The 10,000-strong Fitness First team works across 16 countries in 360 clubs, inspiring people all over the world with the confidence, energy, and self-belief to go further in life.
First steps in fitness
Born from a single club in Bournemouth, United Kingdom, in 1993, Fitness First has evolved as a growing global brand, producing clubs with a premium market positioning in its 16 markets.
The company’s research has shown that 43% of people who don’t currently use a gym would consider joining one if they found a brand they liked. Based on these findings, Fitness First has created a valuable, aspirational brand which stands out as the world’s fitness leader.
The science behind fitness motivation
To help the company on its journey to financial fitness and to provide better results for its customers, Fitness First consulted Stuart Biddle, a professor of Active Living & Public Health at Victoria University, who provided his expert opinion about what triggers people to exercise and stay motivated.
Biddle says, “There are some core psychological needs that humans have that help us understand motivation. These needs are the need for competence, autonomy, and social connectedness.”
Fitness First found having a proper understanding of common motivators meant it could innovate to give gym-goers the best possible support on their journey to fitness.
CEO of Fitness First Asia Simon Flint says, “We went about cracking the code for how we make people feel motivated in the gym: how do we give them the competency, how do we give them the freedom or autonomy of choice for something that fits them best, and how do they feel socially engaged? We embarked on quite a big program that involved every member of staff — looking at our own staff behaviour, our club design, and the digital tools we offer people.”
Thriving on challenge
Two years ago, Fitness First underwent a major re-branding, bringing the company back from hard times. Fitness First changed its fitness philosophy, clubs, and service to focus squarely on what makes people want to exercise. After a heavy-duty financial workout, the business is stronger and looking better than ever.
The effort put into the Fitness First restructure has produced impressive results. Members of Fitness First are responding well to the re-engineered approach, with the UK business projecting a 5% increase in membership and strong revenue growth in 2015.
Fitness First key facts
- Company name: Fitness First
- Headquarters: Bournemouth, United Kingdom
- Number of employees: 10,000
- Annual turnover: £509.3m (2014)
- Industry: Sport & Recreation