Husband and Wife Team Describe Their New Business as a Family Venture and a Passion
Ryan and Stephanie McGallion were both youth athletes, so they’ve always understood the big role youth sports plays in a community. But it wasn’t a direct path from playing youth sports to becoming i9 Sports® owners.
For Ryan, the idea started when COVID hit. At the time, he had been working in the utilities industry for about 10 years.
“The pandemic changed everything. It made me think a lot about what I wanted to do and what kind of future I wanted to have. My work/life balance was something I wanted to improve as well,” he says.
The McGallion’s sons, Kian, 14, and Owen, 10, had played in i9 Sports leagues as well as other youth sports leagues before the family made the dive into entrepreneurship.
From customers to i9 Sports owners
Stephanie says, “We’re at the ballfield all weekend sometimes. I thought, ‘Why not make that our passion?’ We could give back to the community, work with kids, and let them become great little athletes.”
When they learned that the Beaumont/Port Arthur, Texas, territory was available, they quickly jumped on the opportunity to become i9 Sports owners.
“I took notice of the i9 Sports business model from our first game. There was very little overhead cost, and I liked the business’s involvement in the local community and the focus on fun, healthy competition,” Ryan says.
Stephanie agrees. “Being a good sport is doing what you’re supposed to do,” she says. “It’s making good plays, being positive, and cheering on your team. To me, that’s winning already. It’s competitive, but it’s not the main focus. I think the i9 Sports business model will keep you in the winning circle no matter what.”
The grand opening of their i9 Sports business is April 22, and they’re offering flag football, soccer, and T-ball leagues for their first season. “We’re high on adrenaline right now. We’re ready for things to kick off and get our first season underway,” Ryan says.
The couple also is working on setting up a nonprofit organization to cover registration costs for underprivileged children in their community. “We believe that all kids should have the opportunity to play the sports they love, and it will provide some much-needed youth activities,” Ryan says.
This is more evidence of why the McGallions are a great fit for i9 Sports. At a national level, the i9 Sports Association Charity offers grants to families who otherwise might not be able to participate in youth sports.
The family already has demonstrated their charitable spirit by sponsoring local schools to help those schools raise extra funding.
“We’re excited and so are our sons. This is a family venture,” Stephanie says.
“Kian (their 14-year-old) is going to be working with us this spring, and he’s thrilled. He’s great with kids. Owen (10) has been to a ton of in-person events with us and is really excited. He loves i9 Sports and still plays in the leagues,” Stephanie says.
“Kian has an entrepreneurial brain, and I’m excited to see him grow through this experience,” she adds.
i9 Sports is the first and largest youth sports league business in the U.S. Our franchise owners offer youth sports leagues, camps, and clinics for boys and girls ages 3 to 14 in today’s most popular sports: flag football, soccer, basketball, baseball, volleyball, lacrosse, and tennis.
To learn more about our youth sports leagues and the i9 Sports business model, download our free ebook.