October 6, 2022

Pre-Opening Marketing Strategy Led to the Most Successful Opening in Brand History

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Fast-growing swim school franchise Big Blue Swim School’s tenure in downtown Chicago has begun swimmingly, to say the least. The brand recently celebrated the opening of its fifth corporate-owned location—and first within Chicago’s city limits in North Center—as the strongest in its history, with more than 1,400 memberships being sold prior to opening its doors for lessons on March 18.

Big Blue Swim School was able to achieve the instant success that many brands—especially franchises—find elusive thanks to the detailed planning and flawless execution of its pre-opening marketing strategy. Big Blue Swim School chief development officer Scott Thompson explaining that the brand’s signature process “provides a proven system to help drive customers to our locations well in advance of opening the facility.”

If the North Center opening is any indication, the time Big Blue Swim School spent diligently refining its opening process has given way to a proven system that, with proper execution, is capable of producing stellar results in any market.

“We had a lot of success partnering with local businesses, schools, and influencers to help spread the word about our pre-opening party and the start of lessons,” Big Blue Swim School co-founder and President Chris DeJong said.


Big Blue Swim School’s process begins months in advance of each center’s first day of lessons. Early planning involves the brand’s marketing team creating engaging digital content and attending local events to forge partnerships and spread the word. Big Blue Swim School also incentivizes area families to invest in memberships prior to opening through perks like pre-opening deals and early scheduling. Grand Opening party just days before opening its doors in order to generate even more buzz.

“This system helps our customers lock in the class times they want for their children and helps our education franchise partners to have immediate cash flow prior to opening their doors,” Thompson added. “We are able to replicate our pre-opening marketing strategy thanks to our built-in software and our catalog of resources we are continuously expanding.”

The immediate influx of memberships at the North Center location further indicates the ever-present need Big Blue Swim School’s services fill for many a parent seeking a high-quality environment for their children to learn an essential life skill.

“Parents love our focus on making swim lessons effective for their kids while also creating an easy experience for them, too,” DeJong said. “Swim lessons should fit into parents’ lives, not the other way around, which is why our proprietary management system makes it easy to schedule all of your kids’ lessons at the same time.”

Thompson agreed.

“Our success at North Center confirms that there is a real demand for an unparalleled swim school experience,” he said. “Our ability to unlock the full potential of children and inspire life’s big moments, in and out of the water, leads to greater safety and more confidence, something every parent wants for their child. This further puts a stamp on Big Blue Swim School being the dominant national player in the swim school space.”

As Big Blue Swim School begins growing with qualified Fitness franchise partners across the country, the success of the North Center opening creates the perfect blueprint for successful openings going forward. To learn more about franchise opportunities with Big Blue Swim School.

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