19 Jul 2019 World leisure: news, training & property
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Health Club Management
2019 issue 4

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Leisure Management - Fitness is hot

Editor's letter

Fitness is hot

Read the signs and all the indicators show we’re globalising rapidly as a sector, with joint ventures announced, market invasions a routine and investment flooding in. In short, fitness has never been hotter, so it’s time for us to step up

Liz Terry, Leisure Media
Peloton’s US$4bn valuation has piqued interest in the sector PHOTO: PELOTON

Welcome to the FIBO edition of HCM – hope to see you at the event in Cologne from 4-7 April.

As well as supporting key local events in the UK, such as Elevate (see our preview on page 83), HCM has also joined forces with FIBO as a Global Media Partner for its cycle of events, which are now held in the US, Africa, China, South America and Australia, in addition to the vast mothership event in Cologne, which attracts 150k visitors

The growth of FIBO around the world is a clear sign of the globalisation of the fitness industry, as the market continues to thrive, and we’re delighted to be playing our part in this.

In January this year, to celebrate our 25th year, we adopted our much loved ‘pet name’ of HCM and a new domain, HCMmag.com, in place of the Health Club Management moniker.

The intention was to adopt a brand which can grow to more clearly reflect our focus on the entirety of the market, as we embrace the complete fitness eco-system, from gyms, health clubs, and activity, to wellness, boutiques and big box and from wearables, home fitness and franchises to sports integration.

In this issue, we’ve pulled together a range of special global content to celebrate FIBO, including a rare interview with Rainer Schaller, the founder of McFit – the original low-cost chain.

McFit inspired the growth of the low-cost and budget gym sector and Schaller has since expanded his business in a multitude of directions, including apps, fitness modelling, sports nutrition, home workouts, other gym verticals and the astonishing Mirai, the 55,000sq m fitness ‘theme park’ being developed in Germany (see HCM July 18, p48).

We also tackle the state of the global fitness market with industry maven Emma Barry’s playful SWOT analysis on page 30.

Barry can clearly see the opportunities in terms of things such as partnerships, where she advises: “Soul Cycle didn’t come from fitness. Peloton didn’t come from fitness. It’s up to you to partner with a new perspective,” but also warns about threats, saying “It’s unlikely we’ve done enough to outpace inevitable newcomers to our industry. And those newcomers aren’t so new. And their pockets run deep and their databases wide: Netflix is in fitness. Airbnb is in fitness. Gaming is in fitness. GAFA (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple) are in fitness.”

We’re entering a new phase in the development of the industry, as things like Peloton’s US$4bn valuation – which was achieved from scratch in just six years – catch the eye of investors.

And as well as new investment and growth within existing markets, we’re seeing new opportunities coming on-stream fast. On page 51, IHRSA, in partnership with Deloitte China, predicts growth in the Indian fitness sector, where market penetration is only 1.5 per cent, creating significant potential.

With so much happening in terms of globalisation and growth, there are partnerships to be built and deals to be done, so it’s definitely time to get networking. See you at the trade shows!

Originally published in Health Club Management 2019 issue 4

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