i9 Sports is the nation’s largest multi-sport provider focused solely on high-quality, community-based youth sports programs with over 2.5 million registrations. To achieve their mission of helping kids succeed in life through sports, i9 Sports provides a youth sports experience unlike any other, teaching the importance of good sportsmanship on the field and in life. They are truly committed to providing age-appropriate instruction while making sports fun for kids and convenient for today’s busy families.

As you can tell, i9 Sports has achieved great success, and our mission as their outsourced marketing strategists at Hook & Blade has been to sustain that momentum and drive even more brand awareness and customer growth. We have assisted i9 Sports with a variety of marketing tactics over the years. We are always ready to try new things with them, so in our 2020 marketing content plan, we suggested starting a podcast. The Director of Marketing, April Thomas, and the Marketing Manager, Chloe Sulivan were fully on board with the idea and we were all excited to get it started.

“Creating a podcast was a brilliant idea. While we are thrilled with the results it has produced in regards to brand awareness, we are most excited for the valuable information it has allowed us to share with our customers and listeners. It has given us the opportunity to connect with leaders in the youth sports industry and share meaningful dialogue around the things that matter most to parents, coaches and athletes. We are excited for the future of The i9 Sports Show.”

Chloe Sullivan, Marketing Manager, i9 Sports

Opportunity To Connect Through The Pandemic

When the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in the United States, youth sports completely halted, so i9 Sports had to rapidly adjust to a new normal, as did every business. Once the panic and ambiguity began to slow, our teams agreed that the best way to keep the families connected with our business and their love for youth sports was a podcast. We all took the time to plan, decide on the most important topics that would be valuable for families to hear, and create great quality content overall. One of our teams favorite parts of this project was creating the cover art for the show as well as the intro jingle.


Once regulations were set by the CDC and the government surrounding new procedures to run youth sports, the inaugural episode of The i9 SportsⓇ Show was recorded. Each podcast is hosted by the i9 Sports marketing manager, Chloe Sullivan, who guides the guests throughout the topics. Episode #1 called, “Return to Play”, featured a conversation between i9 SportsⓇ President and CEO Brian Sanders and the Senior Director at the National Alliance for youth sports, Lisa Licata. The episode also includes a spotlight on an i9 SportsⓇ franchisee, Micah Nisley, about what she did during lockdown to spread cheer.

Due to the positive results from the inaugural episode, we released the second called, “Physical Literacy”. The topic was discussed between i9 SportsⓇ Manager of Sports Programming and Education, Alli Wentzell, and Founder of SPIDERfit Kids, Brett Klika. This episode’s spotlight was on another franchisee, Isaiah Rojas, about his athlete development programming. Each episode of The i9 SportsⓇ Show closes out with a sportsmanship segment in which parents give their child a shout-out.


As of December 1, 2020, i9 SportsⓇ Show has acquired 1,203 total plays. From the trends we have seen thus far, plays will continue to increase as more people hear about the show. The purple dot on the visual below represents the release of episode #1 which initially had a gradual increase in plays from promotion on social media. As seen on the timeline in mid-August, the show was promoted by email which resulted in a more rapid increase in plays.


As shown in the following visual, the show’s audience is mostly individuals that fall in the parental age-range, and there are slightly more listens among men than women.


Still Interested?

This podcast is great for families as it is informative for adults and a fun way to support the young athletes themselves. If you’re interested in listening, you can find The i9 SportsⓇ Show on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Google Podcasts, Breaker, Overcast, Pocket Casts, and RadioPublic. For more information about Hook & Blade and the variety of skills, our specialist stack has to offer, visit our website.