Anytime Fitness was recently granted a license to franchise in China — making it the first U.S.-based gym to be granted a franchising license by the Chinese government.
Anytime Fitness expects to open 300 to 500 gyms in China by 2010, with seven locations currently open and operating, with 20 additional agreements signed.
The master franchisee for the market is Maurice Levine. According to Anytime Fitness, he will work closely with Anytime Fitness president and co-founder Dave Mortensen, to support launch and strategically align efforts with suppliers and local supporters of the expansion.
“With more than 3,500 gyms serving nearly three million members on five continents, we are confident our business model paired with the China capacity, will prosper thousands of gyms,” said Mortensen, in a press release. “We’re in the business of building communities and helping people achieve their goals, something that transcends across borders. The knowledge and experience of our master franchisee will greatly facilitate the success of the Anytime Fitness brand as we navigate the local business environment.”
In addition to China, Levine currently owns the rights for Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines.
According to Anytime Fitness, more than 99 percent of Chinese do not have a gym membership. With this in mind, the company explained one of Levine’s goals will be to deploy a strategy designed to build a culture of fitness. Part of this strategy will include creating the first Wellness University in Shanghai for career development and certifications of personal trainers.
“Our goal is to bring fitness to the Asian community and support people on their journey to get to a healthier place,” Levine said in the press release. “While the atmosphere and amenities are upscale, the gym is inviting, unintimidating and priced right. It brings a much-needed service to the community. It’s accessible, affordable, provides supportive coaching and is a great place for community members to get to know each other while achieving their fitness goals.”
Anytime Fitness boasts more than 3,500 gyms serving nearly 3,000,000 members on five continents. The franchise is ranked No. 1 on Entrepreneur’s prestigious Top Global Franchise list.