Tampa, Florida (PRWEB) November 19, 2013
Tampa-based entrepreneur, Frank Fiume, is fundamentally changing the game for young athletes through the nation’s first and fastest growing youth sports league franchise. Today, ten years after opening the first location in Tampa, Fiume’s company, i9 Sports Corporation, now provides thousands of young athletes in hundreds of communities from New York to Hawaii with their very own fun and safe field of dreams.
“i9 Sports is completely different from other youth leagues because it emphasizes fun, good sportsmanship, and safe play over the win-at-all-cost mentality that still dominates youth sports culture,” says Fiume. “The self-esteem of our nation’s children is at risk due to the pressures of youth sports brought on by parents and coaches expecting to develop future pro draft picks. We are thrilled to know we’ve been able to make a difference in the lives of so many youth athletes in our first ten years and can’t wait to continue re-defining the youth sports experience moving forward.”
From Childhood Dream to Thriving Business Model
Fiume’s dream for a youth sports league defined by safe and healthy competition took shape when he was a young boy growing up in Queens and Long Island, NY. He witnessed his best friend and neighbor, Ron, lose a Little League championship game when he pitched badly. Ron’s dad screamed at him publicly and embarrassed him in front of his friends. That night, outside his window, Fiume heard Ron pitching well into the wee hours of the morning. Pitch after pitch, Ron’s dad barked orders and made him pitch for hours until he improved his mechanics and approach enough to prove to his Dad he was ready to win. That memory stuck with Fiume and he could never shake it.
After a short but lucrative career in medical sales, Fiume heard the calling to pursue his life-long dream of creating a fair and fun sports alternative for children. Since 2003, i9 Sports has helped hundreds of thousands of children gain confidence through sports while simultaneously creating thousands of jobs nationwide.
i9 Sports Growth and Hiring Statistics
In just ten years, i9 Sports has become the fastest growing youth sports franchise in the country with hundreds of locations nationwide. The business is thriving and is anticipating unprecedented growth in the coming year.
As growth in the number of i9 Sports locations accelerates, i9 Sports expects to add more than 375 new jobs in the next twelve months, including program directors, site managers, sport instructors, marketing personnel and customer service staff. i9 Sports expects to open 33 new locations in 2014, nearly doubling the growth rate from 2013. These new openings will be a combination of franchise and company owned locations in markets across the country.
The Unique i9 Sports Experience
Fiume attributes the growth of i9 Sports to the company’s unique philosophy and reputation as an effective alternative to the disorganized, hyper-competitive culture that pervades most youth sports programs today. Instead of solely focusing on the score, i9 Sports achieves its mission of helping kids succeed in life through sports by focusing on how the game is played, how fun the sport can be, and how convenient it is for parents.
“The number one reason kids play sports is to have fun and sometimes we forget that,” said Fiume. ““Our goal is to help kids learn skills that will help them in life. There are no tryouts or drafts in our leagues. Our athletes receive age appropriate instruction in game fundamentals with an emphasis on fair play versus the score of the game. Weekly sportsmanship values are taught and recognized with an award so they understand what’s really important.”
How is i9 Sports So Different?
Besides placing the focus on having fun, i9 Sports is different from other youth sports programs in several ways.
- One Day Per Week Commitment - Each week there is one game and one practice right before the game.
- No Mandatory Volunteering or Fundraising - Parents come to enjoy their children playing a game. No volunteering or fundraising is required.
- Safe and Supportive Environment - Coaches are background checked and certified. Trained officials are at every game and parents sign the “i9 Sports Parental Pledge” which prohibits sideline negativity, creating a fun enjoyable experience for the whole family. Safe play comes first!
- Leader in Concussion Awareness - Leading the industry, i9 Sports added a Concussions Safety Information page to the online registration process that parents must read and sign. Concussion safety information is also included in guides for coaches and officials.
About i9 Sports®
Based in the Tampa Bay, Florida, area, i9 Sports® is the first and fastest-growing youth sports league franchise company in the United States. With more than half a million members from New York to Hawaii, i9 Sports offers leagues, camps, and clinics for boys and girls ages 3-14 in today’s most popular team sports such as flag football, soccer, basketball and baseball.
A privately held company, i9 Sports was founded in 2003 by CEO Frank Fiume on the principle that the number one reason kids play organized sports is to have fun, not to become a draft pick. Reinventing the industry, customers enjoy the i9 Sports Experience which emphasizes fun, safety and convenience as well as teaching the value of good sportsmanship.
Named #1 Children’s Fitness Franchise by Entrepreneur Magazine, i9 Sports has been ranked in their prestigious Franchise 500® issue the past six years. i9 Sports has also been listed among INC Magazine’s 5000 Fastest Growing Companies for the past three years and received Franchise Business Review’s Top 50 in Franchise Satisfaction Award for four years in a row.