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SoccerGemz is Changing the Game for Youth Sports

Own a SoccerGemz franchise today, as our support team will help provide you the opportunity to reach your personal and financial goals through operating a fu...

SoccerGemz Youth Sports Franchise

The brand’s turnkey model is making a difference in the lives of young soccer players … and local entrepreneurs.

When Jerome Smalls left his job as a special education teacher in 2012 to pursue entrepreneurship, he took his passion for teaching – and changing lives – with him.

As the parent of young daughters who were avid soccer players, Smalls was keenly aware of the value of sports for teaching important life skills, especially when kids started playing at a young age. Still, at the time, the youth sports programs available to children in the Tampa Bay area were limited, usually requiring young players to be at least three years old to sign up for lessons.

Recognizing the need for early-childhood sports programs that were available to a broader range of kids in his community, Smalls set out to create a soccer program that would empower children to develop critical athletic and social skills from a young age while helping them develop friendships and foster relationships in their local neighborhoods before kindergarten.

That year, Smalls founded SoccerGemz, a youth sports concept offering soccer classes for kids ranging in age from 18 months to 8 years old – and helping them develop essential skills while creating lasting memories and stronger bonds with their families.

Enhancing children’s skills through sports

With age group-based pricing and daytime and after-school programs available at various public and private schools, daycare centers, and home schools, SoccerGemz is accessible to kids from almost every age, background and walk of life.

Offering three tiers of soccer programming (“Rubyz,” for children aged 18 months to 2-plus years; “Pearlz,” for children aged 3 to 5 years; and “Diamondz,” for kids aged 6 to 8 years), SoccerGemz’s curriculum focuses on helping young soccer players develop motor and social skills while participating in fun activities, drills and games with their peers. Youth enrolled at the Pearlz and Diamondz levels also have the opportunity to participate in tournaments and extra challenges.

Beyond the health benefits of getting youth involved in athletics from a young age, SoccerGemz’s other benefits include allowing families to build stronger bonds through “Mommy and Me” classes (which are also available to dads) – empowering parents to actively participate in their children’s lives while helping them develop confidence, good sportsmanship, listening skills and a sense of responsibility and independence.

For Smalls, providing those opportunities to local kids and their families was deeply meaningful, but it wasn’t enough. Last year, after growing his business for over a decade, Smalls knew it was time to take the brand to the next level and scale his business.

To achieve that goal, he turned to franchising.

Using entrepreneurship to transform lives

Franchised with the help of the team at The Internicola Law Firm in 2023, SoccerGemz offers franchisees a proven home-based business model with low overhead costs, as well as help with locating schools and facilities to host soccer programs in their communities – providing entrepreneurs with a chance to own a business while positively impacting the lives of kids in their local communities.

“Working with Charles, Melissa, Gina and honestly everyone over at Internicola Law has been way (better) than I initially expected. I can say, as a business owner venturing into the franchise space, the whole team has been extremely helpful in guiding me to make sure that we got started the right way,” Smalls says.

In addition to training and initial startup support, SoccerGemz offers franchisees assistance with marketing, help with recruiting coaches, access to proprietary scheduling and registration software, and ongoing support in other business areas.

After launching with only one soccer coach – Smalls, himself – over a decade ago, today SoccerGemz boasts a roster of seven coaches and is poised for further growth as the brand continues to scale as a franchise.

Like every smart franchisor knows, though, scaling a franchise is about more than just launching a business and having a Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) issued. Instead, it’s about transforming lives and building a compelling franchise brand story that sells – and for Smalls, SoccerGemz was no exception.

Making an impact with great storytelling

To ensure his brand had a compelling and original brand story that could convert leads into sales while empowering kids, families and entrepreneurs across the country, Smalls turned to The Internicola Law Firm’s FRANX Brand Story Masterclass when developing SoccerGemz’s marketing content.

“I could go on and on about how amazing this team is. Most importantly, I felt from the beginning that Charles and his team care about the success of our brand and that made a huge difference in our deciding factor. I would recommend them 100 times over,” Smalls says.

With an emphasis on defining their brand’s purpose and assets, the FRANX Brand Story Masterclass helps franchisors differentiate their offering, identify opportunities for franchisees, define their ideal franchisee, and determine how their brand can transform the lives of entrepreneurs. Tying those concepts together, the class helps franchisors answer two of the most important questions franchisee candidates and brokers ask: Why you, and why now?

For SoccerGemz, the answer to that question comes down to one thing: transforming lives and communities – something the brand has already proven itself to be exceptional at.

To learn more about franchising opportunities with SoccerGemz, visit

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