Big Blue Swim School INFO
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 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 http://YourBigMomentStartsHere.com.
Big Blue Swim School Stands Out Among the Competition
What Sets Big Blue Swim School Apart?
Big Blue provides swim lessons for children ages six months to 12 years old. The franchise offers an unparalleled learning experience made easier and more effective with proprietary technology and curriculum, and family-centric facilities. Big Blue helps instill confidence by celebrating Big Moments in the pool and showing students that they can achieve anything they set their minds to.
Big Blue’s proprietary technology, LessonBuddy™, makes it easy for parents to fit swim lessons into their lives, not the other way around. Parents can schedule and reschedule classes at any time, and multi-kid families can all swim during the same 30–45 minute window. LessonBuddy also allows families to schedule and reschedule lessons easily, with the touch of a button on their smartphone or tablet.
Big Blue’s highly-trained swim associates are another stark departure from competitors. Children are taught by caring professionals who complete hundreds of hours of training on Big Blue proprietary and proven curriculum. Through a variety of retention efforts, turnover is kept to a minimum and helps maintain consistency for children as they build trust with their instructors.
Big Blue’s pools are designed to maximize comfort for both children and parents. With 90-degree, ultra-clean water, Big Blue provides a markedly different experience from the neighborhood YMCA or community pool. And the comfortable viewing area is managed for cleanliness and sound, making for a relaxing stay for parents.
Big Blue’s breadth of schedule options and times (2,000–3,000 lessons offered per week) provides maximum convenience and flexibility for parents and provides room for progress move-ups immediately when kids are ready.
Life's Big Moments Start Here!
Why Invest in Big Blue Swim School?
Swim lessons fill a critical need for families because drowning is the number-one cause of accidental death among children ages one- to four-years old. Swimming is an essential life skill that reduces the risk of drowning by 88%, and the need for high-quality swim instruction isn’t going anywhere, regardless of the economic climate.
Parents are always willing to invest in their child’s safety and, as a result, the learn-to-swim industry is now valued at $3 billion annually. Swim lessons fill a vital need for safety that can’t be outsourced or automated online through e-commerce sites like Amazon. That makes Big Blue a recession-resistant model. In fact, the first Big Blue Swim School was established in 2009, at the height of The Great Recession, and the brand has thrived throughout economic highs and lows ever since.
With best-in-class consumer offerings, a strong brand, leadership support, proprietary technology and a strategic growth plan to reach 150 units by 2021, Big Blue Swim School is uniquely positioned to be the leader in this underserved category.
Big Blue’s private equity-backed leadership team is well capitalized and experienced in optimizing the unit model to maximize returns. The Big Blue team also handles all online and local lead generation for each new pool using the brand’s proprietary New Pool Opening (NPO) system. NPO support occurs four months prior to the grand opening through four months after. Ongoing marketing support includes the execution of a fully integrated, 360-degree local pool marketing playbook, help with national and local community marketing implementation, social media and content marketing management and much more. Big Blue also provides franchisor-operated marketing that has refined and elevated the brand’s customer acquisition and retention strategies. Through both pre- and post-opening support, Big Blue has mastered a weekly process so that pools can immediately operate at an advanced level.
Big Blue’s proprietary enterprise system is technologically superior to the competition. The cloud-based platform, LessonBuddy, is designed so that franchise partners can operate successful pools without having to be on-site each day. LessonBuddy also allows franchise partners to manage their business through dashboards and KPIs all the way down to the shift level. They can track costs and efficiencies so they have total transparency in terms of ROI and health of the business.
Everything Big Blue does is data-driven, with 10 years of customer data to inform the team’s decision making process. Big Blue ensures each location is set up for the best possible avenue to success, including site selection, pool optimization and market reach. Since day one, Big Blue’s pools have been larger than the industry average to accommodate multi-child families. Greater pool capacity means Big Blue pools can accommodate both a 10-year-old child swimming 1,000 feet and a younger sibling who is just learning to get in the water, all within the same half-hour period of time. While most of Big Blue’s competitors primarily serve children ages six months to five years, Big Blue caters to ages six months to 12 years, resulting in a 30-percent increase in the learn-to-swim addressable market.
Big Blue has a tested, proactive, data-driven real-estate strategy designed to place a location in the path of least resistance. This means Big Blue will select locations that fall within its customers’ existing daily and weekly habits rather than placing locations that require them to alter their current patterns. The in-house construction management team makes sure to build pools on time and within budget. Over the years, Big Blue’s real estate footprint has proven beneficial to landlords of retail pools. As the growing online marketplace makes it increasingly difficult for commercial retailers to bring foot-traffic to their facilities, Big Blue offers a particularly attractive solution, especially in economically tumultuous periods.
Why is Now the Time to Join?
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Big Blue has proven to be a recession-resistant opportunity.
Despite the pandemic, Big Blue continues to see tremendous demand from parents who want to enter their kids into swim lessons. Regardless of what is going on in the global economy, parents understand that swimming is an essential life-skill. In addition to an increased consumer demand, the Big Blue team has noted that the COVID-19 pandemic may result in an increase in real estate opportunities for prospective franchise owners, including a decrease in construction, rent and interest rate costs.
Prospects who sign on with Big Blue can be confident that they are joining a growing brand despite the pandemic. Big Blue signed three new franchise partners in March, at the peak of COVID-19, for 11 units across Pittsburgh, New York, Connecticut, and Michigan. In June, the brand opened a new pool in Atlanta, and in November, the brand signed its largest deal ever to develop 35 pools across the Southeast.
When it comes to franchise development, Big Blue has also adapted its process to appeal to prospective franchise partners in the post-COVID landscape. For example, the brand’s socially-distanced discovery day — called Dive-In Day — helps candidates experience the opportunity while putting minds at ease through heightened safety measures, branded masks and more.
Proprietary Enterprise System - LessonBuddy
Their proprietary enterprise system, LessonBuddy, puts franchise partner’s entire management platform in the cloud so they can operate successful schools without needing a daily presence.
LessonBuddy allows their franchise partners to manage their business through dashboards and KPIs all the way down to the shift level. They can track costs and efficiencies so they have total transparency in terms of ROI and health of the business.
LessonBuddy also allows families to schedule and reschedule lessons easily, with the touch of a button on their smartphone or tablet.
Big Blue Swim School Celebrates Chicago North Center Grand Opening with Ice Cream Social
How Much Can I Make and How Much is the Investment?
Big Blue offers a $610,000 plus EBITDA item 19 business model.*
The total investment necessary to begin operation of a new Big Blue Swim School is $2,475,200 - $3,966,700, (refer to item 7 in FDD).
*This discloses average annual EBITDA for 3 affiliated BIG BLUE Swim Schools in Illinois during their 1st, 2nd, and 3rd full years of operation and for 2 of those 3 Schools during their 4th and 5th full years of operation. Each School operated for at least 3 full years as of December 31, 2019. 1 (33%) of the 3 Schools exceeded the average EBITDA during each of their 1st, 2nd, and 3rd full years of operation, and 1 (50%) of the 2 Schools exceeded the average EBITDA during each of their 4th and 5th full years of operation. The start and end dates of the years of operation for each School differ because each opened on a different date. A new franchisee’s results may differ from the represented performance. There is no assurance that you will do as well and you must accept that risk. These figures appear in Item 19 of our 6/19/2020 Franchise Disclosure Document with other historical financial performance information for these 3 Schools.
To learn more about franchise opportunities with Big Blue Swim School, visit http://YourBigMomentStartsHere.com.