The health club industry is in the midst of a revolution where technology, consumer expectations and financial pressures of the traditional sick care system are converging. The result is an opportunity for new models and services being delivered in a marketplace which will likely triple in the next decade. Networked fitness as a consumer experience and as a modality for clubs and other participants in the wellness revolution to deliver guidance, coaching and metrics is going to be an integral part of the future. The key question is will suppliers work together and collaborate to create an ecosystem that enables greater flexibility and integration to take advantage of the opportunity? As with the MP3 digital music format or Wi-Fi, maturing industries reinvented their business models and greatly expanded their overall markets by developing standards. To take advantage of the networked fitness revolution the club industry must change its mindset and realize the huge upside that lies before it.
Fitness Industry Technology Council
CEO of Integerus
CSO of Fitmarc
The importance of providing gym goers with a streamlined networked fitness experience is increasing day by day. People expect connectivity in all other aspects of their lives and you can believe they will be demanding it when it comes to their health. One of the problems the industry faces today lies in no interoperability standards between equipment manufacturers. This is challenging for gym owners as they frequently want to buy ‘best in class’ for their facilities and provide a variety of equipment from different manufacturers. Fit-C is currently forming a working group of manufacturers and technology providers to address this interoperability issue with the development of some standards that works across the board.
Another key issue the issue the industry faces lie in the fact that the market is very fragmented. There are thousands of health and fitness apps and wearables available to consumers today. What do we do with all of this data and how do we make sense of it all? To date no-one has come up with a comprehensive “health dashboard” although many have tried. Apple and Google both recently announced they are entering the health space in the fall and winter of 2014. It is their stated goal to try and solve this fragmentation problem. Expect huge disruption and a very interesting time as these 2 tech giants maneuver and leverage to gain traction in this market!
Director – Strategic Planning
ABOUT BRYAN O’ROUKE AND DAVE JOHNSON:
Bryan O’Rourke is a shareholder and executive in several companies. He’s a partner in Fitmarc, which delivers Les Mills programs to over 700 facilities in the south central US. He is a partner in Integerus , where he recently advised Core Health and Fitness, owner of Star Trac and Stairmaster, on a $43 million financing that closed in December of 2012. Bryan also serves as CEO of the Fitness Industry Technology Council.
Dave Johnson has being involved in the Sports and Fitness Industry for close to 20 years. Prior to entering the commercial fitness equipment industry Dave owned and operated West Coast Recreation delivering top quality sports and fitness programs to thousands of amateur enthusiasts in the Pacific Northwest. Dave then moved on to represent a number of leading fitness equipment brands across Canada in a lead sales capacity. Dave co-founded ECOFIT Networks in 2010 recognizing the need for communication standards in the fitness industry. ECOFIT Networks is a wireless data tracking system capable of providing reliable, low-cost networking to many of the main brands of fitness equipment. Dave now leads the sales and strategic planning division of ECOFIT.