New York Sports Club announced its acquisition of Fhitting Room, a leading NYC-based boutique fitness brand known for its HIIT and strength training programming
The acquisition of Fhitting Room by New York Sports Club (NYSC) brings together one of the largest privately held fitness operators in the U.S. with a popular boutique fitness brand. As part of the acquisition, Fhitting Room founder Kari Saitowitz was named Chief Marketing & Creative Officer for NYSC, and Tristan Saw, a former Equinox executive and digital transformation expert, will serve as NYSC Chief Strategy & Systems Officer. Bill McMenamy will continue to lead New York Sports Club as CEO. Saitowitz and McMenamy spoke to Athletech News (ATN) on the acquisition’s impact on both companies, and the future of the industry.
ATN: What impact will this acquisition have on the strategies of NYSC and Fhitting Room, respectively?
BM: The acquisition is a merger of sorts. Our goal at NYSC is to Improve Lives Through Fitness. Delivering on that promise requires that we have the best team in fitness to meet the needs of our members. Through this acquisition, we are able to round out our executive team with world class talent that will shape the future direction of the company.
KS: For Fhitting Room, this deal represents an amazing growth opportunity. For a while now, we have recognized that building out physical spaces of our own is an expensive and time-consuming way to grow, and asset-light growth has been a focus of ours. This acquisition will allow us to cost effectively expand into select NYSC locations and focus on our core competencies of programming, trainer development, marketing, and community building.
ATN: What stood out to NYSC about Fhitting Room for this acquisition?
BM: Fhitting Room, like NYSC, is a brand that was born in New York City. Fhitting Room provides a best-in-class experience to their clients and we believe we can bring over elements of that experience to the NYSC family of brands. As we diversify our portfolio of products, it is important that we partner with people who share the same vision, and the team at Fhitting Room checked all of the boxes for us. Not to mention the programing and product is unmatched in the NY tri-state area.
ATN: What do you think the future of the fitness industry is, particularly with gyms?
KS: We have all experienced a great deal of change over the last 2 years and gyms need to evolve to meet the needs of our members. The fitness consumer today is far more educated on the latest and greatest wellness offerings and now, more than ever, want their clubs to play an active role in achieving the best version of themselves. We are moving away from the cookie cutter approach of filling our clubs with treadmills and machines and instead, improving our product offer to provide tailored experiences based on knowledge of our consumers and creating an overall experience that aligns with their fitness and social needs.
ATN: How are you approaching evolving consumer needs in the industry?
BM: We are excited to be investing in our clubs for the first time in years. We are tailoring our approach to these upgrades to best meet each individual club’s needs based on their members. Upgrades will vary from club to club and range from new floors to new equipment to the introduction of new experiences such as recovery lounges and workspaces.
ATN: What do you think is the biggest misconception in the fitness industry today?
KS: Consumers are often drawn to the new shiny toy, and that’s human nature, but the reality is that brands and workouts that have withstood the test of time have done so for a reason. NYSC and Fhitting Room offer options to help anyone achieve their fitness goals, regardless of where they are on their fitness journey. With a combined 60 years of experience, a wide range of modalities, equipment and services, and strong community support, we provide an environment that fosters commitment and helps make fitness fun.
ATN: What do you think the biggest untapped growth area is in the fitness industry?
BM: Community. As we have learned over the last 2 years, servicing members’ social wellness needs is just as important as supporting mental health and physical fitness goals. Our clubs and studios provide a wonderful place to socialize and build community, and we are leaning into servicing these needs to an even greater extent as we reimagine and refresh our clubs.