Meet GeckoSports Franchisor Kim O’Donnell
GeckoSports is a family-friendly business that offers multi-sports and fun fitness programs in communities and schools. Managing Director Kim O’Donnell spoke to Business Franchise about the growth of this fun fitness franchise.
Kim, tell us about yourself and the GeckoSports franchise.
My 20-year executive marketing career with iconic leading local and international brands paved the way for me to re-create GeckoSports as it is today becoming a trusted national brand representing everything active for parents, kids and families. We offer after-school classes, parties, holiday programs, school clinics run under Government funding, school excursions, events and more. I always say to the team, wherever there are kids, Gecko can be there to support them with a fun active program.
We have been operating for over 14 years and began franchising in 2016. We currently have 12 franchise partners operating across 18 locations in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. Nationally, Gecko is a powerhouse run by myself and a range of awesome specialist consultants of their specific fields.
Why is there a demand for your service in the community?
Our active kids’ programs, including multiple national sports and fun fitness, are a necessity as life becomes busier and screens have become king. Children are not always able to find time to be active each day, and we know that obesity rates are higher than they should be in Australia. Our drive is to help our country’s little ones be more active.
We have 14 individual sports in our program as well as kids’ bootcamp style programs and themed programs such as Ninja Warrior and Mini Olympics. We take pride in our coaches being leaders in the community. We never get tired of hearing how much kids, parents, communities and schools love Gecko and everything that we do.
What type of person would 'fit' your franchisee profile?
We are selective of who we welcome into the Gecko family as your success is our success. I like to look at a new franchisee as a business partner, someone with the same values and ethics is important to the culture and growth of our brand and national business. We love our franchise partners to be fit and sporty, love everything kids, sport and fitness and be super passionate about making a real difference in their local community where they can really impact a child’s life. We love owners who are parents themselves or who have experience within the sports or fitness world (coaching preferably) but this is by no means a necessity.
How do you look after your franchisees?
I believe in a respectful, collaborative, supportive culture. Our franchise owners embody this and are an awesome support to the success of the business and brand. Our franchise partners are treated as just that, a business partner with equal input into the future operations of our business.
Communication and training is key to our franchise business partners’ success. We offer extensive start-up training from program development to operational, staffing, financial, legal, marketing and more. Our business is equipped to support you in every element of what we do, with a low level affordable investment we ensure you a successful and positive journey.
What does the next 12 months look like for GeckoSports?
After the challenges of Covid, we are pumped to be back out there doing what we love! Alongside working with kids and the community, I am excited to connect with like-minded people who are keen to invest and help us grow. I am so proud of the team we have around the country flying the Gecko flag. Now is our time for network growth of new franchise partners all across Australia!