After a Successful Start to 2021, Big Blue Swim School is Ready to Continue Its Strong Momentum

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New locations in Virginia and Colorado will lead the way as the country’s fastest-growing swim school celebrates commitments for 131 schools across 21 states.

After a busy first quarter, Big Blue Swim School, one of the nation’s fastest-growing swim school franchises, continues to build on its momentum, expanding into new markets across the country and signing new commitments from franchise partners.

This year, the brand acquired Tom Dolan Swim School with two locations in Northern Virginia, allowing them to immediately expand their presence in Northern Virginia. They also signed leases for new locations in O'Fallon, Missouri; Fairfax, Virginia; and Pembroke Pines, Florida.

Looking ahead, Big Blue will celebrate the opening of new pools in Centennial, Colorado, just outside Denver, and in Chantilly, Virginia.

The fast pace of Big Blue news in 2021 follows a year of record growth for the brand in 2020. Despite the economic challenges of COVID-19, the franchise signed agreements to open an additional 65 units, including a 37-unit commitment to bring the brand to the southeast, one of the largest financial commitments in the history of the aquatics industry at $85M.

The brand has plans to sign commitments to total at least 150 locations by the end of 2021, with 131 already signed.

“We are excited to be in a strong position so early in the year, particularly after the tremendous growth we had amidst the difficulties many businesses endured in 2020,” said Big Blue CEO Scott Sanders. “We’ve had incredibly strong feedback from customers about how safe they feel at our stores and the joy of coming back to swim lessons.”

The Big Blue Swim School franchise utilizes an operational model that combines highly trained professional swim instructors, a proprietary technology system, LessonBuddy™, and a proprietary teaching curriculum within exceptional family-centric facilities. The result: the single most effective swim school experience available today.

“With additional COVID-19 vaccine progress, this year is bound to be filled with milestones for us. We believe there is enormous pent-up demand as more families plan their beach and lake vacations, prioritizing the importance of quality swim lessons,” said Sanders. “We also see considerable momentum in our franchise business and believe 2021 will be the strongest year in Big Blue’s history.”

According to Big Blue Swim School’s founder and president Chris DeJong, consumer demand for Big Blue remains high, making it a great time for franchise partners to invest in the growing brand.

“Despite the pandemic, we continue seeing tremendous demand from parents who want to enroll their kids in swim lessons,” said DeJong. “Regardless of what is going on in the global economy, parents know water safety is an essential life-skill that has to be prioritized.”

By measuring this year’s successes against last year’s, DeJong feels positive about continued growth. "Our recent 37-unit signing is indicative of the value franchise partners see in what we are building. Big Blue continues to sign new franchise partners because we’ve learned how to adjust while staying true to our mission,” said DeJong. “For franchise brands, it’s important to focus on what makes your brand unique to stand the test of time.”
Big Blue Swim School franchise opportunities are still available in key markets across the country. To learn more, visit

Big Blue Swim School was founded in 2009 by competitive swimmer Chris DeJong. The first location opened in Wilmette, Illinois, followed by four additional Chicagoland schools. In 2017, Level 5 Capital Partners acquired a stake in the brand. In 2020, the brand expanded its presence to Atlanta. Big Blue is currently growing through franchising with plans to have a minimum of 150 pools sold by the end of 2021. Big Blue Swim School's real estate expertise, strong brand, proprietary technology, and leadership support, coupled with its best-in-class consumer offerings, position its franchise partners for long-term success. To learn more about franchise opportunities with Big Blue Swim School, visit

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Lauren Turner
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