Big Blue Swim School
WHY I BOUGHT
Husband-and-Wife Franchise Partners Chris Burden and Penelope Clark Sign a Three-Unit Deal To Bring Big Blue Swim School to the Garden State
The multi-unit franchisee pair look forward to positively impacting the families and communities of northern New Jersey with the technology-rich swim school concept.
Premier swim school franchise Big Blue Swim School is coming to northern New Jersey next year as part of a three-unit deal signed by husband-and-wife franchisees Chris Burden and Penelope Clark. The avid swimmers come from a background of business management, marketing, and finance. While Burden and Clark are still working with Big Blue Swim School’s development team to secure prime real estate in the three New Jersey territories of Paramus, Clifton and Union, they plan to open their first location next year.
“We are thrilled to be bringing Big Blue to the northern New Jersey community,” said Burden. “We have a deep passion for swimming and know how much joy, enrichment and confidence the essential skill can bring to a child’s life. The Big Blue executive team is fantastic and their approach to swim instruction is designed not just to teach skills but to help empower the kids and make them enthusiastic about the activity.”
Big Blue Swim School was founded by U.S. National Champion swimmer Chris DeJong after he missed qualifying for the U.S. Olympic team in 2004 and 2008 by three-tenths of a second—just behind Michael Phelps. Big Blue takes a holistic approach to swim instruction, developing critical life skills like confidence and self-esteem consistent with children's developmental levels. Big Blue is now positioned to become a dominant player in the $3 billion/year swim school industry thanks to key differentiators such as LessonBuddy™, a proprietary and easy-to-use lesson management platform and customer self-service mobile app; a proven curriculum; and optimized operational model involving data-driven capacity planning.
When the Manhattan-based couple decided to look into franchising opportunities, Big Blue’s concept of promoting pool safety and providing unparalleled swim instruction drew them in immediately. As parents themselves, Burden and Clark are well-aware of how difficult scheduling can be and loved how the brand makes it easy for families to coordinate swimming lessons—and how much work is taken off of a swim school franchise partner’s plate as a result.
Their addition to the Big Blue education franchise system is also heralded by the executive team.
“Chris Burden and Penelope Clark are perfect additions to the Big Blue team,” said Big Blue Swim School’s Chief Development Officer, Scott Thompson. “Their business and marketing experience set them up to be amazing fitness franchise partners in New Jersey. In addition, our data-driven real estate assessment, pre-opening marketing strategy and executive leadership-provided support position the couple for continued success.”
As New Yorkers, Burden and Clark identified northern New Jersey as the perfect market for Big Blue Swim School development because of the tremendous number of families and young children that live in the suburbs of New York City and who are looking for convenient and community-friendly swim instruction.
“Swimming is an amazing fitness activity that has the potential to be a life-changing experience for children,” said Clark. “We can’t wait to bring our past business experience to this new franchise opportunity and embrace the Big Blue mission of inspiring Life’s Big Moments for kids in the communities we serve.”
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 $2,414,223 to $3,721,998 (refer to item 7 in FDD) To learn more or inquire about Big Blue Swim School, visit https://www.bigblueswimschool.com/franchising/.
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.