The Youth Sports Manifesto

The Youth Sports Manifesto

i9 Sports is revolutionizing kids sports franchises — and kids sports overall — for youth ages 3-14

 An i9 Sports-branded football is pictured on a grassy field in the sunshine. In the out-of-focus background, kids legs can be seen.
Running a kids sports franchise can be a beautiful thing. But it’s also something that can be easily tarnished if parental conflict is allowed to fester or take root. That’s a common problem in many youth sports leagues today, but CEO and Chairman Brian Sanders is determined that it won’t be a problem with your i9 Sports youth sports franchise.

To that end, Sanders wrote a Youth Sports Manifesto. It addresses the obstacles commonly facing youth sports, the solutions, and i9 Sports’ methodology to achieve those solutions. Our business is intended to be rewarding for franchisees, satisfying for parents and nurturing for youth.

In his introduction to the Manifesto, Sanders writes, “Team sports are a dress rehearsal for life. In fact, there is no better tool to teach kids the skills necessary to succeed in life than sports. Yet, something has gone terribly wrong. Youth sports have been hijacked by adults, and kids are literally losing out. We offer this manifesto as a rallying cry to everyone involved with youth sports to return them to what they should be… fun games for kids.”

It’s all fun and games…isn’t it?

At i9 Sports, our mission is to help kids succeed in life through sports. Our vision is to be the undisputed leader in recreational youth sports for boys and girls ages 3-14 by delivering a superior and extraordinary youth sports experience.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some common obstacles to overcome. Sanders lists six of them in his Manifesto:

  • Over 70% of kids drop out of youth sports by age 13 because it has become a negative experience or is no longer fun;
  • The focus has been shifted away from kids to bolstering the self-esteem of their parents and the win/loss record of their coaches;
  • A growing 3.5 million kids under the age of 15 are treated for sports-related injuries each year
  • Single sport specialization at an early age has driven a staggering increase in physical and emotional burnout among kids;
  • Only 2% of all kids who play sports in high school will get any form of athletic scholarship to play in college, and only .1% will go on to play professionally. There is massive misalignment between the expectations of parents in the 99.9% who act as if their child is in the .1% and their young kids who view sports as what they should be… a fun game with friends.
  • League culture and program formats are hyper-competitive, highly political, pressurized, disorganized, and inconvenient.

A young teenaged girl with French braided hair is smiling and holding Lacrosse net. The photo is black-and-white. Blue and red words overlay the right third of the photo. They read: Believing in yourself is the first secret to success.

As it turns out, i9 Sports over the years has formulated solutions for these obstacles. We’ve reinvented the game — and the business — of kids sports franchises. For instance, in addressing the specific challenges listed above, Sanders counters:

  • FUN FIRST. We will make youth sports kid-centered and fun. It’s the #1 reason kids play sports.
  • SAFETY. We believe injuries should never be an acceptable consequence of playing youth sports. We will offer only non-contact sports and we will put the physical and emotional safety of our players ahead of all other considerations.
  • LEAGUE CULTURE. We believe that creating a positive culture on the field starts with creating and maintaining a positive culture on the sidelines. We will require all parents and coaches to sign a pledge acknowledging that youth sports are for kids, not adults, and that at this age, fun and building a love of the game are more important than the score.

Read the full Manifesto

It’s important for any company to have a guiding mission, especially when the focus of that business is children. In the youth sports business, there is tremendous opportunity to shape young minds and create healthy habits. To read the full Youth Sports Manifesto, click here.

Learn more

If you’d like to learn more about investing in one of the best youth sports franchise opportunities around, fill out the form on this page to download our free franchise report. You can continue exploring the i9 Sports offering on our research pages.

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