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 3,000,000 player registrations and nearly 160 franchise locations operating nationwide, 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, baseball, ZIP Lacrosse™ and volleyball.
We provide an alternative to community youth sports leagues through a well-defined customer experience that focuses on fun for the kids and convenience for the parents. Since our first franchise was sold in 2003, i9 Sports has given entrepreneurial individuals a time-tested way to achieve their dreams of building a business while doing something they love.
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. Our franchise is affordable to start, has low overhead and is inexpensive to scale, thanks to our work-from-home setup, volunteer and part-time staffing model and cost-effective, geo-targeted local marketing strategy.
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, 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 that they stop enjoying it.
i9 Sports offers a fun and safe environment to enjoy their favorite sports with their friends. We emphasize age-appropriate instruction that teaches the fundamentals of each sport and the value of good sportsmanship. We keep things competitive enough to help kids learn new skills and improve their game, without sacrificing the fun factor.
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 today’s most popular team sports. Specifically, they can offer flag football, soccer, basketball, baseball, cheerleading, ZIP Lacrosse™, and volleyball.
We think that a youth sports franchise that 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 offer sports with the highest participation levels that also offer 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 delight of parents with kids ages 3-6. It has allowed i9 Sports franchise owners to reach a whole new audience.
- ZIP Lacrosse™ – Our newest sport, introduced in 2018, ZIP Lacrosse™ is a fast-paced, non-contact, 3-on-3 game for participants to develop and refine their lacrosse skills. With limited equipment requirements (no helmets or pads), the i9 Sports format is the perfect way to teach kids ages 5-14 the fundamentals of lacrosse while developing their hand-eye coordination, agility and overall athletic skills.
- Volleyball – The i9 Sports volleyball program is played indoors or outdoors in a 4 v 4 or 6 v 6 format. Small team sizes allow children to get maximum touches on the ball. The game is designed to keep kids moving, engaged and learning new skills.
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.
Own an i9 Sports franchise
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 the Business Works.
*Based on data presented in Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500 2021 issue.