On the Heels of Record Franchise Growth, Big Blue Swim School Plans for More Expansion in 2021

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After a massive 37-unit signing in the Southeast U.S. and 25 additional new units signed last year, the fast-growing swim school franchise shows no signs of slowing down.

Big Blue Swim School, one of the nation’s fastest-growing swim school franchises, has entered 2021 on a high note. The brand saw record growth in 2020 and has plans to sign franchise agreements for an additional 50 units, with five new pools opening this year as well.

Last June, the brand opened a new pool in Johns Creek, GA. In 2020, Big Blue also signed franchise agreements for 62 new units and closed out the year with a large multi-unit deal of 37-units for pools across Atlanta, Charlotte, Jacksonville, Louisville, Lexington, Miami, Nashville, and Tampa. This was one of the largest financial commitments in the history of the aquatics industry worth $87M.

Big Blue Swim School 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 to create one of the most effective swim school experiences available.

“Like many companies, we’ve had to adjust on the fly to deal with the demands and changes caused by the pandemic, including temporary closure of pools or operating at reduced capacity,” said Big Blue founder and president Chris DeJong. “I am proud to say the team at Big Blue performed admirably, and we are optimistic as ever about the future. The demand for learning about our concept, from both consumers and prospective franchise partners, has stayed strong throughout the pandemic.”

As a business model, swim lessons fill a vital need for safety that cannot be outsourced or automated, making swim instruction less susceptible to downturns in the economy. The state-of-the-art swim school uses both a proprietary enterprise system, known as LessonBuddy™, and an advanced curriculum that employs highly trained professional swim instructors, to set children, and the schools, up for success.

To promote pool reopenings following COVID-19 restrictions, the brand’s corporate pools in Chicago rolled out “Back to Big Blue” promotions and worked hard to get children safely back in the water.

“Our pools were able to reopen by June, all with proper social distancing in place, increased sanitation, masks and face-shields, contactless check-in, and more,” 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.”

According to DeJong, consumer demand for Big Blue is high, making it a great time for franchise partners to invest in Big Blue. “Despite the pandemic, we continue to see tremendous demand from parents wanting 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. We have taken all the necessary measures in relation to COVID-19, meeting and often exceeding the safety protocols recommended by the CDC and local officials. We’ve also taken these best practices and applied them to our Dive-in Day to ensure prospects feel safe and confident while learning about the brand.”

"2020 was a challenging year, but our recent 37-unit signing is indicative of the value that 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 Sanders. “For franchise brands, it’s important to focus on what makes your brand unique.”

Big Blue has signed 122 units in 20 states and with an aggressive growth plan, the franchise aims to reach 150 units by the end of 2021, positioning the brand as a leader in the $3 billion learn-to-swim industry.

“We are incredibly excited about 2021, and with additional COVID vaccine progress, we believe there will be a huge pent-up demand as more families plan their beach and lake vacations and prioritize the importance of quality swim lessons,” said Sanders. “We also see considerable momentum in our franchise business and believe that 2021 will be the strongest year in Big Blue’s history.”
Big Blue Swim School franchise opportunities are still available in key markets across the country. To learn more, visit http://YourBigMomentStartsHere.com.
ABOUT BIG BLUE SWIM SCHOOL
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 http://YourBigMomentStartsHere.com.

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Lauren Turner
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