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Big Blue Swim School Sets Sights on Kansas City as Priority Market for Expansion

The growing swim school franchise known for differentiating itself from the competition through proprietary technology eases scheduling for parents and operating for franchise partners has plans for expansion in the Kansas City market — an area that’s seen a large population boom over the last decade.

By 1851 Staff1851 Staff Contributions
SPONSOREDUpdated 8:08AM 02/01/22

Big Blue Swim School, one of the nation’s fastest-growing swim school franchises, has identified Kansas City as a top market for new growth in 2022.

With an aggressive growth plan in place, Big Blue Swim School has already signed 201 units in 22 states across the country. With a goal of reaching 100 open units by 2025, the brand is uniquely positioned to be the leader in the $3 billion learn-to-swim industry. In Kansas City, Big Blue plans to add three units over the next several years.

Since its founding in 2009, Big Blue has focused on meeting parents where it is easiest, making scheduling and rescheduling simple through their app as an extension of their proprietary technology LessonBuddy™ and putting locations in areas where they already travel.

Big Blue’s real estate team uses a data-driven strategy to find the right locations for families, and Kansas City is the perfect next stop, considering its boom in growth over the last 10 years. Its population has increased by nearly 10% since 2010, with nearly 7% representing children under the age of five. For a brand with a mission to teach the vital life skill of swimming to young children, Kansas City offers a target-rich environment.

Casey Morford, chief technology officer for Big Blue, is someone who is very familiar with both Kansas City and the swim lesson options in the area.

“I grew up in a small town called Baldwin City, just south of Lawrence, Kansas, which is a college town to the west of Kansas City,” he said. “That’s what I loved about living in this area; we lived in a rural setting, but you could get away from everything and go into the city. But we didn’t have swim schools in the area, so as a parent of now-teenagers, our options were either local rec centers, someone’s backyard pool, or the lake. So I know the local population will be glad to see Big Blue moving into the neighborhood.”

Morford said Johnson County, which is just southeast of Kansas City, is one of the fastest-growing counties in the country, with tremendous growth in terms of families building and buying new homes. 

“As with the whole country, real estate is going crazy, but especially here. There are areas that I remember growing up where country roads and fields are now filled with subdivisions and shopping centers,” he said. 

When it comes to neighborhoods in the Kansas City area, Morford identified places of interest for Big Blue, like Overland Park, Olathe, Stillwell, Leawood and even as far west as Shawnee and Lenexa — all great locales along the K-10 corridor.

“Overall, Big Blue loves Kansas City and believes we’ll be successful here for the same reasons we’ve been successful in all our other markets — the population density, the number of children located here, and our really great school districts,” he said. “The demand is here for swim lessons for kids, so, to me, it's kind of obvious and makes a lot of sense to locate a swim school here.” 

Multi-unit franchise opportunities are available for qualified candidates looking for their next big opportunity, and veterans can receive a 10 percent discount on the $80,000 franchise fee. The total investment necessary to begin operation of a new Big Blue Swim School is $2,329,223 to $3,636,998 (refer to item 7 in FDD). To learn more or inquire about Big Blue Swim School, 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, and pools are now open in Chicago, Atlanta, Denver and Northern Virginia. Big Blue is currently growing through franchising with plans to have a minimum of 240 pools sold by the end of 2022. 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