Sports & Fitness Franchising Feature

feature_cover_1.pngOne would say that sports is the ultimate American pastime.

The business savvy person might ask themselves, how can I take my passion for sports and turn it into a business plan?

Franchising: it provides people with the opportunity to turn their interests into profit.

Sports and fitness are now business opportunities that can be easily pursued and the guidance of a franchisor can guarantee a successful outcome while being a part of something you love.

Fitness crosses a wide range of opportunity. There are gyms, boot camps, classes, equipment, medical exercise; the list is ongoing. Every form of fitness has the ability to be turned into a business. Dependent on your interest, experience and expectations, a franchisee can choose the most suitable option from a variety of successful and safe franchises.

Gym Ownership

A common business that can be seen on every street corner is a gym. In 2016, there were 36,450 fitness clubs across the U.S. In 2015, the fitness and club industry brought in over 25 billion U.S. dollars into this country alone.

It can be big or small, high end or basic. It can have a retail section, a pool, classes, a restaurant. The fitness center is no longer used for the typical gym rat, but rather everyone. It caters to the everyday person, with child-minding places, trainers, easy access, lots of equipment and much more.

A franchisee who enjoys working out and engages in fitness would truly enjoy owning a gym, but it could be run by anyone. Franchisor’s provide training and ongoing support that makes it easy, while a management team can cover the day to day expectations of the business.

Research into the gyms within a location would be helpful to determine what best suits your needs. Most places offer a pass that could give a potential franchisee an on the ground experience and help them determine, from a personal level, whether or not the aspects of a certain club would be of interest.

Contacting the franchisors and managers of local gyms to get an understanding of a franchisee’s expectations and work life balance before an investment would be recommended.

A survey of the area for competition, including small businesses and other franchises, would help determine location. For example, a huge campus gym that is free to students may be a hindrance for success in that area.


According franchise gator website, nearly 20% of Americans took part in sports, exercise or recreational activities every day in 2015 and Americans spend an average of 5.2 hours on sports and leisure activities everyday.

So what does that mean from a franchising perspective?

Profit: Engaging in sports costs money, therefore Americans are spending money on equipment, start up fees, registration and the list goes on. It’s something consumers are willing to invest in and it’s a great opportunity to generate profit.

Of course Sports franchising is usually considered a big team investment and that is one of the means of franchising. However, a big sports team is a very limited option with a huge price tag. For those with a lot of start up investments, a great interest in sports ownership and some experience regarding high end management, it would be worth the consideration.

For now we will remain focused on the more reasonable franchise sporting options.

Sporting goods stores

A lot of sporting goods stores used to be smaller business owners with a usual inventory of selection but it now reaches well beyond those means.

These retail businesses offer a huge variety of products that covers all aspects of fitness and sports. Equipment for a lot of sports is extremely expensive. Hockey comes with a never ending list of necessary equipment that one player must purchase and re-purchase for every year they are dedicated to the sport.

These stores not only focus on sporting goods, but also has a great inventory of fitness equipment- including machines, technology and clothing.

The franchise opportunities are pushing the boundaries beyond sports and fitness and looking at hiking, camping and outdoor living goods.

All these options mean one great outcome: profit.

Sporting Good industry generates 45 billion US dollars annually and that does not even include outdoor recreation vehicles.

There is no experience needed to be a sports retail franchisee – a staff and management team would run the place from the floor and an investor would receive the proper training from the franchisor. A review of certain stores would be helpful and a chat with other local franchisors would give insight to the work life balance and expectation.

Choosing a franchise with more would result in a higher profit and more likely success. People enjoy shopping at a one stop shop and usually spend more money than they intended. Review the service options of each location. Sometimes there are classes, skate sharpening, yoga lessons, fitness training; some services make take up more time but generate more customers.

Recreation Centres

Though recreation centres have been around for sometimes, there has been a new brand of services that has taken flight: recreation centres with high entertainment for children.

This type of business is essentially an indoor playground, with much more to offer then a swing set and slide. There are trampolines, video games, wall climbing, food and catering – it’s like a downsized theme park held within a building.

Some options focus on one service, including a whole franchise with wall to wall trampolines, while others keep the place open to a plethora of options. It’s like an arcade for millennials.

These places usually offer birthday parties and retail options, generating even more money.

Over the last couple of years, these places have become more and more popular. Parents are willing to invest in an experiences with their kids and they don’t want to travel to Florida to get it once a year. With two working parents, family time is limited and people want to make the most out of it and an overpriced, high end, constant entertainment centre is the place to do it on a rainy day.

Experience is unnecessary, but being a family oriented person or someone who enjoys working with kids would be useful. Though it’s a high paced industry, it would usually be run by staff and management, allowing decent work life balance.

The Sports and Fitness franchising industry is a great consideration for the business orientated person who loves the field. It can take your passion to the next step and generate a reasonable profit. Though a lot of the franchises have a high end start up investment, it’s an ongoing interest for most Americans that will continuously remain successful.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: After receiving an English Degree, followed by a Journalism Diploma, Gina Gill became a freelance journalist in 2008. She has worked as a reporter and in communications, focusing on social media. She currently works as a community information officer with Epilepsy Society, while pursuing her writing career at the same time.