Q&A: EXOS Acquires D1 Sports Medicine

D1 Sports Medicine

EXOS, a world leader in human performance, has grown even larger. On August 25, the company acquired D1 Sports Medicine, a move that enhances EXOS’ physical therapy and rehabilitation services by partnering with some of the industry’s best sports medicine orthopedists.

Along with the acquisition of D1 Sports Medicine, EXOS has launched many new physical therapy facilities. With these new offices, EXOS has 70 locations across the U.S. that partner with healthcare systems to serve local communities.

We spoke with Alex Lincoln, senior vice president of EXOS, about the acquisition and what it means for the future of EXOS and D1 Sports Medicine, as well as physical therapy and rehabilitation.

CS: How did the acquisition of D1 Sports Medicine came about?

AL: Physical therapy has always been at the heart of what we do as a company, and we’ve been really fortunate and had the honor to help people in very challenging environments. As we built those solutions, we felt like there was a really special model that we could bring to the market that differentiated us. But we needed a platform to launch that model from, and as we looked at the D1 Sports Medicine business model, it was a really unique opportunity to align with people that fit our culture, our mission and our values, and [had] already had some success. To acquire that business with 40-plus locations allowed us to have a launching point — we feel like that’s step one in a much bigger vision that we have. We’re so excited to bring those experts onto our team so we can really take something very special to the general population that we want to serve.

CS: Can you tell me about that bigger vision?

AL: We’ve seen how great outcomes come together across more of a holistic approach for out-patient rehabilitation and physical therapy, and I think our methodology focuses on not just fixing the injury, but giving an individual solutions to upgrade their life. We feel like the physical therapy environment is a great opportunity to introduce additional benefits across mindset, nutrition, recovery services and other environmental performance benefits that elevate a person’s overall rehabilitation and healing. Beyond that, [we want to] improve their quality of life. We want to get out of just the acute injury business and more of a more holistic approach, and we think this platform will introduce us to a wide variety of lives that we can touch.

CS: Any other insights into what this acquisition means for EXOS and the impact it will have on your business and current facilities?

AL: First and foremost, it gives us a footprint that allows us to have credibility as we compete with other physical therapy and rehabilitation companies out there. We know there are some great companies doing great things, but we want to get in the game, so to speak, and compete as well. Having this footprint gives us that credibility to go and take things to another level. It’s so hard to grow from scratch, and we feel like this acquisition helps us have a solid footprint to grow from, and as we look at working with health systems or other organizations where we might want to serve their larger strategies, this gives us some credibility that we’ve been there and done that, and we’re very excited.

CS: Can you tell me a little bit about the strategy for implementing D1 Sports Medicine into your current business model?

AL: We’re going to bring their leadership team that’s had very strong success in building the business and integrate them into our efforts across all of healthcare. Currently, we serve healthcare organizations by powering their human performance efforts through strength and conditioning services, sports dietitians, other kind of ancillary benefits to the traditional healthcare model. As we blend these two worlds together, we feel like we’ve got a full team of care that can answer their reactive medical model, but also allow us to be more proactive in our approach. As that leadership blends into our existing leadership, we’ll be working to see how quickly we can grow our footprint.

Currently, there’s more than 40 locations, but over the next five years, we’d like to see that grow exponentially. And conservatively, [see it grow] into the hundreds of clinics and hundreds of access points, ranging across the U.S. We’re very aggressive in our growth strategy and we’ll need that leadership team to kind of hit the ground running. That’s basically what we’re spending our time doing now, is building that plan so we can stabilize the business and transition effectively, and then we’d like to grow quite rapidly.

CS: Are there any other challenges with this opportunity that you’ll need to overcome, and how do you plan to overcome those challenges?

Alex: I think the biggest challenge is maintaining who we are. In most organizations, as you grow, you’ve got to hold on to what makes you special from a cultural standpoint, and that’ll be one of the early concerns we have in this transition. I think how we battle that challenge is to get to know our people and let them know who we are, any new employees that come in and any new relationships that we bring into the fold really stress our mission, vision and values as a company. We’re basically here to upgrade people’s lives and if we keep that at the forefront of our culture, and we’re very responsible and respectful of our people, we feel like we can overcome any business challenges. Early on, it’ll be a heavy focus on business culture.

CS: What can other fitness operators learn from this acquisition? Any trends or big picture takeaways you feel are important to share?

AL: I think there’s a trend that the consumer or the potential patient wants a different model than the way things have been done in the past. What we’re seeing as a trend is people want to get back to a higher standard post-injury, and they’re not just willing to accept the bare minimum. How can they get back to the games they like to play, the life they like to lead, the activities they have with their families? And they don’t want injury or illness to be a barrier there.

We see that trend that the customer wants more. We’re also seeing a trend that the customer and the patient [are] very educated in the process, and they want to know why as much as how to get better. All these different scenarios coming together, we feel like gives us a competitive edge, and other operators and organizations could learn from that.

The last thing I would say is that we’re really just honored to be able to serve the different orthopedic organizations that come with this D1 transition. To be able to work hand-in-hand with surgeons and other clinicians to look for a better way to take care of patients gets us really excited, but we’re also very honored. It’s not just about EXOS, we’re going to get the opportunity to work with some really world-class clinicians and the learning that we’ll get from that is only going to make this model better and better.

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