Sponsored
Dialling up the énergie

As énergie Fitness ramps up its global expansion plans, international managing director, Rod Hill, explains why he believes the multi-fitness concept is irresistible


There’s not much industry veteran Rod Hill doesn’t know about heading up popular fitness concepts, scaling them and seeing them successfully take hold on a global stage.

In the 90s, Hill led the Spanish roll out of Fitness First, which grew to 400 clubs in 17 countries over the following decade. There have been many successful ventures since, including start-ups, boutique brands and the coaching of elite athletes.

In recent years, Hill established Anytime Fitness in Spain, growing the chain to 30 clubs over three years and creating the largest franchised gym chain in Spain.

So when the news hit in 2020 that Hill had signed a deal with the Jan Spaticchia (who passed away in May 2021) of énergie Fitness fame to take on the énergie master franchise for Spain – as well becoming the company’s international managing director, charged with selling master franchises in new territories around the world – an exciting and potentially very profitable industry partnership was born.

Global ambitions
And the field, it seems, is wide open. Hill says: “Beyond finding our own local partners for Spain, the master franchise focus will be on Northern Europe and Asia Pacific, which we see as a very young and dynamic market. We also have strong links in the Latin American market through our Spanish contacts, so there will be some big opportunities there too.”

The fact that Hill and his team managed to successfully open the first énergie Fitness in Spain during the tightest of COVID-19 restrictions (Club Sant Cugat opened in Barcelona in October 2021) should inspire confidence in new franchisees.

Hill says: “We’re walking the talk. Three months after opening our Barcelona club, we’re at close to 1,500 members, with the majority of those opting for our middle pricing option of €49 per month.”

Hill says the great strength of the franchise opportunity is that the model is entirely flexible – both in terms of the size of the facility (typically anywhere from 600sq m to 1200sq m) and the number of offers that can be included within the club. énergie currently has three core branded offers, with these three all being wrapped up in a three-tier pricing model with monthly payments.

The membership options
Members can choose from the Classic membership, which is gym-only for €39, the Wow! level at €49.95 which includes all studio classes, and Epic at €99, which includes personal training.

“Spain is still huge for group classes, so it perhaps wasn’t a surprise that more than 80 per cent of our new members opted for the Wow! level,” says Hill. “However, there’s also buyer psychology at play. If you offer people a choice of three levels, they will mostly go for the middle one.”

This would seem to be an advantage in markets dominated by lower-cost models with only one price level. And the same might be said for the potential fitness mix inside. The branded offers in the énergie portfolio are currently HIIT and functional fitness studio Thé Yard, énergie Studio for group-ex, and Zenergie for the increasingly popular mind-body pursuits, such as meditation and yoga. Franchisees can pick one or all of them.

And as énergie Fitness also now exists as part of the new franchise investment business, Empowered Brands (established by Spaticchia in June 2020) – with current acquisitions that include Victus Soul, Thé Yard, digital studio Raw and boxing brand UBX – there will no doubt be ever greater opportunities in future to ‘pick and mix’ the franchise offer, depending on which brands are open to that particular territory.

What do franchisees get?
With the wealth of experience Hill brings to the table, alongside a brand that has already operated successfully in the UK for almost two decades, new franchisees can expect strong levels of support.

Initial training and business planning assistance take place at the company’s HQs in the UK and Barcelona, and Hill says the overall approach is coaching-led, which gives scope for people to grow the kind of business they want to run.

A solid systems-base is also important. For master franchisees, complete operational systems will be integrated into the new territory, including the company’s own CRM software system élan, website set-up, full marketing assets, the énergie fitness app and a digital fitness platform.

Exclusive equipment providers Core Fitness and Technogym help to plan health club layouts, training and finance packages, while an international buyers portal will help new master franchises create a complete provider network for their region.

The perfect fit
So what is Hill looking for in would-be franchisees? “We want passionate people who are comfortable in people-focused businesses, whether that’s fitness, hospitality or retail, or something else,” he says.

“A franchise is a win-win situation when it’s done right. When the passion of the local owner shines through, and they’re regularly at the door of their club, welcoming members, taking an interest in their routine and asking about their families, those clubs very quickly become the heart of their community.”

As the opening of the first énergie club in Spain shows, the bounceback is proving to be faster and stronger than expected – and with a whole new segment of the population waking up to the need to be healthier, franchise brands such as énergie Fitness, that can offer flexible and affordable pricing and an attractive mix of offers could well emerge as the front-runners as we move towards a post-pandemic world.

énergie Fitness master franchises
What’s available?
EUROPE

• France
• Netherlands
• Belgium
• Germany
• Switzerland
• Italy
• Poland
• Sweden
• Norway
• Denmark
• Finland

ASIA PACIFIC

• Singapore
• Australia
• Indonesia
• Philippines
• Thailand
• Malaysia

LATIN AMERICA

• Brazil
• Chile
• Argentina
• Peru

Enquire: [email protected]

Beyond Spain, énergie Fitness is looking for partners in Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America Credit: Photo: energie Fitness
Rod Hill, international managing director Credit: photo: energie Fitness
énergie’s three-tier pricing system enables clubs to ‘upsell’ to regular members Credit: Photo: energie Fitness
New master franchisees will be able to tap into a strong support system Credit: photo: energie Fitness
 


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SELECTED ISSUE
Health Club Management
2022 issue 2

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Leisure Management - Dialling up the énergie

Sponsored

Dialling up the énergie


As énergie Fitness ramps up its global expansion plans, international managing director, Rod Hill, explains why he believes the multi-fitness concept is irresistible

Rod Hill (left) and George Houtenbos (right) have big plans for Spain photo: energie Fitness
Beyond Spain, énergie Fitness is looking for partners in Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America Photo: energie Fitness
Rod Hill, international managing director photo: energie Fitness
énergie’s three-tier pricing system enables clubs to ‘upsell’ to regular members Photo: energie Fitness
New master franchisees will be able to tap into a strong support system photo: energie Fitness

There’s not much industry veteran Rod Hill doesn’t know about heading up popular fitness concepts, scaling them and seeing them successfully take hold on a global stage.

In the 90s, Hill led the Spanish roll out of Fitness First, which grew to 400 clubs in 17 countries over the following decade. There have been many successful ventures since, including start-ups, boutique brands and the coaching of elite athletes.

In recent years, Hill established Anytime Fitness in Spain, growing the chain to 30 clubs over three years and creating the largest franchised gym chain in Spain.

So when the news hit in 2020 that Hill had signed a deal with the Jan Spaticchia (who passed away in May 2021) of énergie Fitness fame to take on the énergie master franchise for Spain – as well becoming the company’s international managing director, charged with selling master franchises in new territories around the world – an exciting and potentially very profitable industry partnership was born.

Global ambitions
And the field, it seems, is wide open. Hill says: “Beyond finding our own local partners for Spain, the master franchise focus will be on Northern Europe and Asia Pacific, which we see as a very young and dynamic market. We also have strong links in the Latin American market through our Spanish contacts, so there will be some big opportunities there too.”

The fact that Hill and his team managed to successfully open the first énergie Fitness in Spain during the tightest of COVID-19 restrictions (Club Sant Cugat opened in Barcelona in October 2021) should inspire confidence in new franchisees.

Hill says: “We’re walking the talk. Three months after opening our Barcelona club, we’re at close to 1,500 members, with the majority of those opting for our middle pricing option of €49 per month.”

Hill says the great strength of the franchise opportunity is that the model is entirely flexible – both in terms of the size of the facility (typically anywhere from 600sq m to 1200sq m) and the number of offers that can be included within the club. énergie currently has three core branded offers, with these three all being wrapped up in a three-tier pricing model with monthly payments.

The membership options
Members can choose from the Classic membership, which is gym-only for €39, the Wow! level at €49.95 which includes all studio classes, and Epic at €99, which includes personal training.

“Spain is still huge for group classes, so it perhaps wasn’t a surprise that more than 80 per cent of our new members opted for the Wow! level,” says Hill. “However, there’s also buyer psychology at play. If you offer people a choice of three levels, they will mostly go for the middle one.”

This would seem to be an advantage in markets dominated by lower-cost models with only one price level. And the same might be said for the potential fitness mix inside. The branded offers in the énergie portfolio are currently HIIT and functional fitness studio Thé Yard, énergie Studio for group-ex, and Zenergie for the increasingly popular mind-body pursuits, such as meditation and yoga. Franchisees can pick one or all of them.

And as énergie Fitness also now exists as part of the new franchise investment business, Empowered Brands (established by Spaticchia in June 2020) – with current acquisitions that include Victus Soul, Thé Yard, digital studio Raw and boxing brand UBX – there will no doubt be ever greater opportunities in future to ‘pick and mix’ the franchise offer, depending on which brands are open to that particular territory.

What do franchisees get?
With the wealth of experience Hill brings to the table, alongside a brand that has already operated successfully in the UK for almost two decades, new franchisees can expect strong levels of support.

Initial training and business planning assistance take place at the company’s HQs in the UK and Barcelona, and Hill says the overall approach is coaching-led, which gives scope for people to grow the kind of business they want to run.

A solid systems-base is also important. For master franchisees, complete operational systems will be integrated into the new territory, including the company’s own CRM software system élan, website set-up, full marketing assets, the énergie fitness app and a digital fitness platform.

Exclusive equipment providers Core Fitness and Technogym help to plan health club layouts, training and finance packages, while an international buyers portal will help new master franchises create a complete provider network for their region.

The perfect fit
So what is Hill looking for in would-be franchisees? “We want passionate people who are comfortable in people-focused businesses, whether that’s fitness, hospitality or retail, or something else,” he says.

“A franchise is a win-win situation when it’s done right. When the passion of the local owner shines through, and they’re regularly at the door of their club, welcoming members, taking an interest in their routine and asking about their families, those clubs very quickly become the heart of their community.”

As the opening of the first énergie club in Spain shows, the bounceback is proving to be faster and stronger than expected – and with a whole new segment of the population waking up to the need to be healthier, franchise brands such as énergie Fitness, that can offer flexible and affordable pricing and an attractive mix of offers could well emerge as the front-runners as we move towards a post-pandemic world.

énergie Fitness master franchises
What’s available?
EUROPE

• France
• Netherlands
• Belgium
• Germany
• Switzerland
• Italy
• Poland
• Sweden
• Norway
• Denmark
• Finland

ASIA PACIFIC

• Singapore
• Australia
• Indonesia
• Philippines
• Thailand
• Malaysia

LATIN AMERICA

• Brazil
• Chile
• Argentina
• Peru

Enquire: [email protected]


Originally published in Health Club Management 2022 issue 2

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