Last year, David Beckham finally became the franchise owner of a Major League Soccer team after four years of hard work. Living the American dream, Beckham unveiled his Miami club, which is set to enter the US topflight in 2020.
The former Manchester United footballer first announced his intention to exercise his right to buy an MLS franchise in 2014 and revealed that the 25th franchise would be situated in Miami, Florida from January 2018. And although the price Beckham paid for the franchise has not been disclosed, the owners of the Los Angeles FC team, which joined MLS in March 2018, allegedly paid $100 million.
Top sport franchise opportunities
Thankfully, not every sports franchise costs quite as much as an MLS team. There are some great franchise opportunities out there, so if you’re passionate about fitness, take a look at the following.
Angela’s Swim School
This is a sports franchise that has grown in popularity since being established in 2002. Now with 35 franchisees operating all over the UK, Angela’s Swim School offers entrepreneurs the chance to get involved with teaching both young and old attendees this essential life skill.
The cost of the franchise is £22,000, and in return, you’ll be granted an exclusive territory, full swimming instructor training and qualifications, as well as financial, marketing and launch support. On top of all this, you'll be able to work the hours you want, meaning that this is a great franchise to own if you're craving the ultimate work-life balance. And all this while helping people learn to swim – what’s not to love?
The benefits of practising yoga are widely acknowledged. Setting up a franchise with Tatty Bumpkin offers you the chance to teach babies and children how to stretch, laugh and get fit. You don’t need to be a yoga guru to start your Tatty Bumpkin franchise. You just need to have enthusiasm and a passion for working with children.
To join this franchise, you'll need to invest £10,000, and you can choose to run the classes yourself or hire freelance instructors to teach on your behalf. This way, you can make your business as big or as small as you want it to be. It all depends what your goals are for your new venture.
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This is a sports franchise that enables you to invest in different packages, depending on the size of your budget and what your ambitions are. With Premier Sport, you can choose from four packages, which range from £15,000 to £30,000. But, regardless of the package you choose to buy, you’ll get access to a mentor, core-training seminars and regular updates on the brand.
With over 150 franchisees delivering more than 25,000 activity sessions to thousands of schools across the UK, Premier Sport is currently the largest children's sport and physical activity franchising company in the country. So, if you have excellent communication skills, a passion for sports and getting children involved, great leadership skills and sufficient capital, this could be one of the best franchise opportunities for you.
This is a unique franchise that provides outdoor fitness classes in local parks. The founders wanted to create a programme of sessions that combined the camaraderie of group sport with the morale-boosting qualities of outdoor exercise. They take the form of high intensity interval training, which incorporates cardio, strength, core and agility work and sports such as rugby, hockey, boxing and triathlons.
There are currently six franchise territories in operation, delivering sessions in 13 selected parks. These are concentrated around London for the time being, in Richmond, Tooting, Wandsworth, Clapham and the Docklands. For fitness fanatics in Ireland, One Element also runs classes in Belfast.
To become a franchisee for this distinctive company, you’ll need to be prepared to invest a total of £16,000. It’s thought that, by following the business model closely, you could expect to make a revenue of around £80,000 after two years. Of course, you must be comfortable directing others and, ideally, you must be friendly, sociable and approachable. Your primary aim should be to develop fun and effective fitness sessions where attendees feel safe and supported.
Bootcamp Pilates offers effective fitness classes based on ‘Dynamic Reformer Pilates’, which originated in the US, where the franchise first started out. The brains behind the business claim they’ve found the “best, fastest and safest way to transform your posture, strength and shape”.
The techniques used in Bootcamp Pilates classes today nod to the specific fitness methods first created by Joseph Pilates himself over 100 years ago. When imprisoned during the First World War, he worked out a way to use the beds, bedsprings and spare fabric in his room to create a “system of springs, straps and pulleys”. Thanks to Pilates, his fellow inmates were able to maintain their muscle strength without even leaving their beds.
Fitness fanatics who attend Bootcamp Pilates classes will be able to take part in a one-hour session that eliminates the floormat central to most Pilates sessions. They’ll do strength training and cardio, which should help improve both their physical and mental wellbeing. The franchise arrived in the UK in 2005 and, since then, it’s attracted a significant following, and even a number of celebrity participants, including Annie Lennox and Emma Watson.
To become a Bootcamp Pilates franchisee, you’ll need to be able to make a total investment of around £70,000. There’s no need to have previous business management experience, as you’ll be enrolled onto a dedicated training scheme that will introduce you to the core aspects of the business. This will involve management training and support with business planning, finance, site selection, operations set-up, launch and marketing.
Sports franchises to look out for in the future
Kung Fu Schools
Setting up a franchise with Kung Fu Schools will see you share the business’ mission to promote mental, physical and spiritual health through martial arts. This is a unique martial arts organisation, as it’s the only one outside of China to be classed as ‘Confucius classroom’ and recognised by the Chinese government.
You’ll get to teach children from aged four to 12 authentic Kung Fu, but you don’t necessarily need to be an expert in martial arts to become a franchisee. As part of your induction training, you’ll gain accredited qualifications that will allow you to deliver sessions in schools. However, the majority of classes will be taught by your team of trained and qualified activity professionals on your behalf.
Your training will also provide you with all the business skills you need to run a successful franchise. You’ll receive sales, finance, recruitment and marketing support throughout your franchising journey, so no previous business ownership experience is required either. You’ll get all this for a franchise fee of just £10,995. So, if you’re passionate about making a difference to children’s lives, this could be the franchise for you.
Although Kung Fu Schools is not welcoming new franchisees at the moment, it may decide to expand again in the future, so watch this space.
This mother and baby exercise franchise is perfect for new mums who want to return to work but are not ready to leave their baby. As a Sweaty Mama franchisee, you'll get the opportunity to run pre-choreographed classes during the day for mothers wanting to get fit while spending time with their babies. And best of all, you get to take your little one along too.
You don’t even need any previous experience or qualifications in the fitness industry. Your franchisee training will ensure you have the necessary tools and skills. And with a franchise fee of less than £2,000, this is one of the best franchise opportunities for new mothers who want to take control of their career. By becoming a Sweaty Mama, you’ll get the flexibility to fit your business around the commitments that come with being a mum.
This franchise is not currently looking for new franchisees, but keep an eye on it, as it may open up its franchise opportunity again in the future.
Starting a fitness franchise
If any of these franchise opportunities appeal to your love of sport, rest assured that the fitness industry is big business. The 2017 State of the UK Fitness Industry Report revealed that the entire market value rose by 6.3 percent from the previous year, with a 4.6 percent increase in the number of fitness facilities. The amount of people joining these facilities has risen too (by 5.1 percent) with one in every seven people in the UK now being a member of a gym.
So, with a total estimated market value of £4.7 billion, starting a sports franchise should have a positive effect on your career, your bank balance and the fitness levels of your clients. And, if you’re hoping to start a business in the fitness industry, opting to franchise is a great choice. For even more sports franchises, browse our directory here.
Alice Tuffery, Point Franchise ©