Sports Xtra And A-Star Sports Merge Putting Fun, Physical Activity And Franchising At Top Of Agenda

Sports Xtra, a leading children’s physical activity provider, and A-Star Sports, the award-winning multi-sports specialist announced this week that the two companies are to merge.

The merger comes as a result of the two British Franchise Association members' positive networking, complementary expertise and a shared vision for the future.

Sports Xtra was founded by Gareth Lippiatt in 2002 and developed into a franchise business in 2008, which subsequently acquired a further business as it built a national footprint of over 400 coaches across the UK. Founded in 2011, A-Star Sports was listed in the UK’s Startups 100 for three consecutive years – rising 66 places to number 27 – as well as receiving recognition from Theo Paphitis and Lord Young for innovation and entrepreneurial spirit. Together, the Managing Director of Sports Xtra, Rob Oyston, and co-founders of A-Star Sports, Gary and Sharon Bassett, will form the new Senior Management Team to take both brands forward.

Oyston explained: “Our biggest strength is in our shared vision to provide children with the most positive and fun experience. The merger enables us to build on this at a time that couldn’t be more poignant for children’s physical activity and sport. With a joint network of 40+ franchise territories and a growing support team, this is an exciting opportunity to reach out more widely to families with our unique products.”

Both brands will work under the parent company of Sports Xtra (Franchising) Ltd with a core product range of popular children’s physical activity ‘Xperiences’ and the fully developmental A-Star Sports multi-sports programme. For children aged three to 12 years old, the product range will be delivered through weekly classes, after school clubs, holiday clubs and parties.

Network franchise owners will benefit from two strong brands, a wider product range, a knowledgeable call centre, an industry-specific data management system, award-winning social media, marketing and PR and a Head Office team with more time and expertise to support them.

Gary Bassett said: “With our joint portfolio appealing directly to families, there is a lot of scope to work with other high profile brands to inspire and develop new, innovative ways to engage children. The aspiration to continually motivate and support young children to be the best they can be physically, emotionally and socially through high quality coaching and a commitment to exceptional customer service remains core to our business.”

The Senior Management Team will continue to work from offices in Cardiff and Chester.

Published: