Multi-Unit Franchise Experts

Franchise Evaluator™: Innovative Sport Surfacing

Innovative Sport Surfacing (ISS) provides a turnkey playground, park, recreation, and sport facilities planning, installation, and consulting service for high-performance surfacing. ISS helps solve challenges around resourcing high-quality products and services that focus on the specialty need for high-performance surfaces for athletic and sports facilities, parks, and playgrounds from start to finish.

Innovative Sport Surfacing has a combined 90+ years of sales and installations and specializes in surfacing options like Poured-in-place rubber, bonded rubber mulch, and turf. The brand’s playground equipment, shade structures, shade canopies, water park equipment, spray pad equipment, and park amenities are high-quality and affordable. With a highly trained staff, Innovative Sport Surfacing can oversee and schedule multiple projects while maintaining quality customer service and integrity.

Innovative Sport Surfacing
Franchise at a Glance

Corporate Address

Innovative Sport Surfacing
8425 Station Street
Mentor, OH 44060

Year Founded: 2006
Year Started Franchising: 2023
Business Description:
Innovative Sport Surfacing is a turnkey playground, park, recreation, and construction service that can do it all – from design and new construction to excavation and resurfacing. Customers look to the full-service surfacing franchise to repair cracks and regular wear and tear or enhance their area with LED lighting, fencing, and more.

MARKET Factors

1

What population does the brand serve? Is the market broad, niche, or somewhere in-between?

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Market Size

The sports flooring market is critical to the world of sports and recreation. The type of surface used in any sport is important to the way the game is played and to the safety of the players. Special care is poured into making these surfaces in order to provide shock absorption to improve performance and limit injuries. This industry provides necessary services to fitness-related places like gyms, courts, arenas, and other indoor and outdoor recreational areas.

According to Fact.MR, the global sports flooring market in 2023 is estimated at $2.75 billion and is projected to hit $3.8 billion by 2033. It is also estimated that the sales from the sports flooring market will account for almost 11% of the total market share by 2023.

7

We categorize the market size as a large market.

Scale

Small to Large Market Size
2

Is the overall industry growing, that is creating new customers who have never used these services before, or mature where most population segments are already using these types of products and services?

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Industry Trend

Fitness has experienced a pandemic-induced surge in recent years, inspiring many to spend more on fitness-related activities like going to the gym and attending yoga classes and the surge of leisure sports like pickleball. This has caused a spike in the number of health, fitness, and recreation centers across the country.

There also has been a surge in improving outdoor recreation areas like playgrounds, parks, school grounds, and dog parks to improve safety, increase utilization, and improve aesthetics and functionality. This has caught the attention of private investors, leading to more private investment in these sports and fitness centers. The market is expected to grow steadily in the coming years.

9

We categorize the Industry Trend as high growth trend.

Scale

Low to High Growth Trend
3

What drives the purchase of the product or service? Is it a “need-to-buy” or a “want-to-buy”? How are customers drawn to your business?

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Product and Service Drivers

Innovative Sport Surface offers a multitude of state-of-the-art services, including poured-in-place rubber surfacing and maintenance; pickleball court surfacing and repair; outdoor court surfacing and repair; StreetBond surfacing; pool deck surfacing; artificial turf installation; and equine rubber flooring.

The franchise brand’s products include playground structures and components, bonded rubber mulch, adult fitness equipment, dog park amenities, and shade structures. Drivers of these products and services include the demand for recreation across a variety of demographics, including homeowners, architects, schools, daycares, and military bases.

9

We categorize the product and service drivers as mid to high drivers.

Scale

Low to High Drivers
4

Are competitors a major factor in operating your business? If so, is competition sparse or saturated? Will it matter to your business?

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Competitive Climate

As a unique franchise opportunity, Innovative Sport Surfacing faces relatively little competition in the sporting flooring space. Another sports flooring franchise includes Sport Court. Competition is largely unorganized and may be a combination of general contractors, landscape companies, and other local or independent floor surface companies. The market is wide open for a one-stop, clearly focused provider of high-quality athletic, fitness, and sports specialty flooring.

10

We categorize the competitive climate as low-mid competitive pressure.

Scale

Low to High Competition
5

Are the business’s products or services regulated, or do they require licensing? Will you or your employees require special licensing? If so, is the regulatory climate strict or lax? Will this affect recruiting employees?

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Regulatory Climate

Regulations for the sport surfacing industry can vary depending on the country, state, or region. Thus, business owners in the industry should be aware of and comply with these regulations to ensure the safety, quality, and environmental impact of their products and services. It’s suggested anyone interested should consult their state or local municipalities to understand the business requirements and any licensing requirements.

9

We categorize the regulatory climate as low regulation.

Scale

Low to High Regulation

MODEL Factors

1

This is one of the most important factors of all. To understand it you have to look beyond what the business physically does, the services performed or products sold and ask how does the franchise make money? Where does the revenue come from? How is it generated? Are financial performance representations made? Coupled with External Factors 1, 2 and 5 – Market Size, Industry Trend and Competitive Climate and the next Internal Factor 2, Franchisee Role – the true nature of the franchise starts to take shape.

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Revenue Model

As a B2B business, any business can be a customer with Innovative Sport Surfacing. Homeowners, architects, schools, daycares, military bases, and more are the typical clientele for the artificial sports flooring and surfacing franchise. Revenue comes in multiple streams, including installation, consulting services, and maintenance and repairs.

8

We categorize the Operational Model as Simple.

Scale

Simple to Complex Model
2

How developed are the systems on which you will rely to operate your business?

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Operational Systems

Innovative Sport Surfacing operates with a proven business model that enables franchise owners to achieve substantial growth. The franchise sets itself apart from the competition with a turnkey system that ensures customers only require their services without the need for independent contractors. Innovative Sport Surfacing can provide and install any and all products and services to customers across a wide range of demographics. A complete training program for all franchisees is a requirement of the system, which includes a deep dive into how the business operates and special skills, techniques, and procedures for successful installations.

10

We categorize the Operational Systems as Comprehensive.

Scale

Basic to Comprehensive
3

In this highly diffuse world, creating, managing and projecting a Brand is essential for the health and vitality of a franchise system. How well does the Franchisor manage this? How well positioned is the brand among competitors? Is it differentiated enough? How well would potential customers recognize the brand? How is it projected into new markets? What is your role and obligations in this process? How is the Brand’s digital footprint managed?

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Brand Management

Innovative Sport Covering is committed to improving the park and playground industry as a turnkey services provider with passionate franchise partners across the country. The brand only uses materials selected for their long-term durability, aesthetic appeal, and user safety. An American Sports Builders Association (ASBA) Certified Court Builder is also on staff to oversee all court construction projects and provide customized solutions for athletic facilities or recreation spaces.

Before breaking ground, specialists thoroughly assess a facility’s requirements, develop a strategy based on objectives, and find potential areas for improvement and layout tactics.

Being relatively new to franchising, any prospective franchises will most likely be new entrants in that market and would be building on the brand with the support of the ISS corporate team.

6

We categorize the Brand Management as High Engagement.

Scale

Low to High Engagement
4

What role is the franchisee expected to play in starting, ramping and the ongoing operation of the business?

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Innovative Sport Surfacing Franchisee Role

Prospective Innovative Sport Surfacing franchise owners are responsible for running a full-service parks and recreation business. Daily activities for franchisees include consultation, sales, service, installations, training, marketing and more.

6

We categorize the Franchisee Role as Business Manager.

Scale

Service Executor to Business Manager Role
5

What type of location, if any, is needed to deliver the product or service? If real estate is needed, are the requirements flexible or stringent? Is real estate essential to the product or brand experience or required for services to be performed onsite?

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Real Estate Needs

Franchisees must use a vehicle appropriate for the business with a branded logo/wrap. Innovative Sport Surfacing recommends one pickup truck and one box truck for deliveries. It must be in decent condition, clean, dent-free, and otherwise present a professional appearance. The requirements for real estate to run the business are low – with some

8

We categorize the regulatory climate as basic need.

Scale

Basic to Essential Needs

ORGANIZATION Factors

1

How experienced is the franchisor at being a franchisor?

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Franchising Experience

As experts in the sports flooring market, Innovative Sport Surfacing provides entrepreneurs with the best-in-class support from decades of experience. This includes operational and marketing support and more. The emerging franchise has a 4-step process to see if candidates are right from the start, including an introduction and discovery day. If they agree to sign the franchise agreement, they will be helped with site selection and receive classroom and on-site training prior to the business opening. ISS is relatively new to franchising bringing their innovative model to the franchise marketplace.

6

We categorize the Franchising Experience as Extensive.

Scale

Limited to Extensive
2

What is the tenure, background, and commitment of the franchise’s leadership?

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Franchise Leadership

After looking over the park and playground industry and seeing the potential for improvement, President Kristen Rossi has been on a mission to provide a turnkey, high-quality, and reliable parks and recreation company that can provide services to anyone. Kristen wanted to help customers every step of the way and developed the business in a way to help attain grants and work with financial institutions that understand the construction, value, and use of playgrounds.

Michael Cardamone is a national franchise sales manager who looks to grow the surfacing franchise across the country.

7

We categorize the Franchising Leaders as Highly Experienced.

Scale

Limited to Highly Experienced
3

How often and how well does the franchisor engage franchisees? What assistance is provided in starting and operating your business.

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Franchisee Engagement

The ideal candidate is strong-willed and seeking new opportunities. The entrepreneur should also have customer service skills, good time management, high standards, and an outside-oriented background. Some construction is also helpful. Innovative Sport Surfacing franchisees benefit from a home-based model, affordable start-up costs, and support from an experienced leadership team. ISS is relatively new to franchising, and any franchisee will be new to the business.

7

We categorize the Franchisee Engagement as Highly Engaged.

Scale

Low to Highly Engaged
4

In what kind of financial shape is the franchisor?

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Financial Health

Innovative Sports Surfacing makes no financial performance representation other than what is stated in its 2023 Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD). In their 2023 FDD, they highlight an affiliate location that has been in business since 2006. Questions about what the FDD states or any other financial information about ISS should be referred to your legal and/or financial professional or to the brand itself.

6

We categorize the Financial Health as Sound.

Scale

Weak to Sound Financial Health

Key Points

Investment Range
$152,800 – $367,500
Initial Franchise Fee
Single: $50,000
Financial Performance Representation

Yes

(Item 19)

Average Number of Employees
2
Royalty Fee

6%

Locations
21
Veteran Discount
Yes

5% off the initial franchise fee ($2,500 off)

Home Based
Yes
Visa Candidates
Yes

Total Franchise Evaluator Score

108
0 – 24

Missing fundamental, internal or external factors

25 – 49

More investigation is needed

50 – 74

Worth exploring further with caution

75 – 99

Add to consideration set

100 – 140

Sound opportunity and likely a great fit

Learn more about Innovative Sport Surfacing

Meet with one of our experts for guidance and to answer any questions you have regarding Innovative Sport Surfacing.