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  • Roger Yao

Fitness Equipment Industry Weekly News – 2024 Week 13

Fitness equipment news

1.  Dux Gaming Acquires Majority Stake in Home Fitness Company Volava

Dux Gaming, a prominent esports club, has acquired a 51% stake in the home fitness company Volava, known for its production of stationary bikes and online training programs. Mad Dogg Athletics, an American fitness giant and the owner of the Spinning brand, retains the remaining 49% of the shares. Joel Balagué will continue to serve as the CEO of Volava.

According to the involved parties, this acquisition aligns with Dux Gaming's ongoing strategy to innovate in the sports sector by merging digital experiences with physical exercise, utilizing content as the core link between these two realms.

Established in 2017, Volava gained significant attention during the pandemic. However, the company faced challenges as it filed for bankruptcy in August 2023 after a 60% drop in sales. It was subsequently acquired by Mad Dogg Athletics.

Volava's business model is centered around a subscription service offering two tiers: a basic option and a more comprehensive option that includes additional metrics such as performance data, power, and heart rate monitoring.

Joel Balagué, the founder, will continue to lead the company for the next three years, alongside its existing team of twelve employees. The company will maintain its headquarters in Barcelona, where it continues to record and develop its training programs and technology.

Dux Gaming is now focusing on enhancing Volava's user experience by implementing its expertise in content production, gamification, and high-profile influencer collaborations. This approach aims to make the fitness experience more engaging and accessible, appealing to new audiences.

Joel Balagué expressed his commitment to this new phase: "We are prioritizing what has always been one of our company's greatest strengths—customer satisfaction—with the goal of ensuring their loyalty."

He also highlighted the synergy between the partners: "We are preparing to operate at peak intensity and with renewed enthusiasm, as we have top-tier partners in Dux for entertainment and sports content, and Mad Dogg Athletics, with its unparalleled experience in the Spinning sector, of which they are the creators and owners."

This strategic acquisition not only aims to revitalize Volava but also positions Dux Gaming uniquely within the convergence of esports, digital entertainment, and physical fitness, signaling a new era for both companies in engaging and expanding their customer bases.

2. Fibo 2024 Sees Substantial Growth in Attendance Yet Falls Short of Pre-Pandemic Levels

Fibo 2024, the renowned international fitness trade show, wrapped up on a high note this past Sunday in Cologne. The event attracted a total of 129,668 visitors from 114 countries between April 11 and April 14. This turnout marks a significant 22.2% increase compared to the 106,146 attendees in 2023, signaling a strong recovery in the industry. However, despite this growth, the numbers still fell short of surpassing the pre-Covid attendance records set in 2019, which exceeded 150,000 visitors.

In addition to the rise in visitor numbers, Fibo 2024 also saw an increase in exhibitor participation. This year, the event hosted over a thousand exhibitors, which is an increase of more than 15% compared to the 867 exhibitors from the previous year.

Looking forward, the organizers have already scheduled the next Fibo to take place in Cologne from April 10 to April 13, 2025, anticipating further growth and continuing to build on the success of this year’s event.

3. Treningshelse Holding Expands Its Reach in Norwegian Fitness Industry

Treningshelse Holding, the owner of Aktiv365 and Family Sports Club, has expanded its operations by acquiring Aktiv Trening, adding 19 new clubs to its network, resulting in a total of 72 clubs and around 100,000 members.

This acquisition is part of the company's strategy to become the leading privately-owned fitness chain in Norway. Treningshelse was formed in 2022 through the merger of Aktiv365 and Family Sports Club, aiming to promote public health through well-equipped fitness centers.

David Andersen, founder of Aktiv Trening, joins the management team, tasked with development in northwest Norway. CEO Trygve Hagen highlights the strategic fit of Aktiv Trening, enhancing the group's presence in the region. The company offers various membership options, including health services like online medical and psychological consultations. Further growth and mergers are anticipated within the year.

4. Planet Fitness Appoints Colleen Keating as New CEO

Planet Fitness has announced Colleen Keating as its new CEO, effective June 10, following an extensive search after the departure of former CEO Chris Rondeau last September. Colleen Keating brings over three decades of experience in hospitality, real estate, and franchise management, having held significant roles at InterContinental Hotels, Davidson Hotels & Resorts, and Starwood Hotels. Most recently, she was CEO of FirstKey Homes. Her appointment is seen as a strategic move to drive sustainable growth and value creation for Planet Fitness. The company will further discuss this appointment during its earnings call on May 9, 2024.

5.  Hyrox Expands Global Presence with Hyrox365 Training Clubs

Hyrox, a global fitness race brand, has launched Hyrox365, a comprehensive training ecosystem in partnership with Fiit and Centr platforms. This initiative aims to transform 2,500 affiliated gyms into official Hyrox Training Clubs, offering an all-in-one training experience tailored to prepare athletes for Hyrox races. The new program includes the Hyrox365 Performance Hub, providing gym owners with streamlined fitness programming and exclusive access to daily workouts and educational resources. The announcement, made at FIBO 2024, signifies Hyrox’s commitment to becoming a major player in the fitness industry, competing with brands like CrossFit. Hyrox plans further expansion, including new training courses and the creation of Hyrox Performance Centrs, enhancing the training capabilities for its affiliates.

6.US Court Approves Sale of BowFlex Assets to Johnson Health Tech

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey has approved the sale of BowFlex, Inc.'s assets to Johnson Health Tech Retail, Inc. as part of a Stalking Horse Asset Purchase Agreement. The agreement stipulates that Johnson Health Tech will acquire most of BowFlex's assets for $37.5 million in cash, subject to certain adjustments. BowFlex CEO Jim Barr expressed satisfaction with the court's decision, highlighting Johnson Health Tech’s status as a leading global fitness equipment manufacturer. The transaction is expected to be finalized by April 22, 2024, pending customary closing conditions. Legal advice for BowFlex is being provided by Sidley Austin LLP and Holland & Hart LLP, with FTI Consulting, Inc. and FTI Capital Advisors, LLC serving as financial advisors and investment bankers for the sale process.


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