Urban Air Adventure Park turned a single trampoline park in Southlake into a worldwide chain of indoor adventure parks, with everything from indoor skydiving to climbing walls, bumper cars, a warrior course, an adventure hub, and more. Now the team behind Urban Air is expanding into play-based STEAM and STEM education by forming Unleashed Brands—which has acquired Snapology, the #1 children’s enrichment franchise in the country.
Last fall we wrote about how Urban Air was fueling its expansion with $700,000 in incentives for “3-pack” franchise deals. With today’s unveiling of Unleashed Brands, the company has added “a new global growth-focused platform that will curate and expand a portfolio of brands to provide safe, fun, and enriching environments that help kids learn, play, and grow.”
Acquiring Snapology is a big step in that direction. Founded in 2010, it has more than 165 locations in the U.S. and international franchises, with a goal of growing and impacting children through educational enrichment, social development, and fun. Snapology helps kids learn through play with more than 80 interactive STEAM and STEM programs. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
Bringing Snapology into Urban Air parks
“As we look for ways to strengthen our portfolio of brands, Snapology presented as a strong, strategic fit with programing that allows our founding company, Urban Air, to expand its offerings into STEAM education,” said Michael Browning, president and CEO of Unleashed Brands and founder of Urban Air, in a statement.
Now Browning, who will be honored by the Dallas Business Journal on July 20 as one of its “40 Under 40” winners, plans to bring Snapology’s programs into Urban Air parks.
“Urban Air and Snapology will join forces in an effort to create additional offerings for their guests and revenue opportunities for franchisees by offering Snapology classes, camps, and birthday parties from within Urban Air locations,” Browning said. “As a fast-growing, dynamic brand with a dedicated purpose, we’re thrilled to welcome the like-minded Snapology team to the family and look forward to continue providing kids with the best-in-class learning experiences.”
“Bouncing” back from the pandemic
When lockdowns struck America last year, owning an indoor adventure park company was a scary proposition. But Browning told Forbes last month that Urban Air maintained 70 percent of its revenue in 2020—while opening 30 new locations, 23 of them between March and the end of the year.
Browning told Forbes that Urban Air’s Q1 2021 same-store sales were performing better than they had in 2019, “and we are back in a big way.”
The company’s momentum has gotten lots of recognition. Urban Air has been named the #1 entertainment franchise in Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500 two years in a row, and last January it was ranked the #2 “Smartest-Growing Brand” in America by the Franchise Times.
Snapology co-founder sees value in alignment
“After learning about Michael’s vision for the portfolio brands, our decision to join the Unleashed Brands team was an easy one,” said Laura Coe, co-founder of Snapology, adding that the alignment “will provide us access to other thought leaders in the children’s enrichment franchise space and the ability to leverage support and dedicated resources that will allow us to increase the value we bring to our franchisees and the families we serve.”
Unleashed Brands will function as the parent company for the group, with a focus on supporting growth-oriented brands in three key areas: STEAM learning (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics), playing (celebrating, escaping, and connecting) and growing (music and arts, martial arts, swimming, sports).
Urban Air says its new venture aims to continue acquiring, integrating, and scaling best-in-class experience-based consumer brands.
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