Imagine starting a business. Now think about planning your wedding. And now, imagine doing both at the same time!
It wasn’t ideal timing, but Ken Trager wasn’t going to let that stop him from launching his own i9 Sports youth athletic franchise in North Denver. Waiting just wasn’t an option for him and his wife, Haley.
“We signed the contract in March 2014 while we were doing a lot of wedding preparations,” Trager said. “We got married, went on our honeymoon, and then jumped right back into the business to get ready for our first league kickoff in fall.”
A family focused on the benefits of sports in the lives of children
Now the whole family works in the kids fitness franchise. Trager runs the day-to-day and is a partner in the business with his father, also Ken Trager, who calls himself “the idea guy.” His mom, Sally, a former CPA, helps with the financial side of things. Haley assists with marketing, creative needs and making community connections, especially with local schools.
A love for sports runs deeply in the Trager family, stemming from their time at Greenville College. Trager’s grandfather was the athletic director at the southern Illinois school. Ken Sr. and Sally met there, as did Ken Jr., who played baseball, and Haley, who played volleyball.
Trager’s grandfather loved sports and understood why sports are good for children, but he mostly enjoyed the connections he made via athletics.
“I think, for him, it was more relationships than anything else — using sports as a way to make an impact on someone’s life,” Trager said.
“Sure, he was competitive, but he was a guy who would take the time to get to know a person. He would ask real questions and take an interest, and he used sports to do that. Dad followed in those footsteps. For me, I think i9 Sports is a great avenue to do the same thing.”
The i9 Sports kids fitness franchise gives communities more options
By understanding the benefits of sports in the lives of children, Trager is most excited about allowing kids to make friends and have fun, without the pressure of winning or having to practice every day. His i9 Sports leagues help kids to get a taste of baseball, basketball, soccer and flag football, without having to commit to tons of practice time.
“Ninety percent of kids aren’t going to play on competitive or travel teams. What’s the option for those kids? What if I’m a theater kid, but I like to play soccer and I just want to play once a week?” Trager said.
He’s excited to offer more options for kids like these, who want to enjoy the fun of sports and whose parents need a more convenient and affordable option. i9 Sports is a sports business opportunity that affords flexibility. In fact, when Trager had many requests for lacrosse, he got in touch with a local indoor lacrosse player and arranged for him to put on a two-day clinic, even though he didn’t have a lacrosse program.
Trager loves that his kids franchise offers flexibility for his family life, too. With a baby on the way in October, he said Haley will become a stay-at-home mom but will continue working alongside him on the i9 Sports business.
How to start a youth sports league with growth potential
The franchise support system at i9 Sports also enhances Trager’s ability to make the most of his business. If you’re looking at how to start a youth sport league, he said no one does it better than i9 Sports.
“They have technology to analyze your territory and really dive into the demographics. Who are our customers? What areas we should penetrate and which can wait? It’s not like picking ZIP codes out of a hat — there is meat on the bones telling us why we should be doing that.”
The Performance Dashboard shows him how they stack up against other franchisees in the system, and the Customer Service Center takes care of calls so he can focus on other things.
In addition, Trager credits his business’ growth to the personal advice and encouragement he’s received from the corporate team, especially his business coach Justin Phillips.
“I couldn’t have grown as fast as I have without their help in place,” he said.
Learn more about how to start a youth sports league with i9 Sports by downloading our free report, How to Make a Living in Youth Sports. Or call us today at (877) 262-5730.