bannerFranchisor Stories

Youth Athletes United Acquires Little Rookies Baseball; Now Houses 5 Brands

Little Rookies Baseball, the youth sports brand empowering children ages 2-6 through baseball, will expand to more cities than ever with its recent acquisition by Youth Athletes United.

By Helen Harris1851 Franchise Staff Writer
SPONSOREDUpdated 3:15PM 01/25/22

Youth Athletes United — one of the largest youth sports franchise platforms that includes Soccer Stars, Amazing Athletes, TGA Premier Sports and JumpBunch — has had longstanding success and recognition in communities throughout the U.S.. Because of this success and the demand for youth sports in communities across the nation, the established youth sports and activities brand recently added Little Rookies Baseball to its list of brands and franchise offerings. The five athletic offerings currently cover 291 territories nationwide, and more than 200,000+ children are instructed each year with a goal of impacting 1 million children every year. 

Big things are ahead for Little Rookies Baseball in 2022: The children’s baseball training brand will focus on the four-to-six-year-old age group, and will be offered in the six existing operating territories of Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, San Diego, Los Angeles and Miami. 

Adam Geisler, Co-Founder and CEO of Youth Athletes United, explained the significance of adding another brand to the company as it continues to evolve, serve multiple age levels and offer diverse skill development in sport-specific categories.

“We started with Soccer Stars,” said Geisler. “We’ve also had tremendous success with TGA Premier Sports — our golf and tennis program for ages six to 14. Now, with Little Rookies Baseball, we're again approaching our market with the same sport-specific strategy. We're really going to focus on the four-to-six age group, which is a very similar target market to what we have for Soccer Stars and Amazing Athletes.”

Little Rookies Baseball, formerly Little Rookies prior to its acquisition by Youth Athletes United, is a strategic addition to the youth sports and activities brand, as baseball participation is on the rise and has national appeal and opportunity

James Silva, who has been with Little Rookies for over two years as the president of the brand and now serves as the Director of Operations for Little Rookies Baseball, elaborated how the housing of the brand under Youth Athletes United presents an exciting opportunity to reach more communities. 

“It's really going to be a different dynamic that is going to elevate the sport of baseball,” said Silva. “We were having a hard time getting the word out coast to coast about Little Rookies Baseball, but with the support of Youth Athletes United as an existing foundation and their franchisee community, we are really going to elevate youth baseball across the nation.”

The goal when founding the brand was not to churn out MLB athletes; rather, the founder of Little Rookies, Michael Sperlinga, wanted to stave off childhood obesity, encourage all kids to get moving and provide the tools, confidence and training for children to pursue the sport of baseball — at any level. 

“We started this brand dedicated to changing and inspiring children’s lives through baseball, and through this merger with Youth Athletes United, the brand will be able to reach more children and communities than ever,” said Sperlinga. “Baseball is America’s sport. The vision was and is to teach kids while creating a healthier tomorrow, and I’m happy to see it going to the right partner to take accelerate the original goal of the brand.”

Little Rookies Baseball’s premise for the brand’s success is that there is not enough programming for children’s baseball in many communities, and that while many children have a love for the sport, they are not learning the core skills needed to play successfully. Dean Simpson, Youth Athletes United’s Chief Programs Officer, stressed that the vision for Little Rookies Baseball is simply to grow the game by having fun with the fundamentals and teaching real skill development to the kids. 

According to Simpson, “Whether the kids continue on to play through adulthood or just play recreationally, we give them the confidence and valuable life skills to communicate, work as a team and most importantly — to just have a good time being kids.”

With Little Rookie Baseball’s already existing platform of six operating territories, Youth Athletes United has been able to get a strong start in developing a growth plan. “We have an ultimate goal in the next three years of reaching at least 25-30 states,” said John Erlandson, Co-Founder and President of Youth Athletes United. “Youth Athletes United has been able to use the really good, authentic content of Little Rookies Baseball, and we’re just going to accelerate that existing brand through our system to reach and impact more kids,” stated Erlandson.  

About Youth Athletes United

Established youth sports and activities brands Amazing Athletes, Soccer Stars and TGA Premier Sports come together under parent company, Youth Athletes United. With 15 - 20 years of success for each individual brand, a total 250+ units and 200,000+ children instructed nationwide each year, Youth Athletes United has earned trust in each community they touch. The brand’s overarching mission is to help the world understand that every kid is an athlete and ultimately impact the lives of over one million children.