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  • Roger Yao

Fitness Equipment Industry Weekly News – 2024 Week 3

fitness brand

Fitness Equipment Industry Weekly News – 2024 Week 3

1.     Two top former leaders of Lifefiness and Precor will join EGYM

In a strategic move that underscores EGYM's growing influence in the fitness industry, the German fitness technology firm has announced the addition of two prominent figures, Chris Clawson and Rob Barker, former CEOs of Life Fitness and Precor, respectively. The seasoned executives are set to join EGYM in mid-February, marking a significant endorsement for the company among top-tier fitness leaders.

EGYM's co-founder and CEO, Philipp Roesch-Schlanderer, unveiled the news of these high-profile signings, highlighting the company's commitment to bringing industry heavyweights on board. Chris Clawson, renowned for his tenure as the president and CEO of Life Fitness, will assume the role of General Manager, EGYM Gymtech. Meanwhile, Rob Barker, former president and CEO of Precor, will take on the position of a strategic consultant to Roesch-Schlanderer.

Egym Lifefitness

Reflecting on the longstanding relationships with the fitness industry's elite, Roesch-Schlanderer reminisced about encounters with key executives. "I remember very well the great honor I had when I was able to meet with Jason Lo, the owner and CEO of Johnson Health Tech (Matrix), at FIBO in 2014," he recalled. "Later, Chris Clawson and Rob Barker, with their impressive track records at Life Fitness and Precor, left a lasting impression on me. Their total commitment to the industry and their respective brands, spanning over 30 years, is a testament to their dedication."

The addition of Clawson and Barker to the EGYM team not only reinforces the company's standing in the fitness sector but also positions them strategically to capitalize on the extensive experience and insights brought by these industry veterans. The move is expected to contribute to EGYM's continued growth and innovation in the evolving fitness landscape.

As EGYM expands its leadership team with these industry icons, the company appears poised for a new chapter of innovation and influence within the global fitness community. The appointments of Chris Clawson and Rob Barker signal a commitment to leveraging top-tier talent to drive EGYM's mission of enhancing fitness experiences through cutting-edge technology and strategic leadership.

2.     EGYM and Life Fitness Forge Deeper Alliance to Revolutionize Cardio Workouts Worldwide

EGYM, a global leader in fitness technology and corporate health innovation, and Life Fitness, a renowned provider of commercial fitness equipment, are excited to announce the expansion of their strategic partnership. This collaboration aims to enhance the cardio workout experience by combining EGYM's cutting-edge fitness technology with Life Fitness' innovative cardio equipment.

Egym cardio fitness equipment

As part of this expanded partnership, EGYM and Life Fitness are diligently working on a groundbreaking Smart Cardio integration project. Inspired by EGYM's Smart Cardio system, this project is set to transform cardio workouts for gym-goers and is scheduled for launch in the first half of 2024.

The Smart Cardio integration seamlessly merges EGYM's advanced fitness software with Life Fitness' state-of-the-art cardio equipment, featuring the immersive Discover SE4 console. This integration creates a cohesive and data-rich workout environment, offering members real-time workout data, performance tracking, and personalized exercise recommendations tailored to individual fitness goals.

With a shared dedication to redefining innovation and excellence in the fitness industry, this partnership underscores both companies' commitment to developing cutting-edge software and hardware technology. The goal is to empower fitness facilities worldwide to achieve outstanding results and provide an unparalleled exercise experience for their members.

3.     Keep Inc. and OPPO Forge Strategic Alliance to Revolutionize Fitness Tech Landscape

Keep Inc. ("Keep" or the "Company"), China's premier fitness platform, has announced a strategic partnership with OPPO, a leading global smart device brand, to jointly advance intelligent solutions in fitness and health products and services.

In this collaboration, Keep and OPPO will leverage their unique strengths to explore opportunities in smart fitness hardware, algorithms, and artificial intelligence (AI) applications. The partnership extends to joint marketing and branding campaigns, aiming to maximize business synergies and establish a robust advocacy for innovative intelligent tools promoting healthy, active lifestyles.

Mr. Liu Jia, General Manager of the Wearable Business Department at OPPO, expressed, "Our partnership with Keep capitalizes on our complementary strengths in hardware, content, technology, and branding. By integrating cutting-edge technology into the fitness and health industry, we aim to create solutions that enhance people's lives. OPPO's global product development ecosystem, known for its innovation, will be further enriched by Keep's expertise in smart fitness products and services."

Mr. Liu Dong, Vice President of Consumer Fitness Products and Co-founder of Keep, shared his excitement, saying, "We are thrilled to embark on this partnership with OPPO. Keep's leadership in integrating smart hardware with our online fitness platform, coupled with our extensive fitness content, positions us as an industry frontrunner. This collaboration will bolster our development of new technologies that seamlessly blend the physical and digital realms. Together with OPPO, we aim to explore how AI advancements and enhanced integration between smart devices and online platforms can deliver even more personalized and immersive fitness experiences for users."

4.     Pure Fitness Partners with RCS Real Estate Advisors for North American Expansion

Pure Fitness, the U.K.-based fitness operator and the second-largest in Europe, has teamed up with RCS Real Estate Advisors to accelerate the expansion of its Pure Fitness brand in the U.S. and Canada.

Founded in 2008, Pure Fitness introduced the concept of 24/7 value gyms, providing an affordable and accessible gym experience. After successful ventures in Europe and the Middle East, Pure Fitness launched its widely successful brand in North America. James Hathaway, Group International Strategy & Franchising Director at Pure Fitness, expressed excitement about the partnership with RCS, stating, "This collaboration will create a solid growth plan as we expand our presence in the North American market."

With a mission to make fitness affordable and convenient for everyone, Pure Fitness offers low-cost, zero-contract memberships, state-of-the-art equipment, various workout classes, and 24/7 gym access. The company, with 1.9 million members worldwide and nearly 600 gyms, including recent openings in the Washington, D.C. area, aims to solidify its position as one of the largest fitness operators in North America.

RCS Real Estate Advisors, known for expertise in real estate strategy and market penetration, will guide Pure Fitness through the complexities of commercial real estate. Moe Puri, Vice President at RCS, said, "Our dedicated team is committed to identifying the finest locations and franchising opportunities that will position Pure Fitness to achieve its business objectives."

With RCS as a strategic partner, Pure Fitness is poised to revolutionize the American fitness industry, making high-quality fitness experiences more accessible in one of the fastest-growing sectors globally. The company is actively seeking qualified franchisees for expansion across the U.S.

5.     RSG Group Partners with Paramount+ for Exclusive Member Benefits

RSG Group, one of the world's largest gym chains, has struck a deal with Paramount+, the streaming giant, offering members of its gyms, including McFit, Gold’s Gym, and John Reed, a complimentary 12-month subscription to Paramount+. This collaboration enhances the workout experience by providing entertaining content to members in Germany and Austria.

Pierre Geisensetter, Director of Brand and Communications at McFit, emphasizes the added value for members during workouts and recovery. He notes, "We focus on our members having fun while training, and by partnering with Paramount+, we now enable them to stream blockbusters, original series, and reality shows during a cardio session, as well as at home."

Sabine Anger, representing Paramount+, highlights the innovative approach to connecting with audiences: "With this partnership, we really went outside the box to find a perfect fit for our broad, premium entertainment offering."

In other developments, RSG recently exited the Spanish market, selling its 47 Spanish properties, including 42 McFit and five Holmes Place clubs, to Basic-Fit for €50m before Christmas. Looking ahead, RSG plans to overhaul the McFit brand in the coming year, aiming for a modern and future-oriented transformation that caters to the diverse needs of its various target groups, including Gen Z.

6.     United Fitness Brands Welcomes Richard North as CEO for Global Expansion

Richard North has assumed the position of CEO at United Fitness Brands (UFB), overseeing five boutique fitness brands. North, expressing enthusiasm for the role, highlighted the team's dedication to global growth, particularly in the UK. The brands under UFB's umbrella include Barrecore, Kobox, Boxing Club, Boom Cycle, Triyoga UK, and the newly-formed Reformcore.

This leadership transition follows a challenging period during the pandemic, where London boutiques faced difficulties, leading to the departure of notable directors such as Robert Rowland, Joe Cohen, and David Lloyd. Nectar Capital LLP, an existing investor, acquired a controlling interest in UFB on September 12, 2023, with additional support from Dominus, Prism Finance, and Madison Cairn.

Richard North brings a wealth of experience, starting his career in 2005 and progressing through various roles in the fitness industry, including business development for FitPro and Les Mills and European head of franchise development at technology company Getir.

The appointment of North, with a strong background in franchising, suggests a strategic focus on franchising as part of UFB's future direction. Established in 2021, United Fitness Brands aims to expand its predominantly London-based boutique studios across the UK and internationally. Exciting times lie ahead as the company strives to bring its unique fitness concepts to a broader audience.

  • The founder of FITQS/FQC 

  • The columnist of magzine <China Fitness Equipment>

  • 20 years in fitness/sporting equipment OEM/ODM technical, quality control and sourcing management.


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