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CCO: Gympass Helped Clients Go Virtual in 2 Weeks

CCO: Gympass Helped Clients Go Virtual in 2 Weeks

Gympass, the corporate wellbeing platform that allows HR teams to drive employee engagement and productivity, has pivoted to offer new and relevant services to address customer and partner needs over the past 12 months. This nimble and rapidly growing company has entered 2021, stronger and more dynamic than ever before.

The team at Athletech News connected with Marco Crespo, Gympass’s Chief Commercial Officer, to understand just exactly how they were able to take an unprecedented situation and turn it into a business opportunity. During the year, Marco and his team at Gympass have been able to provide increased services to customers while also propelling their business forward. The below includes excerpts from a conversation with Marco on Gympass itself going virtual and taking their entire ecosystem of clients and partners along.

Marco Crespo: 

Marco Crespo -Chief Commercial Officer at Gympas

Marco Crespo is the Chief Commercial Officer at Gympass. He has worked in multiple leadership roles across the company and is currently responsible for commercial operations across all regions. Marco also has over 10 years of executive experience, having worked for the Boston Consulting Group, Procter & Gamble and Ayrton Senna Foundation. He holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from UNICAMP and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Marco is an enthusiast for entrepreneurship and enjoys triathlon training, tennis, and squash.


Gympass is a corporate wellbeing platform that allows companies to drive employee engagement and productivity by offering participants a one-stop-shop for wellbeing verticals. The Gympass platform connects thousands of members with a plethora of services such as gyms, studios, on-demand classes, partner apps (that provide services focused on mental health, nutrition, and sleep), as well as access to thousands of personal trainers. Where Gympass focuses on selling into corporations, its main competitor, Classpass, owns the direct-to-consumer (DTC) space that extends gym membership discounts directly to users.

In a recent survey conducted by Gympass, 63% of respondents felt their wellness routine was very important to their productivity at work with 79% saying that it was somewhat or very important for their employers to provide affordable wellness options. However, 29% said that their employers did not provide any wellness support and only 11% said they had subsidized mental health offerings. This is a huge gap that employers need to close, and where Gympass is well-positioned to step in.

Pivoting Fast and Increased Demand

Before the pandemic, Gympass operated as a corporate wellness benefit that solely offered in-person fitness solutions. Fast-forward to March 2020 when the company quickly determined an incredible need to be more adaptable. When COVID hit, Gympass mobilized to re-think its business model. Not only did they pivot internally, but they also helped their entire ecosystem of partners and clients transition to a new and sustainable digital model in just two weeks. Crespo explains that they did this by launching expanded services such as virtual live classes (including 1:1 personal training) and access to an array of wellbeing apps. 

While many companies were cutting costs due to the economic impact of the pandemic, Gympass was seeing that corporate wellbeing needed to remain a very important benefit and urged companies to continue investing accordingly. It appears many companies are listening to their employees and addressing their diverse workforces that span five generations with growing and varied wellness resources. This was demonstrated by the 500+ new clients of Gympass in 2020. Crespo expects that trend to continue to grow in 2021. 

The Shift to Digital 

Gympass was and continues to be, instrumental in helping gyms and studios survive during these challenging times. By assisting fitness centers to create virtual offerings, Gympass has enabled these companies and their trainers to drive new sources of revenue, mitigating some of their financial losses. Since the start of the lockdown that closed fitness facilities, Gympass has onboarded over 5K new gyms such as F45, SoulCycle, Barry’s, and Gold’s Gym, many of whom now live stream their classes through the Gympass platform. 

There is clearly a demand for virtual services with over 212K live classes streamed via Gympass since the start of the pandemic. The likelihood of digital fitness disappearing is minimal as Gympass research shows 82.8 percent of Americans still willing to work out by going virtual in the post-pandemic world. Crespo points to the fact that users love live classes because they maintain a sense of community through their instructors and friends, found in their past in-person classes. Crespo believes, in line with other industry experts, that in a post-COVID world this trend will continue as the fitness industry transitions into an omnichannel experience, with a combination of physical visits complemented by online classes. People working from home will be able to maintain more flexibility to exercise and stay active. 

Normalizing Mental Health

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The past year has dramatically accelerated the importance of offering mental health tools and services to employees across the globe. Gympass found that 69% of employees experienced burnout since remote work was mandated. The expanded offering of mental health services to employers and employees throughout the last 12 months aims to address that.

Partnerships with companies such as Calm, NEOU, Nootric, Healing Clouds, Mindshine, and iFeel are all examples of mental health solutions now offered to Gympass participants and are well utilized. The company saw a 106% increase in usage of mental and emotional health apps proving their need. The goal of partnering with such apps was to give users and their families access to virtual support related to nutrition, meditation, therapy, and financial wellbeing during these challenging times. Gympass was able to provide these resources at no additional cost to its members. 

Gympass’s commitment to mental health does not stop with the apps. The company strongly believes in normalizing the conversation around mental health and fostering an environment that encourages employees to be open about their needs. “The more celebrities, athletes, and leaders talk about mental health, the better,” says Marco. This year the company launched the ‘How are you really?’ campaign, drawing light on the important role corporate executives have on this topic, it featured thoughts from Founder and CEO Cesar Carvalho on his own mental health journey. Also included were comments from Ariana Huffington and executives at Santander, Calm, and Healing Clouds. By sharing conversations around mental health struggles, Crespo and Gympass hope that people will feel more comfortable addressing their own personal struggles to seek the necessary support. 

A Better Business

According to some of the latest data from Gympass, 94% of people say their wellness routine is important to their productivity at work. Additionally, 34% of people feel they have less work/life balance than before the pandemic. With wellness so closely tied to productivity and the dramatic increase of people feeling burned out, it’s very important that employers offer resources that help their workforce manage stress and sleep better to be able to move calmly and effectively through their day.  As a result of these strong physical and mental health offerings, companies saw a 43% retention gain of employees actively enrolled in Gympass versus 14% of those who were not. Gympass’s new wellness offerings correlated with high usage rates demonstrate that addressing the challenges and demands on employees will not only help them feel and perform better but will also positively impact the success of businesses. 

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