Why is it a good idea to open a sports franchise in the UK?

If you are thinking of opening a business in the sports industry, you may be interested to know the advantages of opening a sports franchise in the UK. 

In this post, we will explain everything about the relationship between sports and franchises.

sports franchise in the UK

What is a sports franchise?

There are several lines of business within the sports industry and all of them can be developed through a franchise.

A sports franchise is a business that allows you to offer services and products related to sports, whether it is sports equipment, organising sports events, managing sports facilities, etc.

For example, Sportmadness offers Sports Academies and Sports Events Franchises. The program provides all the resources, know-how, marketing strategies, and expertise to help you build a profitable business. Sportmadness franchises are aimed at both entrepreneurs and companies.

Sports and franchising are two of the most exciting businesses to be involved in. There are many opportunities for success, but it takes dedication, commitment, and hard work to make them happen.

Are sports franchises profitable in the UK?

To answer this question we have to look at the data on sports in the UK, and we can say that yes, sports have a future in this country. 

According to research by Sport England, we can see that just over six in 10 adults (28.0 million) achieved 150+ minutes of activity a week. 

  • Inactive, Less than an average of 30 minutes a week à 27.2% 
  • Fairly active, An average of 30-149 minutes a week à 11.5% 
  • Active, An average of 150+ minutes a week à 61.4% 

The coronavirus pandemic, which saw unprecedented restrictions applied to everyday life, has resulted in a clear drop in activity levels since the last full pre-pandemic reference point (Nov 18-19). 

However as the pandemic has progressed, activity levels have stabilised and no further annual changes have been recorded, compared to 12 months ago, so despite the pandemic, we can observe that +60% of the population is active. 

Divided by gender men (63% or 14.0m) are more likely to be active than women (60% or 13.9m). 

Divided by age activity levels generally decrease with age, with the sharpest decrease coming at age 75+ (to 39%).  

  • 16-34 à 67% 
  • 35-54 à 65% 
  • 55-74 à 61% 
  • 75+ à 39% 

Of those activities showing growth before the pandemic, only walking for leisure has continued to see numbers rise. Active Travel (walking or cycling to get to a specific place) and fitness activities have both been notably impacted and seen large drops in participant numbers.

Cycling for leisure and sport, and running (includes treadmill), have both seen numbers fall back since restrictions were eased in March 2021, following an initial rise.

For running, numbers are now below pre-pandemic (Nov 18-19) levels. Swimming and team sports have seen their slight downward trends in numbers exacerbated by the pandemic, with large drops since Nov 18-19.

situation of sports franchises in the UK


Of course, the pandemic affected the sport activity, but despite the situation, the numbers fell by a small percentage. 

The situation of sports franchises in the UK

A report by The British Franchise Association (BFA), in partnership with NatWest, takes a detailed look into the UK's franchise industry. 

Overall, the report shows that sports franchise in the UK remains in good health. Many of the figures show that franchising is a robust and reliable investment in the current market. The following article takes a brief look at some of the key statistics. 


As of 2018, 53% of franchisees claimed to be quite or highly profitable, with only seven per cent being loss-making. The former increases to 66% for franchises that have been running for five years or more. Furthermore, it showed that there are no significant differences between smaller and larger businesses in terms of profitability. Although as a rule, those who invested higher amounts see higher profitability. The report estimates 96% of hotel & catering franchises, such as Esquires Coffee, are profitable; this figure is three per cent over the average across all sectors at 93%. 


There are now over 48,600 franchised units in the UK. This figure has more than doubled in the last 25 years. Research shows that consumers are more likely to choose a franchise if they are familiar with the brand and its quality and consistency. 


Franchisee satisfaction with franchisor appears to be high, with a third of franchisees reported to have daily contact with their franchisor. 79% rated the support provided good-excellent, with only 5% rating it as poor. The top three benefits of franchise systems listed by franchisees are the support provided, the customer’s pre-existing perception of quality and having standardised products and/or services.

sports franchises profitable in the UK
business in the sports industry

Biggest sports franchises in the world

One of the best sports franchises is Anytime Fitness. It has been in the ranking of the best franchises in the world for 15 years. In addition, this year they have achieved the 23rd position in the list of the 200 fastest-growing franchises on a global scale. 

In the fitness sector, there are also others that make a lot of money such as F45 Training (a network of gyms dedicated to functional training), Planet Fitness (operator of gyms with more than 2,000 locations), and Jazzercise (their classes combine choreography to the rhythm of music).

sports franchise uk

How much does a sports franchise cost in the UK?

It is true that all these franchises require a large initial investment, but you can also look for other profitable franchises that operate with innovative services whose investment is very cheap. Usually around 10.000 - 15.000 euros. 

Sportmadness is one of them, dedicated to offering know-how on more than 100 sports services divided into two business lines: events and schools. You will work together with private companies and public administrations, to offer the final client professional services within amateur sports.

And the best part is that you can start an online sports business in less than a month since it doesn’t require an office or equipment. 

Would you like to explore more and start your sports business? Contact us!

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