Seemingly unaffected by the COVID-19 related lockdowns and restrictions, recent months have seen Australian founded fitness brands F45, Body Fit Training and Fitstop attract unprecedented investment that looks set to drive expansion and development.
Charting this growth, Kunal Sawhney, Chief Executive of investor relation group and media house, Kalkine Media (and regular Australasian Leisure Management contributor) explains how, despite how the pandemic hit the fitness industry, these three companies are making substantial progress with new ventures, innovation and financing.
Body Fit Training (BFT): aiming to become a world leader following the US deal
Following the US$60 million licensing deal with the USA’s largest boutique fitness franchiser Xponential, Body Fit Training aims to lead the US and the world fitness market.
Currently operating in Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore, the Australian-based group workout provider recently entered an agreement to sell its intellectual property to the US-based Xponential Fitness Inc - with Xponential to manage the brand in the USA and Canada.
Through this deal, BFT will benefit from Xponential’s global presence, with the company currently having around 35,000 members worldwide, and aiming to cross the 40,000 mark by the end of this year.
Company officials have hinted that BFT plans to expand the business to Europe and the Middle East. Additionally, it is building a clear direction and strategy for the Asia Pacific and later for the Middle Eastern and European markets.
BFT’s USP (unique selling proposition) is its scientifically proven techniques to reduce fat and build a fit body by training sessions in a dynamic group environment.
In 2020 itself, the brand received the APAC (Asia-Pacific) Franchise of the Year Award.
F45: Ground-breaking entry in the New York Stock Exchange and the tussle with BFT
F45 is known to be the most recent Australian originated global fitness phenomenon. In July, F45 captured market headlines with its debut on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol, ‘FXLV’.
The brand is currently operating more than 1500 studios and more than 2800 franchises across 63 countries. Additionally, it aims to operate 23000 studios worldwide.
BFT and F45 are engaged in a legal tussle in the USA courts. F45 has claimed that BFT has interfered in F45’s innovation patents of management of its franchises via a central computer system.
Additionally, it has also claimed that it suffered significant financial losses because of the infringement. The next hearing for the case is due this month.
Fitstop’s worldwide expansion plans
The announcement in June that US-based global fitness and wellness company Lift Brands had acquired a 30% stake in Fitstop brings on a massive scope for international expansion for the Brisbane-founded functional training franchise.
Growing its revenue by 50% year on year - generating $10 million of revenue in 2020 - Fitstop is expecting to generate revenue of $15 million in the 2021 financial year.
Source: Kalkine Media.
Images: Mark Wahlberg (left) and F45 Chief Executive, Adam Gilchrist on the day of the brand's floatation on the New York Stock Exchange (top, credit: Source: NYSE) and exercisers enjoying Body Fit Training (below).
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