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Big Blue Swim School Earns Spot on the 2020 Inc. 5000 List of the Fastest-Growing Private Companies in America

A technology and data-driven approach with a highly differentiated consumer model positions Big Blue Swim School as an emerging leader in the underserved swim school space.

Big Blue Swim School, one of the nation’s fastest-growing swim school franchises, recently ranked 3,750 among Inc. magazine’s 2020 list of 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in America.

"We all know that 2020 has been a challenging year, but we have still been fortunate enough to sign deals since COVID-19 hit, and we have found ways to adjust our Dive-in Days and swim school operations to be socially distanced so that we can continue our franchise development efforts,” said CEO Chris Kenny. “Receiving this ranking is truly an accomplishment that everyone at Big Blue can feel proud of."

This achievement places the swim lesson franchise in elevated company, joining companies such as Microsoft, Timberland, Vizio, Intuit, Chobani, Oracle, and Patagonia who have been recognized in years past.

Since launching in 2009, Big Blue has approached swim instruction holistically, imparting confidence and self-esteem in students while providing parents with feedback on their child's progress. In addition, Big Blue’s turnkey operations, capacity planning and kid-friendly 90-degree pools have quickly established the brand as an impressive player in the fragmented swim lesson franchise segment. The Big Blue investment opportunity and proven business model appeal to multi-unit and semi-absentee franchise partners looking to maximize their time and their capital. The brand positions franchise partners for success with a proprietary enterprise system, top-tier franchisor support, a strategic growth strategy and strong unit economics.

With this winning model, Big Blue has already sold 74 units in 15 states to qualified franchise partners, and the brand is well on its way to achieving its goal of 150 pools signed by the end of 2021. Moving forward, Big Blue is positioned to be the market leader in an industry valued at $3 billion annually. 


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. Through that investment, Big Blue plans to grow through franchising to 150 pools by 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