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D1 Training Triples Franchise Footprint, Eyes Youth Sports Market

D1 Training Triples Franchise Footprint, Eyes Youth Sports Market

D1 takes a sports-centric approach to fitness, with workouts derived from NCAA Division 1 strength and conditioning programs

D1 Training, an athletic-based fitness training concept founded by former NFL player Will Bartholomew, has announced 30 new signed franchise agreements and says it tripled its franchise footprint in less than five years, with a milestone 100th opening scheduled for later this year.

As the Nashville-based D1 looks ahead, it has set a development goal to award over 100 territories this year, bringing its total number of units in development to over 250. Earlier this year, D1 announced a 12-unit agreement across four states and recently revealed another multi-unit agreement to bring four locations to the Sacramento area.

D1 attributes its gains to franchisee assistance, such as presales, improved operator training, streamlined communication and the influence of the D1 Franchise Advisory Council. Princeton Equity Group also recently made a strategic investment in the fitness company.

“Since the inception of D1 Training, our unwavering commitment to providing top-notch athletic-based training for individuals of all ages has driven our success,” said Bartholomew, D1’s founder and CEO. “Our vision for empowering youth athletes and fitness enthusiasts resonates deeply with franchisees, leading to our impressive growth. With abundant whitespace opportunities across the nation, we are witnessing a surge of passionate and eager franchisees embracing our brand and its boundless growth potential.”

credit: D1 Training

In addition to D1’s aggressive expansion, the fitness company reports strong performance, with 7% same-store-sales growth for 2022 and numbers for 2023 trending similarly. According to a franchise disclosure document, the average gross revenue for D1 franchised businesses in 2022 was $870,884.

D1 says it’s trained over 100 NFL draft picks and 1,000 professional athletes, but its clients also include many non-athletes, who are drawn to the gym’s “athletic-based training” style which includes workouts derived from NCAA Division 1 strength and conditioning programs.

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Bartholomew noted that D1 sees untapped growth potential in youth sports, viewing D1 as the ideal spot for young athletes to develop skills. The fitness company also emphasizes its collaboration with Dashr, a designer and supplier of NFL Combine-style testing equipment, which D1 says offers opportunities for fitness enthusiasts when combined with its adult and PT programs.

“This is an exciting chapter in our brand’s evolution as franchise development and unit-level volume continue to soar,” said Matt Toy, D1’s vice president of marketing. “As we look to the future, energies will center on providing unparalleled support to our franchisees who are the driving force behind our brand’s success.”

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