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RECAP: The Latest Fitness Industry News Stories

fitness industry news

We’ve seen another busy week in the fitness industry. Acquisitions, expansions and partnerships were announced from all across the country, and keeping track of all these developments can be challenging.

Fortunately, we’re on top of it! Below, you’ll find a list of the industry’s biggest and most relevant recent news stories.

Orangetheory Fitness Announces Mike Mettler as SVP of Domestic Franchise Development


On Thursday, March 15, Orangetheory Fitness announced Mike Mettler has joined the company as senior vice president of domestic franchise development. He will oversee the company’s domestic growth and expansion, and provide strategic leadership to assist Orangetheory’s goal of opening more than 1,100 worldwide studios before the end of 2018.

OrangetheoryWith more than 12 years of franchise development experience, Mettler recently served as vice president of franchise development for Dairy Queen and helped propel the brand’s growth. With Orangetheory, he will be responsible for building a high performance sales culture and providing strategic leadership to the company’s domestic franchise sales, real estate and construction teams.

“The explosive growth Orangetheory Fitness has experienced is unparalleled in the franchise fitness industry, and we know we’re just getting started,” said Dave Long, CEO of Orangetheory Fitness. “We’re thrilled to welcome Mike to the team and have no doubt his wealth of development experience will be a tremendous asset as we accelerate this momentum and continue driving the brand’s unstoppable potential.”

The Atlantic Club in Manasquan and Red Bank Earn Prestigious Medical Fitness Certification

The Atlantic Club announced on Tuesday, March 13, it has earned the medical fitness facility certification from the Medical Fitness Association.

“We want people, especially those with health concerns or physical limitations, to have the utmost confidence and peace of mind when they visit the club,” said Pat Laus, the founder and president of The Atlantic Club. “While The Atlantic Club has always been a leader in medical fitness, we now hold the most prestigious stamp of approval for medical fitness and safety. Every inch of our campuses — from the individual cardio machines to the tennis courts and spa — has been certified.”

The Atlantic Club earned this certification by undergoing a year of compliance testing and evaluation, as well as a two-day, 209-point inspection. The club’s programming, facility cleanliness and accessibility, emergency response protocols, child care safety standards, staffing credentials and much more were carefully tested.

Grafik and Merritt Clubs Recognized with 2018 REBRAND 100 Global Distinction Award

Merritt Clubs

Grafik, a branding and digital marketing agency, and Merritt Clubs, an affiliate of Merritt Companies, announced on March 13 that the two entities are joint recipients of the 2018 REBRAND 100 Global Distinction Award. The biennial competition showcases the world’s most effective brand transformations through evaluation of design and measurable results.

In 2017, Grafik and Merritt paired up to align Merritt’s distinct organizations — Merritt Clubs, Merritt Properties and Merritt Construction Services — under a singular vision. The result was a strategic transition from the name “Merritt Athletic Clubs” to “Merritt Clubs” in an effort to be more inclusive.

“We chose to work with Grafik because of its unparalleled creative eye and strategic, business-driven approach to branding,” said Donyel Cerceo, the marketing director of Merritt Clubs, in a statement. “We have always been focused on the wellbeing of our members, and Grafik captured the spirit of our clubs and the rebrand and new website is allowing us to create a stronger, more personal experience for them.”

Blink Fitness Brings Mood Above Muscle Approach to Lindenhurst

On Wednesday, March 14, Blink Fitness announced it has opened its first-ever franchisee-owned gym. This new 16,000-square-foot gym is located at 600 North Wellwood Avenue in Lindenhurst, New York, and is the first of six clubs that will be located across Long Island, central New Jersey and Westchester County.

“Blink Fitness has a really great growth trajectory,” said Allen Pinero, who is the new co-owner of all six gyms. “It’s a total 180 from finance, but I felt this is a great business to be in. Blink really stood out and I’m honored to be the brand’s first franchisee and bring its high-quality, value-based gym to our local community in Lindenhurst.”

UFC GYM to Open 100-Plus Locations throughout UK and Ireland

UFC GYM  announced an exclusive 10-year partnership with TD Lifestyle plc. to open more than 100 locations throughout the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. According to UFC GYM, this will be the largest development partnership in UFC GYM history.

“We are thrilled to announce this exclusive partnership and expand UFC GYM’s global footprint throughout Europe,” said Adam Sedlack, president of UFC GYM, in a statement. “This historic partnership serves as a milestone and an opportunity for both UFC and UFC GYM brands, as the U.K. and Ireland markets host a significant population of MMA fans and fitness enthusiasts. It’s an honor for UFC GYM to bring its revolutionary style of fitness to new regions and continually grow our Train Different philosophy.”

Founded in 2009, UFC GYM has opened more than 150 locations throughout the United States, Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Chile, Mexico, Oman, Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, the United Arab Emirates.

Xponential Fitness Sets Sights on International Expansion

CycleBar news

On Tuesday, March 6, Xponential Fitness — parent company to CycleBar and Club Pilates — announced its vision for boutique fitness domination through global expansion, which starts with a master franchise agreement with entrepreneur Oliver Chipp.

Chipp plans to open at least 30 CycleBar studios in the UK over the next five years.

John Kersh, who previously served as vice president of international development for Anytime Fitness, has joined Xponential as the chief international development officer.

“What we’re creating at Xponential Fitness hasn’t been done before and there’s enormous consumer interest in boutique fitness across the globe that we intend to capitalize on,” said Kersh. “We couldn’t be more excited to have Oliver launch our international expansion by bringing the CycleBar brand to the United Kingdom through a master franchise agreement. We expect the U.K. to be the first of many successful international markets for Xponential Fitness.”

Blink Fitness Announces Agreement for Expansion with Draymond Green

Blink Fitness and Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green have agreed to a franchise development deal that will open at least 20 gyms across Michigan and Illinois. This partnership will mark Blink’s first venture into the Great Lakes region.

“I’m really excited about bringing Blink gyms to Michigan and Chicago,” said Green, in a statement. “I think about where I grew up and the people I grew up with. We didn’t have anything like Blink. Everyone wants a cool place to get fit and workout. But lots of communities don’t have any options. The places are either terrible or too expensive. We’re going to change that. This is not an endorsement deal for me. I’m going to invest my money and my time to partner with Blink to bring an amazing gym experience to these communities.”

Bobby Dyer

Bobby is the assistant editor of Club Solutions Magazine. He can be reached at bobby@peakemedia.com.

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