Club Insider

Why We Do What We Do...

and Who Cares?

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Bill McBrideBill McBride

I have my own perspective on this wonderful industry of ours. I'm not a wealthy independent club operator who owns his own club and land and dominates the local market. I'm not a mega franchisor/franchisee. I'm not affiliated with a national or large regional chain of clubs.

I've been involved in two large regional club companies (Sport&Health and Club One), I know and have consulted with some of the top independents in our space as well as two large franchisee groups. And, I'm close to some of the major leaders of many regional and national club companies, franchisors and franchisees.

Now, I'm heavily involved in the management space of fitness facilities of a multitude of models: Corporate, Medical, Community, Commercial and Multi-Tenant. I also have some limited experience in one studio model.

So, as I travel domestically and internationally, I'm always trying to learn about the various models, business practices and consumer consumption behaviors surrounding fitness delivery and what makes companies successful. I've drawn some perceptions along the way:

  • People consume fitness in very consistent and similar ways throughout the world.
  • Different places are sometimes on different learning curves with modern fitness center and program delivery; some markets are more mature than others.
  • Different companies and models are at different points in their "life cycle."
  • Most are facing more challenges today than ever before.
  • Many operators "copy" their competition.
  • Some models are timeless, some are trends that will grow and some are fads that will vanish.
  • Some modalities/programs are timeless, some are trends and some are fads: Think "sports-based," "sports-inspired" and "practices." People cycle, people box, people practice martial arts, people practice yoga and Pilates... these are just some of many examples.

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