Fast doesn’t begin to describe the pace at 9Round. Eight years after Shannon Hudson and his wife, Heather, opened their first gym in Greenville, South Carolina, there are now 400 locations in 40 states and nine countries.
“The opening of our 400th location is not only a special day for 9Round, but a testament to the hard work of our dedicated franchise partners and their hardworking teams and, of course, our loyal members,” said Shannon Hudson. “This is only the beginning of great things to come as we continue to expand and build the 9Round brand by providing the average person championship-caliber kickboxing fitness training.”
This latest milestone continues to place 9Round among a highly exclusive group of burgeoning franchise brands. According to FranData, the leading independent research and advisory company that focuses solely on tracking and analyzing franchise companies and their performance, approximately 680 of the some 3,800 active franchise systems in the United States have more than 100 units. Less than 100 of those systems have been operating for less than 10 years.
9Round has opened more than half (227) of its 400 clubs in the last two years alone – including the company’s first locations in Australia, Japan, Jordan, Mexico, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom – and is anticipating even more rapid expansion in the years to come.
With hundreds of additional clubs in various stages of development around the world, and a rapidly growing number of entrepreneurs looking to join the 9Round family, company plans call for having a total of 1,000 locations by the end of 2018.
“Yes, we’re talking about more than doubling our international footprint. That means the next couple of years are going to be a grind. Bring it on,” said Hudson. “When I wanted to win a world kickboxing title, I imagined having the belt around my waist. I could feel the weight of the gold on my hips. The feeling part is the secret. If you’re gonna dream, dream big.”
According to Hudson, who did in fact win the IKF Light Middleweight Kickboxing Championship of the World in 2011, a title he still holds, the response to 9Round’s franchise opportunity has been unbelievable and overwhelming.
“There is something empowering about kickboxing – it is that sense of empowerment that appeals to most people. This unique fitness proposition, coupled with our rapid growth, are two of the key differentiators that make us stand out from the competition and will, no doubt, keep us atop the market.”