Franchise Lounge is a vodcast series spotlighting prominent, intriguing members of the global franchise community and discussing topics like tech innovation, bold brand strategies, post-Covid growth initiatives and much more.
As a young mother and successful banker, Little Kickers Group Founder and Chairman, Christine Kelly became increasingly frustrated by the lack of healthy sports activities for active, inquisitive pre-school children, like her son. The result? Christine launched Little Kickers to fill the gap and provide a safe, developmentally-engaging program for children aged 18 months to 7 years old.
Using her business strengths, Christine worked with sports and developmental experts to help shape the Little Kickers classes, creating a unique "football" (soccer in the U.S.) program, with young children's learning concepts. In essence, Little Kickers is a happy, laugh-out-loud interactive environment where children can thrive, build confidence, self-esteem and a sense of belonging to boost their development.
Little Kickers sold its first franchise in 2004. Fast forward to 2021, the Little Kickers Group currently operates a network of over 360 franchises in 33 countries, serving more than 125,000 kids per year. As a franchising pioneer, Little Kickers has catapulted to become the largest global operator in the kids' fitness industry.
"Our business grew about 30% (post lockdown) to 125,000 to 130,000 kids globally." - Christine Kelly
Achieving many awards, Little Kickers was recognized as “Global Franchise Champion” at the 2020 Global Franchise awards and one of Entrepreneur Magazine’s “Top Global Franchises” from 2016 - 2021. They also received the British Franchise Association’s “Award for International Development” in 2017, “International Super brand” in 2020, and the Canadian Franchise Association’s “Franchisor of the Year” award in 2014-16 and 2021.
Join us our host, James Green and Christine discuss her incredible journey from working "mum" to successful franchisor, while tackling some of the burning issues of the day; women in business, gender imbalance in football (soccer) and her initiative to use recycled ocean plastic to make their uniforms environmentally-friendly.
Christine also shares why her franchise system has been so popular and why it’s a great model for building a global business.