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Fitness industry entrepreneur Leon McNiece to partner with World Gym Australia

Fitness industry entrepreneur Leon McNiece to partner with World Gym Australia
November 22, 2023

In an industry first, fitness innovator Leon McNiece has joined forces with World Gym Australia partners Jon Davie and Mike Nysten in a move to drive the brand’s expansion across Australia and New Zealand.

Over the last two decades, McNiece has been one of the key figures in shaping the fitness landscape in Australia, bringing new business models and innovative approaches to the industry.

The founder of Goodlife Health Clubs Australia and Snap Fitness Australia/NZ, McNeice is the current owner of Brisbane-based Total Fusion Health and Wellness clubs.

This latest project, the purchase of an equal shareholding of World Gym Australia (WGA) master franchise, will position WGA as the largest big box chain in Australia.

WGA Director, Davie states “Leon has been someone I have admired in the fitness industry for 25 years, his ability and vision to identify the evolving landscape and thrive by consistently delivering in the fitness industry in Australia, is inspiring.”

This new partnership sees WGA Chief Executive Roger Westerman once again teaming up with McNeice, after their successful business partnership in establishing and growing Goodlife Health Clubs into one of Australia’s most prominent fitness brands in the 2000s.

Commenting on this, Westerman noted “I am delighted to be working again with Leon.

"His vision, experience, and integrity will be a very welcome addition in this next exciting phase of growth”.

Since joining WGA, over the last 12 months, Westerman has established a WGA corporate office, setting up the team, structure, and processes to support the growth and profitability of the brand.

McNiece’s interest in pursuing the WGA opportunity was further strengthened by, as he explains “World Gym’s proven business model, well defined brand strategy and pipeline of future growth opportunities combined with the leadership team of Jon, Mike and Roger which gave me additional confidence and interest in investing in WGA further”.

While continuing the extremely successful franchising model, the group will also be introducing a World Gym Platinum club model and fast-tracking corporate clubs across Australia. WGA currently has over 140,000 members across 40 clubs in Australia with 10 clubs in the process of opening in the next 12 months, across Queensland, NSW, Western Australia and Northern Territory.

The partnership will see the rapid expansion of large box facilities across Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and ACT. With an influx of interest in the brand, World Gym Australia is looking for multi-unit holders inside the current franchising group as well as new franchisees wanting to establish their first club. A syndication model is also in the pipeline allowing investors to enter in a more affordable scenario given the ever-increasing costs of opening clubs in Australia.

In addition, McNiece (pictured above) confirmed that “WGA is a strong, established brand with a great reputation which truly resonates with their members. A lot of brands try to be everything to everyone, which is impossible to achieve, but WGA has a great understanding about their members and target demographic and has created a passionate following from members and staff due to this.”

Looking forward to next five years, McNiece is excited to “see strong growth in the number of successful corporate clubs Australia wide, as well as the continued expansion of the franchisee network.”

“I am excited to join the WGA team and work together with other leading industry experts Jon and Mike for the first time, together with Roger once again, whilst entering a different segment of the fitness industry compared to my previous and current clubs. I am looking forward to sharing my experience and providing value, where I can help maximise the future opportunities with the growing, dynamic WGA team.”

Mike Nysten, Director of World Gym Australia, shared his enthusiasm about the partnership expressing that “with a gross sales turnover exceeding $100 million last financial year and growth projected to be 25% increase annually, this partnership will open up our ability to evolve, grow and continue to provide fantastic workout spaces and experiences for our members.”

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