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FDD Talk 2017: What You Need to Know About the i9 Sports Franchise Opportunity (Financial Performance Analysis, Costs and Fees)

by Franchise Chatter on October 17, 2017

in Child-Related Franchises, FDD Talk 2017: Children's Franchises, Franchise Earnings



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i9 Sports Franchise Photo by michelequattrin

In this FDD Talk 2017 post, you’ll learn the following:

  • Section I – Background information on the i9 Sports franchise opportunity, including relevant news updates
  • Section II – Estimated initial investment for an i9 Sports franchise, based on Item 7 of the company’s 2017 FDD
  • Section III – Initial franchise fee, royalty fee, marketing fee, and other fees for an i9 Sports franchise, based on Items 5 and 6 of the company’s 2017 FDD
  • Section IV – Presentation and analysis of i9 Sports’ financial performance representations, based on Item 19 of the company’s 2017 FDD, including information on the:
  • 2016 average revenue for the 106 full-time i9 Sports franchises that were open for more than 60 months, between 49 and 60 months, between 37 and 48 months, between 25 and 36 months, and between 13 and 24 months, respectively, as of December 31, 2016
  • 2016 average registration fee for the 106 full-time i9 Sports franchises that were open and operating for over 12 months as of December 31, 2016
  • yearly revenue growth of “same franchise units” for those 106 full-time i9 Sports franchises that were open and operating for the entire 2015 calendar year and 2016 calendar year
  • average owner’s discretionary profit margin for the period from April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016, based on data provided by 73 full-time i9 Sports franchises that were open and operating for at least 12 months as of April 1, 2015
  • median team equipment, officiating costs, venue costs, site managers and paid instructors, liability insurance and background checks, and total cost per registration for the period from April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016, based on data provided by 73 full-time i9 Sports franchises that were open and operating for at least 12 months as of April 1, 2015 (except for the team equipment percentage, which was derived from the franchisor’s Approved Supplier price list as of December 31, 2016)

Section I – Background Information

15 Things You Need to Know About the i9 Sports Franchise

New Franchise Territories



1.  In early September, i9 Sports announced that it had awarded four franchise territories across the East Coast: Boca Raton and Orlando, Florida; Richmond, Virginia; and Baltimore, Maryland. The new franchise owners are Brandon Seeley, Antwain Salvatto and Joseph Jackson, Nisa and Meshack Aduwu, and Alli and Greg Hall.

2.  Brian Sanders, i9 Sports president and CEO, said, “As i9 Sports continues in its mission to help kids succeed in life through sports, it’s incredibly important to identify and select franchise partners who are committed to the culture of age-appropriate instruction that’s fun for kids and convenient for parents in their territories. We know that each of these franchise owners are committed to delivering that superior and extraordinary experience.”

3.  All of the new franchisees have a previous connection to i9 Sports in some way – Brandon Seeley was enrolled in i9 Sports as a child and eventually became a coach and referee for i9 Sports leagues; and Antwain Salvatto and Joseph Jackson, Nisa and Meshack Aduwu, and Alli and Greg Hall all have children who participate in the i9 Sports program.

Proprietary Technology Tools for Franchisees

4.  i9 Sports provides a suite of technology tools to help its franchisees run their businesses with ease. The brand says that it is a pioneer in league management technology and that its proprietary software allows franchisees to control almost every facet of their leagues.

5.  With the software, franchisees can perform the following tasks with greater ease:



  • Take registrations: Streamline sign-ups and accept payments
  • Build rosters: Create teams without stress or hassle
  • Schedule games: Easily coordinate times and dates and communicate them in real time
  • Countdown to Game Time: An online guide for managing daily tasks and balancing multiple sports in several locations

6.  Franchisees also have access to a dedicated Personalized Dashboard where they can track their business progress based on several factors, including registration count, revenue, customer renewal rate, marketing, year-over-year growth, and many other metrics. They can also access the system’s Network Scorecard, which provides an overview of the performance of other network franchisees.

7.  i9 Sports also provides a parent portal, an easy-to-use system where parents can register their child in a program and then track game schedules. The portal also provides built-in payment and communication features.

Ex-Pro Athletes Attracted to i9 Sports Franchise

8.  i9 Sports says that its franchise is a good fit for ex-pro athletes who want to stay involved with sports after they retire. Former NFL wide receiver Marcus Thigpen is the owner of the i9 Sports location in Plano, Texas. Thigpen said that he wanted to stay engaged in sports while pursuing entrepreneurship and found that i9 Sports was a good fit for his goals.

9.  Another former NFL player, Keith Smith, owns an i9 Sports franchise in suburban Atlanta. Smith said that he knows firsthand how kids can learn about success through sports, something that drives him to work harder every day.

10.  i9 Sports says that interested franchisees don’t need to have business experience because its “extensive training program gives [them] all the knowledge, encouragement and tools [they] need to get started on the right foot.”



Company History
11.  i9 Sports was founded in Florida by Frank V. Fiume, Jr. in 2002. The company says that it is the first and largest youth sports franchise business in the U.S. with more than 1 million player registrations. i9 Sports offers youth sports leagues, camps, and clinics for children aged 3 to 14, in popular sports such as soccer, flag football, basketball, and baseball.

12.  The company’s goal is to “put the FUN back into youth sports” by offering an alternative to “the hyper-competitive, win-at-all-cost culture that pervades most youth sports programs today.”

13.  In 2016, Fiume sold the company to his employees, making i9 Sports an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) company. Fiume said that it has always been a dream of his to make the company employee-owned.

14.  i9 Sports began franchising in 2003 and today there are over 128 franchised locations.

Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500

15.  i9 Sports has ranked on Entrepreneur’s annual Franchise 500 list almost every year in the last decade, except in 2007 and 2017. The company’s highest rank was No. 213 in 2011, while its lowest rank was No. 492 in 2013.

Section II – Estimated Costs

  • Please click here for detailed estimates of i9 Sports franchise costs, based on Item 7 of the company’s 2017 FDD.

Section III – Initial Franchise Fee, Royalty Fee, Marketing Fee, and Other Fees

  • Please click here for detailed information on i9 Sports’ initial franchise fee, royalty fee, marketing fee, and other fees, based on Items 5 and 6 of the company’s 2017 FDD.

Section IV – Financial Performance Representations (Item 19, 2017 FDD) and Analysis

  • As of December 31, 2016, there were 132 i9 Sports franchises and 1 company-owned location.

Part 1 – Average Revenue of Franchise Units

  • The following Charts in Part 1 set forth information reported by i9 Sports’ 106 full-time franchise units that were (i) open and operating more than 12 months as of December 31, 2016; and (ii) operating an average of at least 1 venue for three seasons, as well as 2 core sports during the 2016 calendar year (a season is defined as a distinct period of time during which one or more separate programs or leagues are operated).
  • The information presented is for the period January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2016 (the “Measurement Period”).

Franchise Units Open and Operating for More Than 60 Months as of December 31, 2016 (72 Franchise Units)



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