, Kash, are looking forward to growing their territory to be the premier youth sports organization in the Louisville, KY, area.

Ryan Ebert
Ryan Ebert

Ryan Ebert, West Baltimore County, MD. For the past two years, Ryan was the program director for the i9 Sports in Anne Arundel County, MD, with Steve Lockard. Today, he has graduated to being a franchise owner himself, in charge of the West Baltimore County i9 Sports. “I am happy to be back in the West Baltimore County area, where I attended Stevenson University,” Ryan says. “I started and played Club Baseball at Stevenson University, where I also continue to coach. I also played and won seven intramural championships there, so I have some athletic history that I would love to bring back to that community.”


Eric & Nieshia Stephens
Eric & Nieshia Stephens

Eric and Nieshia Stephens, Frederick and Carroll counties, MD. Eric has managed a team of state employees for the past 10 years while Nieshia has been a management analyst. They first got involved in i9 Sports through their oldest son 10 years ago. “My son had just turned 4 and I wanted to get him in any sport that he could play,” says Eric. “I couldn’t wait to coach. We came back year after year.” Ten years later, the couple was searching for the perfect business that they could run themselves. They both grew up playing and loving sports, and both love children. Eric is outgoing, while Nieshia loves spreadsheets. It seemed i9 Sports was a perfect match. “We found out that i9 Sports had a franchise opportunity in our new town of Frederick, MD,” he says, “and we jumped at the opportunity to do something that we knew we would both love.”

Great franchise for communities

Business owners like these invest in i9 Sports because of their passion: for running their own business, for changing the lives of kids through sports, and for their communities. Our proven franchise system does everything possible to ensure success, even for first-time entrepreneurs, from comprehensive franchisee training to assigning you a business coach who will help guide you toward your business goals.

i9 Sports is seeking entrepreneurial-minded people who believe in our mission of shaping young leaders and inspiring them to adopt values like integrity and teamwork while having fun and learning age-appropriate basics in several sports.

We provide youth sports leagues, camps and clinics for boys and girls ages 3–14 in flag football, soccer, basketball, baseball, ZIP Lacrosse™ and volleyball. 

Our startup costs are accessible and our overhead is low, since i9 Sports is a home-based business.

Learn more

We have lots of open territories. To find out more about becoming a franchise owner with i9 Sports, fill out the form on this page to download our free franchise report.