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Entries in Brazil (8)


Latin American Health Clubs Generate $6 Billion in Revenue 

The health club industry in Latin America is robust and growing, according to the new IHRSA Latin American Report (Second Edition).

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17th Annual IHRSA / Fitness Brasil Kicks off in São Paulo

The 17th Annual IHRSA / Fitness Brasil kicked off in São Paulo this morning, with IHRSA Latin America Manager Jacqueline Antunes delivering the opening welcome address.

Maturity, Change, and Knowledge

“Today, more than ever, the Brazilian fitness industry will achieve changes through the union on behalf of the industry for public policies that benefit all of you,” she said. “The place and the voice of the industry should be through an association, in this case, ACAD Brasil—the Brazilian health club association.”

Antunes recognized former Olympian and IHRSA Board Member Gustavo Borges, the new president-elect of ACAD. She also explained the theme of this year’s convention—“maturity to change to know”—and the event hashtag #multipliqueconhecimento, meaning “multiply knowledge.”

“The Brazilian health club industry is over 30 years old—just this stage of maturity—and must face the challenges in ‘mature’ way, making the right decisions based on knowledge gained through meetings like these,” she said. “IHRSA really believe we make our industry strong whenever we multiply knowledge, whether in conferences like this, online through websites, mobile applications and social networks.”

As her contribution to multiply knowledge, Antunes unveiled some new statistics from the yet-to-be-released IHRSA Latin America Report 2016.

  • Total number of Brazilian clubs: 34,509 (second position on the top 10)
  • Total number of Brazlian members: 9,662,520 (second) position on the top 10
  • Brazil occupied the 4th place after Germany and the UK
  • Total revenue: US$ 2.1 billion = R$ 7.0 billion (10th position on the top 10) 

Continue reading about the Fitness Brasil opening keynote address.

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Everything You Need to Know About the 17th Annual IHRSA / Fitness Brasil 

We’re gearing up to head south to the 17th Annual IHRSA / Fitness Brasil, Latin America’s largest fitness industry conference and trade show, held in São Paulo, Brazil, September 1-3. 

Since Brazil has been struggling with an economic recession and political instability—all on top of the Summer Olympic Games—much of this year’s event will focus on change and transformation in the industry. The program is designed for all types and sizes of clubs—from established clubs to those that are just starting out in the industry. The program provides educational opportunities in a variety of interactive formats: traditional seminars, how-to sessions, and best practices. 

IHRSA is committed to investing in Latin America, which, with 55,809 health clubs, has more clubs than any other region worldwide, according to the IHRSA Global Report 2016. The Brazilian health club industry is the largest in Latin America by far, with 31,809 clubs and nearly 8 million total members. 

IHRSA / Fitness Brasil Keynote Presentations 

The current economic situation in Brazil is reflected in this year’s keynote presentations:  

  • Why and How the Economy Will Improve and Surprise Us After 2016: Ricardo Amorim, one of the country's leading experts in macroeconomics, will present in a clear and transparent way the available paths for Brazil and the world, in times of crisis and, as such, help with decision-making for our businesses. 
  • Happiness Leads to Profit: Márcio Fernandes, CEO of Elektro, explains his Innovative Management Philosophy, which is based on valuing ​​people and making business more sustainable. From former packer to Brazil's most highly rated executive by the employees themselves, with a 99% satisfaction rate, argues that it is possible to increase the profitability of a company without downsizing. Instead, it is necessary to create an efficient environment, with real growth opportunities for employees.
  • Making Innovation Happen: Rivadávia Drummond, one of the country's most sought-after speakers and former CEO of HSM, will bring to the table ideas about how to think and rethink our businesses. Drummond is a consultant, lecturer, and post doctoral professor who has taught at Harvard, Stanford, Darden, Dom Cabral, and Hong Kong. He is the author of books and articles on innovation, business models, and knowledge management.
  • A Life Worth Living: Clovis de Barros Filho, Ph.D., associate professor at the School of Communications and Arts of São Paulo University, will share his tips to lead a life worth living. To be human is to be ethical, because ethics is the activity of choosing the best life to live. In this talk, ethics, happiness, commitment, and quality are presented in a chain of ideas that moves and touches us. 

IHRSA / Fitness Brasil Live Coverage

We’ll be providing plenty of live coverage of the convention for those of you who can’t join us in São Paulo. Over the course of the event, we’ll be posting updates right here on the blog, as well as on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

You can also check out the Fitness Brasil Facebook page and Fitness Brasil blog


Olympian Gustavo Borges on the Future of the Brazilian Fitness Industry

Gustavo Borges, Olympian, entrepreneur, and IHRSA board member, told Club Business International about the opportunities and challenges facing the Brazilian fitness industry. 

Borges is a former competitive swimmer turned entrepreneur. He swam for Brazil in the Summer Olympic Games in 1992 (one medal), 1996 (two medals), 2000 (one medal), and 2004; and also competed in the World Championships and the Pan American Games (eight medals).

At one point, Borges held the world record in the 100-meter freestyle (short course). He currently lives in São Paulo, where he runs his own swimming school, Academia Gustavo Borges, which has four locations in Brazil. 

CBI: First of all, congratulations! You were recently elected president of ACAD Brasil, the Brazilian health club association. Please tell us about that organization and what it does.

Gustavo Borges: ACAD Brasil represents our industry in the same way that IHRSA does, both in the U.S. and the international market. In Brazil, every day there are important public policy issues that need to be addressed, as there are in all countries of the world. New laws that could interfere with our market always require attention, especially in a country as unstable as Brazil.

Our major focus, now, is to grow the organization in terms of numbers and representation all over the country, which means that we need the participation of all the major players, as well as the small operators, in order to produce great results.

CBI: We understand that you also serve as a member of the Brazilian Olympic Committee. What sort of involvement did you have in last month’s Summer Olympics and Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro?

GB: I was a member of the committee’s athlete’s commission, but had no real role in the games. The commission’s role was to help the Olympic Committee with regards to the needs of the athletes. My main participation in the games involved supplying the Olympic-size pools that were needed. I’m a representative for Myrtha Pools, an Italian company, which offers a specialized solution based on stainless steel. Together with a partner company, we provided all of the pools for the Rio 2016 Games.

In addition to that, I served as a commentator for the swimming events.

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Innovative Brazilian Health Clubs Leverage the Olympic Spirit Despite Recession 

It’s no secret that Brazil has recently faced several hardships, from political instability to an economic recession—all while Rio de Janeiro is hosting the Summer Olympic Games. 

The difficulties have hit Brazilian health clubs hard, but some innovative IHRSA clubs are using the Olympics as a springboard to generate positive publicity and inspire young athletes to get active. 

“Brazil is suffering from a political, economical, and financial crisis, that have strongly affected our segment in terms of retention and new memberships, especially among adults,” says Flavia Brunoro, operational director of Competition. “In contrast, kids’ visits and retention have increased and we believe that they will be inspired by athletes and idols during the Olympic Games, leading us to even better results.” 

Examples of Competition's ads that target younger audiences.

Companhia Athletica has been focusing its efforts on younger gym-goers for the same reasons. 

“We don’t expect to see more people coming into our clubs due to the Olympics. That's why we are not using the theme for promotions or campaigns,” says Edward Bilton, marketing director for Companhia Athletica. “Right now, our industry is still fighting against the increase in costs, and the lack of demand due the economic crisis.” 

Competition Promotes Its Differentiator in São Paulo 

Competition's Passport Program. (Click to enlarge)One of the biggest market differentiators for Competition, located in São Paulo, is that it offers more than 15 Olympic sports—the largest variety in the city. 

“We started planning for the Olympics in late 2014/early 2015,” Brunoro says. “Our aim was to show the market our differentiation and, at the same time, encourage our members to discover and experience the variety of Olympic sports we offer.” 

To achieve those goals, Competition implemented the following initiatives:  

  • The Olympic Weeks: From March to July, each week they gave their members the chance to try one of their Olympic sports by offering special classes and events (for kids and adults), supported by related content about the same sport on social media.
  • A partnership with a sports journalist, who shared her experiences practicing in these sports at the gym on her social media accounts.
  • An Olympic Sports Passport for kids: A special booklet filled with stimulating challenges and stories about the Games, that encourage the kids to go to the gym, rewarding their efforts with special stamps and medal stickers.
  • Highlighted differentiation in their on- and offline communication.
  • Increased investments on their competitive swimming, basketball, and soccer teams. 

Despite the economic hardships, Competition’s efforts have garnered results. 

“We noticed that our kids’ visits increased 5%, especially from the ones competing in our teams,” Brunoro says. “Also, we perceived a growing demand for the Olympic sports: swimming, judo, soccer, and athletics, above all.” 

Companhia Athletica Features Olympic Athletes in Rio 

An ad for Companhia Athletica's vacation camp.

Companhia Athletica captured the spirit of the games by creating Olympic-themed content and materials, especially for kids. Some of their activities and events include:  


The expanding IHRSA universe: Brazil

For a variety of reasons, Brazil is now the place for the industry to watch.
After hosting the World Cup last year, it will be home to the 2016 Summer Olympics. It boasts a population of 200 million and a $2.1-trillion GDP, the seventh largest in the world. And in the health and fitness club sector, major local chains and equipment manufacturers are striving to increase awareness about the importance of physical activity in order to achieve greater market penetration and increase sales; they’re doing so with great success.
According to the 2014 IHRSA Global Report, the Brazilian industry currently consists of nearly 31,000 clubs, serving 7.6 million members—fourth after the U.S., Germany, and the U.K. in terms of number of customers—and generating $2.6 billion in annual revenues.

“In terms of growth, Brazil will continue to lead Latin America as it works to reduce the level of physical inactivity, and, in the process, improve the lives of millions of people,” predicts Joe Moore, the president and CEO of IHRSA.

Still, the first months of 2015 witnessed the introduction of a series of economic measures that may pose a challenge. In order to harness inflation and reduce public debt, higher taxes have been imposed, interest rates have risen, and labor laws have been changed. However, despite these potential obstacles, many believe that the industry’s momentum is likely to continue.

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Formula to increase locations by more than 50 percent

Fórmula, a Brazilian chain, will open 16 new sites in the country this year, bringing its total to 42 units - 25 of them company-owned, and 17 franchised.

The company currently has a presence in Cuiabá, Feira de Santana (in the state of Bahia); Florianópolis, Londrina (in the state of Paraná); Rio de Janeiro; Salvador; Santa Catarina; and São Paulo (where it has two sites and intends to open three more).

Fórmula facilities range in size from 4,300 to 8,600 square feet, and charge an average monthly membership fee of $58. The company plans to continue expanding by opening both company-owned and franchised units. Last year, Fórmula generated $150 million in revenues, and, this year, expects to hit $195 million.


Companhia Athletica opens 18th location in Brazil

Companhia Athletica, the Brazilian chain owned by Richard Bilton, opened its 18th location at Ribeirão Shopping in Ribeirão Preto, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Check out the slide show with many of its features.

Created with flickr slideshow.