Sports Franchise UK – the TOP 10 MUST KNOWS about finding and running successful UK Sports Franchises.
UK sports franchises, harnessing the power of an evergreen industry, have grown to become solid, profitable business propositions for franchisees. But, should you jump on board?
Sports have always been an integral part the quintessential British way of life across the cross section of ages and demographics.
Thankfully, the sporting spirit that we all hold so important has somehow managed to seep through into other aspects of our lives, giving it a larger significance than mere entertainment. Today, however, being able to indulge oneself in a sport of their choice isn’t as easy as it would have been a few decades ago.
For starters, people just don’t have time anymore. Secondly, the costs of equipment, training and facilities are next to prohibitive for many popular sports.
As always, businesses have managed to combine these ‘pain points’ into an opportunity, creating businesses that revolve solely around letting families and individuals enjoy their favourite sports without a worry. UK sports franchises, taking a leaf out this book, have gone ahead and merged these business ideas with the successful franchising model, creating a unique phenomenon that is much more than a brilliant investment opportunity for UK franchisees.
How A Sports Franchise UK Benefits From Market Currents
Understanding why a sports franchise UK offers a blend of value-for-money and demand appetite is all about understanding the market currents in this regard.
- The professional sports industry in the UK is well worth over £20 bn. This includes ‘sports as a service’ businesses and sporting equipment, gear and facilities retailers/providers. (These numbers, dated as they may be, are still good enough to give us an idea of the enormous market size. We’ll make every effort to update this report as the new data rolls in).
- The UK sports industry employs close to half a million people.
- The retail consumer spending on sports services, products and facilities clocked at over £8 bn in 2017. This is a more important number for us as it excludes a non-retail portion of the industry that’s comprised solely of big-budget sports clubs (that have nothing to do with an average sports franchise UK).
Is This A Right Time To Buy A Sports Franchise UK?
UK sports franchises operate in a sector that overlaps the fitness industry and the recreation/entertainment industry. Not all sports are aimed at helping people stay fit, and certainly not all are meant to merely help the partakers ‘unwind’.
Take football, probably the most popular mass sport in the UK, for example.
Thousands of young children start training each year – through their schools as well as through private training academies. Of course, not all of them end up choosing football as their choice of career (and that’s the whole point, really). By helping ‘consumers’ get the services they want, need and love, trainers and academies have – for many years – created local niches that eventually have ended up becoming well-oiled franchise businesses.
Since every sports franchise UK is based largely on this phenomenon, it’s safe to say that it’s never really a bad time to buy one. You can, of course, turn your investments sour by choosing to operating in overly saturated territories or trying to cater to underwhelming demand metrics. So, it’s important to have a solid grip on your franchise market research before you think of buying or even shortlisting sports franchises UK.
Recommended: How to Choose THE RIGHT Franchise?
How Much Does A Sports Franchise UK Cost?
As is the case with other franchise sectors, sports franchises UK are loosely scattered across multiple sizes.
On average, a UK sports franchise will cost you anywhere between £10,000 to £100,000. We understand that this is a fairly broad range – much the reason why, it becomes important not to generalise the initial investment as a decisive factor while buying a sports franchise UK.
Much of the initial investment while buying a sports franchise UK goes towards the one-off franchise fee, followed by working capital that is required to set the business in motion.
If you are thinking of buying a UK sports franchise, you’ll probably need an experienced franchise finance provider on your side. We’ve already talked at length about how that works in our free franchise finance guide.
How Do Sports Franchises UK Make Money?
The money-making model adopted by sports businesses UK is much the same as the one used by UK fitness franchises.
The incomings are largely comprised of subscription fees/session fees/product sales. Many UK sports franchises are now exploring additional revenue streams by selling ‘digital content’ – think sports blogs, online consultations and video tutorials/tips.
UK Sports Franchises Vs Fitness Franchises – What’s The Difference?
There is no fundamental difference between a fitness franchises and a sports franchise UK. Both aim to provide recreational/health-oriented services and products for a fee.
The major difference lies in the demographic that each tries to serve.
“Conventionally speaking, UK sports franchises have focussed more on the young demographic – especially children aged 5-15.”
From a purely business point of view, this makes a lot of sense. By working with local schools, UK sports franchises can easily ‘lock in’ reliable revenue streams, while also making sure that they are catering to their most important set of customers.
This isn’t to say that the adult customer base for sports franchises UK is non-existent.
It is estimated that 63% of men and 58% of women (aged 16-50) were active in at least one sport, with nearly half of them being ‘sport-active’ at least once every month.
Many franchises have successfully managed to onboard customers – especially in metropolitan cities (this, however, typically has large marketing costs associated with it).
Types Of UK Sports Franchises
There are two broad categories in which we can divide the sports businesses UK.
1. Sports As A Service
This is by far the most popular option for a sports business looking to franchise.
Typical examples includes Karate coaching, cricket equipment/gear rental and football academies.
2. Sports As A Product
The product-centric counterpart of UK sports franchises is closer to retail franchises than fitness franchises.
Typical examples include high-street activewear retailers, fishing supplies store etc.
Top Sports Franchises UK
As we mentioned earlier, a sports business UK can come in a variety of sizes and features. Here’s our shortlist of some of the most popular UK sports franchises.
- Minimum Initial Investment: £15,000 (plus VAT)
- USP: Personalised sport and fitness programmes for children
- Renowned brand name
- Over 150 franchise units in operation
- A reputed sport franchise UK that is backed by years of industry goodwill
- Proven business model
- Ongoing training and support
- Full BFA Member
- Minimum Initial Investment: £500 (plus VAT)
- USP: A leading rugby play programmer provider for children
- Unique business model
- In operation in 17 countries
- Affordable initial investment
- Full training
- Business and marketing support
- Full BFA Member
3. Sports Xtra
- Minimum Initial Investment: £19,600 (plus VAT)
- USP: Sports training and fitness programmes for children aged 2-12
- Wide variety of courses available
- Customisable programmes
- Full training on offer
- Ongoing business support
- No franchise fee – You’ll only need the working capital as minimum investment
- In operation for over 15 years
- Minimum Initial Investment: £4,900 (plus VAT)
- USP: Professional football training for children and young adults
- Founded by Christian Fox, a former pro footballer
- Focus on technical development
- Personalised football training programmes
- Ongoing support and training
5. Tennis Tots
- Minimum Initial Investment: £2,000 (plus VAT)
- USP: Tennis coaching and training for children
- Affordable sports franchise UK opportunity
- Full training on offer
- All equipment provided
- Exclusive territories
Thinking Of Buying A Sports Franchise UK? Here Are The Important Takeaways
- As is the case with every franchise category, you need to get your franchise market research spot on before buying a sports franchise UK.
- Sports as a service franchises have drastically different needs than sporting equipment/products franchises.
- Make sure you are passionate about running your own business.
- Networking is important – especially when you want to compete against businesses that will be trying to onboard the same set of schools as you.
If you run a successful sports franchise UK, we’d love to hear from you. Please get in touch with us to let us know of your experiences and we’ll make sure your voice reaches a strong, vibrant franchising community.