Many people have fond memories of playing youth sports themselves, they see the positive effect sports has on kids, and deep down they might have an itch to be a commissioner of a league or some type of job in sports management. There are a variety of youth sports franchise businesses that someone can own. None of these require a large capital investment and all but one can be run from a home office.
Youth Sports Franchises Have a Solid Business Model
Because players register and pay in advance, this business model benefits from a strong cash flow cycle.
You don’t have to wait to get paid and you don’t have a bunch of unsold inventory tying up your investment capital.
The other benefit is that many of these businesses use volunteers to coach the team.
You may have referees to pay but coaches generally get nothing more than a registration discount for their own son or daughter.
The time commitment varies, but while weekends are typically busy, owners often do not work a regular 9 to 5 day.
5 Best Sports Franchise Opportunities
1. One Sports Nation – league ownership franchises are available in basketball (Full Court Legends), flag football (Grid Iron Flag Football), soccer (One Cup), volleyball (Volley Up), and baseball (Field Day). The most popular leagues to start right now are flag football and girl’s volleyball, as there is generally less competition from existing YMCA, church, Little League, Babe Ruth League, and school leagues. The franchise fee is $12,000, the total investment is estimated at $34,000 and the royalty per player is $8 per season.
2. i9 Sports – operates sports leagues, clinics, and camps for boys and girls aged 3-14. The sports they offer are: flag football, soccer, basketball and baseball. They have registered over 1,000,000 players since their founding and have been franchising since 2003. There focus is on kids having fun and their leagues promote not being overly competitive. Their franchise fee is $24,900 and estimated initial investment is between about $50,000 and $75,000. Royalties are 13% of gross sales. Many of the leagues for younger kids involve just a combination practice and game one day per week, so there is less coordination involved with recruiting parents to coach and settling disputes between parents and officials.
3. TSS Photography – this franchise does not involve actually owning a league. Instead, you will be responsible for taking team and individual photos once per season on picture day. You can work from home and don’t necessarily need to be a professional photographer or have previous photography experience. You are able to obtain a protected territory and several states are no longer available. The cost to get started ranges from $40,000 to $60,000 and includes all photography and computer equipment. For existing commercial photographers with their own equipment, the cost is reduced to around $10,000 to $30,000. Photography packages can be quite expensive, often $20 to $50 per child, and the margins are very high. There is also a personal guilt factor at play that you feel like as a parent you shouldn’t be greedy and should be spending this money on your kids.
4. Prime Time Athletics – sports leagues focusing exclusively on NFL approved youth flag football. Age groups range from 5 to 14 and while mostly boys play, there are some girls that play on co-ed teams or in girls only leagues. Prime Time originated in Arizona, but now has franchise owners operating leagues in Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Illinois and Missouri. The franchise fee comes in at $30,000. 2021 UPDATE: Prime Time appears to have combined or merged with One Sports Nation.
5. National Youth Sports – franchises are available in sports including tackle football, baseball, basketball, softball, cheerleading, flag football, volleyball, and soccer. Franchise operators generally operate several different leagues and have an actual office space and full-time staff. The franchise fee is $25,000 and the opportunity requires $50,000 to $100,000 to get started. Royalties are 8% of gross sales.