i9 Sports: an Excellent 2-Year Payback Franchise For $65K

One of the leading children fitness program franchises, i9 Sports has more than 200 franchises in the US alone today. It’s also a very popular low-cost franchise as it only requires an upfront investment of $65,000 to set up a new location.

But is this a profitable business? How much profits can you realistically make if you buy a i9 Sports franchise?

The good news is that i9 Sports is an incredibly profitable franchise opportunity: we found it has an excellent 2 year payback..!

In this article we’re analysing i9 Sports and its its latest Franchise Disclosure Document to find out all you should know about this franchise, and whether you should buy it. Let’s dive in!

Key stats

Franchise fee$53,200
Royalty fee7.5%
Marketing fee4.5%
Investment (mid-point)$53,000
Revenue$214,000 per year
Sales to investment ratio4.0x
Payback period*[franchise_value_investment_payback]
Minimum net worth$100,000
Minimum liquid capital$50,000
* assuming 15% net profit margin

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What is i9 Sports?

i9 Sports is a leading American youth sports league franchise and the largest multi-sport provider of high-quality, community-based youth sports programs.

Frank Fiume founded the franchise in 1995, with headquarters in Tampa, Florida.

Its franchise owners offer youth sports leagues, camps and clinics for girls and boys ages 3–14 in today’s most popular sports, such as flag football, soccer, basketball and baseball.

Its franchising journey began in 2003 and today it has over 202 franchises globally, with 201 in the US.

i9 Sports franchises pros and cons

The Pros:

  • Exclusive territory protection. The franchisor grants the franchisees the right to operate in a designated area. It does not authorize any other franchises to operate in the protected territory or operate competing brands.
  • Simple franchise concept: The franchise does not require franchisees to purchase or rent a real estate facility. This lowers startup costs and improves earnings.
  • Third-party financing: The franchisor provides its franchisees with in-house financing and third-party financing for the startup costs and ongoing costs.
  • Multiple revenue streams: The brand provides multiple revenue streams to its franchisees, including player entry fees, merchandise, concessions and more.
  • Quality training: The franchisor provides its franchisees with a comprehensive training program to familiarize them with its business concept and help them succeed. It also offers them help in launching their centers and provides them with ongoing coaching and support.
  • Home-based opportunity: The franchise can be run from home or a mobile unit. Franchisees don’t require fixed office space or retail facilities. Also, it offers franchisees freedom and a good home/work balance.
  • Marketing and advertising: i9 Sports helps franchisees with the marketing and public relations of their studios. Franchisees get access to inbuilt advertising resources and programs such as print media, social media, email marketing, regional advertising, national media, influencer marketing and targeted local studio promotional campaigns.
  • Huge market potential: An i9 Sports franchise offers franchisees a great deal of growth potential due to its inbuilt and sustainable demand, with more than 60 million kids playing sports in America yearly.
  • Site selection: The franchise helps the franchisees with site selection and configuration based on the population of kids under the age of 14, the density of that population and database analysis to help identify the most suitable business location.

The cons:

  • Not a passive investment: The franchise does not allow for absentee ownership. Franchisees must be actively involved in the day-to-day decision-making and operations of their franchises.
  • Not a part-time business. The franchisees are required to adhere to their franchisor’s operating hours.
  • Competition: i9 Sports franchise faces competition from youth sports programs such as the local Parks and Recreation Department, the YMCA, competitive travel leagues and single-sport organizations or even other franchises like Amazing Athletes

How much does a i9 Sports franchise cost?

You would have to invest, on average, $64,900 to buy a i9 Sports franchise.

This is the investment necessary to begin operation as an area developer for a 10-year term. Indeed, there are two kinds of terms necessary to begin operation of the franchise that you can choose from: 10-year term ($64,900) and 5-year term ($41,500).

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i9 Sports startup costs (10-year term)

Here’s the full breakdown of costs per the term of the franchise:

Type of costAmount
Initial franchise fee$24,900
Furniture, equipment, inventory and supplies$3,000 – $4,000
Insurance$1,000 – $1,500
Training expenses$1,200 – $2,000
Additional Funds 3 Months$9,000 – $14,000
Other$20,800 – $23,500
Total$59,900 – $69,900
Source: Franchise Disclosure Document 2022

i9 Sports startup costs (5-year term)

Type of costAmount
Initial franchise fee$1,500
Furniture, equipment, inventory and supplies$3,000-$4,000
Training expenses$1,200-$2,000
Additional Funds 3 Months$9,000-$14,000
Source: Franchise Disclosure Document 2022

What is the turnover of a i9 Sports franchise?

On average, an i9 Sports franchise makes $377,000 in sales per year.

Note that this is the average revenue per i9 Sports franchise in 2019, pre-pandemic. Indeed, COVID-19 impacted the business: the average revenue per franchise decreased by 43%.

How profitable is a i9 Sports franchise?

We estimate that a i9 Sports franchise makes $86,000 in profits per year. That’s a 23% EBITDA margin.

Note that i9 Sports doesn’t provide a detailed profit-and-loss down to EBITDA for its franchises. Instead, it discloses costs for its only company-owned i9 Sports business down to what they call “Net Registration Income” (which we see as EBITDA, before management salaries and other costs).

Therefore, we had to make assumptions using the information disclosed in the FDD as shown in the table below. Note that we used again here the 2019 revenue per franchise number of $377,000.

Profit and lossAmount% revenueSource
Revenue$377,144100%as per FDD
Team equipment$(58,797)16%as per FDD
Officiating costs$(17,499)5%as per FDD
Venue costs$(56,345)15%as per FDD
Staff$(48,161)13%as per FDD
Royalty fee$(45,257)12%as per FDD
Other Opex$(30,172)8%assumption
*Site Managers and Staff Instructors
Source: Franchise Disclosure Document 2022

Should you invest in a i9 Sports franchise?

The great thing with i9 Sports is that it’s a great franchise investment: we found it has a 2 year payback, which is pretty much exceptional for a fitness franchise.

In other words, you would repay the initial investment cost of $64,900 within 2 years only by using the profits generated by the business.

The reason for such a profitable investment is simple: the cost to own a i9 Sports is extremely low ($64,900) vs. the profits. Indeed, with an annual turnover of $377,144 and assuming a 15% net profit margin, that’s around $40,000 in profits per year!

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How does it compare vs. other fitness franchises?

FranchiseNet worth ($)Liquid capital ($)Investment ($)Revenue ($)Payback (years)
Anytime Fitnesshttps://sharpsheets.io/blog/anytime-fitness-franchises-costs-profits/350,000175,000510,165338,810$6810.0
Planet Fitnesshttps://sharpsheets.io/blog/planet-fitness-franchises-costs-profits/3,000,0001,500,0003,273,3001,564,877$8013.9
Orangetheory Fitnesshttps://sharpsheets.io/blog/orangetheory-fitness-franchises-costs-profits/1,000,000300,0001,381,432805,251$24411.4
Club Pilateshttps://sharpsheets.io/blog/club-pilates-franchises-costs-profits/500,000100,000287,000544,703$3633.5
Pure Barrehttps://sharpsheets.io/blog/pure-barre-franchises-costs-profits/500,000100,000335,812259,534$1738.6
Snap Fitnesshttps://sharpsheets.io/blog/snap-fitness-franchises-costs-profits/750,000250,000783,328194,124$3726.9
Burn Boot Camphttps://sharpsheets.io/blog/burn-boot-camp-franchises-costs-profits/300,000150,000314,846400,526$765.2
Crunch Fitnesshttps://sharpsheets.io/blog/crunch-fitness-franchises-costs-profits/2,000,000400,0003,092,0001,863,627$4811.1
Stretch Zonehttps://sharpsheets.io/blog/stretch-zone-franchises-costs-profits/250,000150,000161,027357,632$2863.0
Workout Anytimehttps://sharpsheets.io/blog/workout-anytime-franchises-costs-profits/500,000175,0001,519,450511,628$4910.0
Fitness Togetherhttps://sharpsheets.io/blog/fitness-together-franchises-costs-profits/175,00080,000292,013400,000n.a.4.9
The Camp Transformation Centerhttps://sharpsheets.io/blog/camp-transformation-center-franchise-costs-profits/100,00075,000287,000495,067$993.9
Retro Fitnesshttps://sharpsheets.io/blog/retro-fitness-franchises-costs-profits/1,500,000300,0001,681,341998,459$667.0
F45 Traininghttps://sharpsheets.io/blog/f45-training-franchise-costs-profits/300,000100,000457,650632,902$2534.8
Gold's Gymhttps://sharpsheets.io/blog/golds-gym-franchise-costs-profits/1,000,000400,0004,043,8751,638,000$4716.5
Fit Body Boot Camphttps://sharpsheets.io/blog/fit-body-boot-camp-franchise-costs-profits/100,00065,000198,350167,364$617.9

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