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IHRSA Releases Updated Latin American Report

More than 65,000 health clubs in region serve nearly 20 million members

Boston, MA - May 3, 2017 - Today, the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) released The IHRSA Latin American Report (Second Edition) sponsored by Hoist Fitness. This research publication, an update to its groundbreaking 2012 report, was produced in collaboration with Mercado Fitness (Argentina) and supported by Fitness Brasil.

“Building upon the analysis provided in the first report, the second edition of The IHRSA Latin American Report contains the most comprehensive examination of key Latin American health club markets available anywhere,” said Jay Ablondi, IHRSA’s executive vice president of global products. “Credit goes to Mercado Fitness, Fitness Brasil, IHRSA’s many strategic partners throughout Latin America, and, of course, the innovative club leaders who were interviewed, for providing an in-depth understanding of the region.”

According to the report, the health club industry in Latin America is robust. The 18 Latin American markets analyzed in the report generate US$6 billion in revenue from more than 65,000 clubs. Nearly 20 million Latin Americans are members of a health club. Brazil, alone, accounts for more than half of the health clubs in Latin America with 34,509 facilities. Argentina has the highest penetration rate among all Latin American markets as 6.8% of Argentineans belong to a health club.

“The health club landscape in Latin America is dynamic and has undergone significant developments since 2012,” said Guillermo Velez, editor and director of Mercado Fitness. “In addition to the growth of the low-cost segment, other developments, including economic indicators, increasingly savvy consumers, technology, the boutique phenomenon, and professionalization have all impacted and shaped the industry in Latin America.”

While club operators and industry experts have observed growth amidst market developments in the region, opportunities abound in Latin America. The report shows the average penetration rate of 2.15%, signifying potential for growth. Along with Argentina, Brazil and Mexico have member penetration rates exceeding 3%, at 4.6% and 3.2%, respectively.    

The IHRSA Latin American Report is an indispensable tool for club operators, investors, and market analysts,” said Jacqueline Antunes, IHRSA’s senior manager of Latin America. “Club operators can use the report to identify trends and areas for growth, while investors can use this valuable reference to identify profitable opportunities in the region. Finally, analysts and other stakeholders can rely on the report to explore the state of the industry and outlook for health clubs in Latin America.”

The IHRSA Latin American Report (Second Edition) (77 pages) is available at ihrsa.org/latin-america-report in Spanish as a PDF. It will be available in English and Portuguese soon. Contact Jacqueline Antunes, IHRSA’s senior manager Latin America at ja@ihrsa.org or +1 617-951-0055 ext. 171 with questions or to order by phone.

In related news, the IHRSA State of the Mexican Health and Fitness Industry Report (64 pages) is available at ihrsa.org/research-reports as a PDF in Spanish and English. Published in December 2016, this report is the first comprehensive publication of the fitness market in Mexico.


The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) is the trade association representing health and fitness facilities, gyms, spas, racquet and sports clubs, and suppliers worldwide. In addition to being the leading authority on industry research and information, IHRSA hosts major industry events on four continents, including the IHRSA/Fitness Brasil Latin American Conference in São Paulo, Brazil (31 August–2 September 2017), the IHRSA European Congress in London (23-26 October 2017); IHRSA Mercado Fitness Mexico City Conference and Trade Show (25-26 October 2017); ChinaFIt /IHRSA China Management Forum (13-16, November 2017) in Beijing, and IHRSA’s 37th Annual International Convention and Trade Show, in San Diego, California (21-24 March 2018). To learn more or to join, visit ihrsa.org. Find an IHRSA club worldwide at healthclubs.com.

About Mercado Fitness

Based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Mercado Fitness (mercadofitness.com) conducts seminars, conferences and publishes a bimonthly Spanish language magazine for the sports club, gym and the fitness training community that is distributed throughout Latin America. Mercado Fitness is a strategic partner of IHRSA.

About HOIST Fitness Systems

Precision strength equipment, partnered with natural body motion, produces maximum results. This is the essential concept that has been inspiring the HOIST corporate evolution for nearly 35 years. San Diego, California, USA is home to the pioneering research, development and production of HOIST fitness equipment. With a history of innovation, HOIST equipment standards have become the very measure of excellence in strength training equipment worldwide. Join the Movement!™  Contact Hoist at 858-578-7676 or sales@hoistfitness.com.

About Fitness Brasil

Fitness Brasil (fitnessbrasil.com.br) is dedicated to developing business and careers related to fitness, health and wellbeing. Fitness Brasil hosts industry events, such as the annual IHRSA/Fitness Brasil Latin American Conference & Trade Show in São Paulo. Other Fitness Brasil events include: Fitness Brasil Internacional and various Fitness Business Tours throughout the year.



Les Mills US Signs on as ClubConnect Education Partner

(April 27, 2017) San Diego, CAClubConnect is pleased to announce that Les Mills US has signed on as a ClubConnect Education Partner, solidifying its commitment to health club education.

Les Mills US has included its expert education on the ClubConnect platform so that thousands of fitness professionals can learn the newest workouts from the one of the world’s best group training companies with the click of a button.

Starting today, health clubs that use the ClubConnect software will get access to the Les Mills Tips and Tricks videos of each of the 12 Les Mills programs including how to teach BODYPUMP 101, BODYCOMBAT 71, CXWORX 26, GRIT 20 and RPM 74. These videos will help current instructors teach the newest Les Mills releases each quarter. All of this content can be found in the “Courses" section of each health club’s ClubConnect site.

Now, fitness professionals at over 4,500 health clubs will have unlimited access to this Les Mills video content. In addition to Les Mills US, other world-class education companies including EXOS, Precision Nutrition, Gray Institute, MYZONE, ACSM, and TRX have partnered with ClubConnect to deliver their world-class education.

“Les Mills is seen as one of the top leaders in the group training industry,” said Jason Davis, President of ClubConnect (an Inspire360 company). “I’m excited that they have put their education onto ClubConnect so that it will be seen by fitness professionals who work at the world’s largest and most successful health clubs. By including their education on ClubConnect, fitness professionals at over 4,500 locations will have 24/7 access to their best in class content.” 

About Inspire360

Inspire360 is dedicated to providing inspired software that is fanatically focused on helping health clubs and organizations in the fitness and wellness industry achieve remarkable things. Originally developed under IDEA Health & Fitness Association, the company builds on decades of experience in the health and fitness industry to deliver world-class software to educate fitness professionals and enhance profits for health clubs. Its two flagship products, ClubConnect and CoursePlus, are used by some of the most respected names in fitness, like the American College of Sports Medicine, EXOS, Lifetime Fitness, and Gold's Gym. For more information, visit www.inspire360inc.com.


Dalton Enterprises Joins Tennis Industry Association As a Supporting Member

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (April 19, 2017) —The Tennis Industry Association’s (TIA) newest Supporting Member is Dalton Enterprises of Cheshire, Conn., a family-owned business that is the manufacturer of the Latex-Ite® brand of recreational coatings.

“We’re glad to support the tennis industry and the growth of tennis through our new membership in the TIA,” says John Dalton, president of Dalton Enterprises. “We look forward to continuing to help this sport to grow, especially when it comes to building and renovating more tennis courts and playing surfaces.”

The company recently launched the 1-800-TENNISCOURT network in the U.S. and Canada, Dalton adds, to help consumers quickly find contractors in their area. “We rolled out the ‘1-800’ program to help make marketing easier for contractors throughout the country. So far, we’ve enrolled many area codes in this program.”

“We’re pleased to have Dalton Enterprises as a valued TIA Supporting Member,” says TIA Executive Director Jolyn de Boer. “The court contractor segment of this industry is incredibly important to the growth of this sport.”

For more information, contact TIA Business Manager Brian O’Donnell at (843) 473-4504 or brian@tennisindustry.org. To learn more about Dalton Enterprises, contact John Dalton at (203) 272-3221 or john.dalton@daltonenterprises.com.

About Dalton Enterprises Inc.
Founded in 1945, Dalton Enterprises Inc. is a family-owned business based in Cheshire, Conn., and is the sole manufacturer of the LATEX●ITE® brand of recreational color coatings, which we offer to the U.S. and worldwide. We offer full repair and acrylic resurfacing systems for tennis and track—both asphalt and post-tension concrete. We are a proud member of the American Sports Builders Association and our color system is ITF rated.

About the TIA

The Tennis Industry Association, the not-for-profit trade association for tennis, is THE unifying force in the tennis industry whose mission is to promote the growth and economic vitality of the business of tennis by working closely with its industry partners and in support of the USTA in their development of initiatives to increase tennis participation. Core TIA activities include producing more than 70 U.S. and global research reports annually on participation and consumer/trade research, managing the largest relational database, along with hosting annual TIA Tennis Forum, Leadership meetings and the T.O.M. Conference at major tournaments and events. Visit TennisIndustry.org or call 866-686-3036.


IHRSA Announces Thunderclap Campaign to #PassPHIT

Boston, MA - April 20, 2017 - To bring increased attention to PHIT, legislation that would make physical activity more affordable, IHRSA, the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association recently launched a social media initiative to promote the #PassPHIT campaign. The goal of this campaign is to promote the benefits of passing PHIT, while generating more engagement from the industry, its members, and its customers in asking Congress to support the legislation.

"We are reaching out to all corners of the industry to garner support with the hopes that this #PassPHIT message will reach tens of thousands of people across multiple social media platforms," said Meredith Poppler, IHRSA’s vice president of advocacy communications & leadership engagement. 

The campaign was launched by IHRSA president and CEO Joe Moore with an invitation to join the association’s #PassPHIT Thunderclap campaign.

What Is PHIT?

The Personal Health Investment Today Act (PHIT - H.R.1267 and S.482) is federal legislation that will allow Americans to use flexible spending accounts (FSAs) and health savings accounts (HSAs) to pay for health club memberships, fitness equipment, exercise videos, and youth sports leagues. Currently, the IRS code only allows the use of these accounts for medical expenses like prescription medications and doctor visits. If passed, PHIT will allow individuals to use up to $1,000 per year to cover these costs and up to $2,000 annually for families.

What Is Thunderclap?

In our digital age, it is hard to be heard and capture the attention of others above all the noise. One person tweeting, calling, or emailing can be the same as a person yelling across a full stadium to get the attention of someone on the other side. It is simply drowned out. But when the entire stadium yells the same message at the same time, not only is it heard, but it reverberates for miles. Thunderclap is a digital version of the entire stadium yelling the same message at the same time.

How Does Thunderclap Work?

Thunderclap is a digital platform that will coordinate and amplify our many voices. It enables our entire industry and all of our connections to speak with one powerful voice, using one impactful message. By signing up for our Thunderclap, you allow your social media accounts to post a pre-written message supporting PHIT which will be posted on May 19.

What Is the #PassPHIT Thunderclap Message?

"Make exercise and #youthsports more affordable AND make America more active and healthy! #PassPHIT http://thndr.me/j6G9W0"

How Should I Enroll?

  • First: Sign up for the Thunderclap. It's free and you will only be obligated to send one message.

  • Second: Ask your network to sign up for the Thunderclap as well by sharing the link on your website, in your social media posts, and via email.


The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) is a not-for-profit trade association representing health and fitness facilities, gyms, spas, sports clubs, and suppliers worldwide. IHRSA and its members are dedicated to making the world healthier through regular exercise and physical activity.

IHRSA maintains a leadership role in advancing physical activity, which is critical to America’s health and the battle against obesity and chronic lifestyle diseases. IHRSA supports policies that promote more active lifestyles to foster a healthier, happier, more prosperous America—such as the Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act. To support PHIT and learn more about how you can help make physical activity more affordable and accessible, visit ihrsa.org/phit.


IHRSA Announces #WhyGetActive Campaign Celebrating National Physical Fitness and Sports Month

Boston, MA - April 18, 2017 - To celebrate National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, and to raise awareness of the many reasons to be physically active, IHRSA will be providing daily content on the benefits of physical activity that clubs can share with their networks.

Club operators, fitness professionals, and industry stakeholders are encouraged to use this information in their member and prospect communications to promote that May is a great time to renew a commitment to a healthy, active lifestyle.

Alex Black, IHRSA’s health promotion manager and leader of the campaign said, “We are creating fun, engaging content that clubs can put to use in May as part of National Physical Fitness and Sports Month and can revisit at other times of the year in accordance with their own marketing calendar.” She added, “The content is meant to be interactive. For some of the #WhyGetActive prompts and trivia quizzes, clubs should ask their members to participate.”

While IHRSA is one of several organizations working together to promote National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, including the President's Council, SHAPE America (the group behind National Physical Education and Sport Week), Alliance for Women's Health (the group behind National Women's Health Week), and more, IHRSA is the only organization that is providing messages specifically for health club operators.

Beginning May 1, look for daily messages on the IHRSA.org blog as well as IHRSA’s Twitter account, IHRSA’s Facebook and Instagram pages, and on the newly launched IHRSA Exclusive Member Content App. IHRSA members should ensure that their communications staff follow IHRSA on all of the association’s social platforms.

IHRSA will be using its advocacy social media accounts (@IHRSA_Advocate) to share these messages directly with industry partners, stakeholders, policy makers, and engaged consumers.

Each week of the month will be themed to focus on physical activity as it relates to:

  • May 1-May 7: Physical Education and Sports

  • May 8-May 14: Historic Achievements and People

  • May 15-May 21: Women’s Health

  • May 22-May 28: Global Employee Health & Fitness

  • May 29-May 31: Initiatives to Thank Servicemen and Women

Additionally, for each Friday in May, IHRSA will create and promote content that drives industry support for PHIT. As part of our ‘PHIT Friday’ initiative IHRSA has organized a Thunderclap to help spread the word about the physical and fiscal benefits associated with passing this legislation. For those unfamiliar with Thunderclap, IHRSA created a short FAQ blog post to explain Thunderclap and how people can sign up to generate additional support for #PassPHIT on social media.

IHRSA anticipates the campaign will reach almost 3 million users on Twitter and 50 thousand on Instagram, while sharing the reasons to Get Active and #PassPHIT with millions of current and potential health club consumers.


The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) is a not-for-profit trade association representing health and fitness facilities, gyms, spas, sports clubs, and suppliers worldwide. IHRSA and its members are dedicated to making the world healthier through regular exercise and activity promotion.

IHRSA maintains a leadership role in advancing physical activity, which is critical to America’s health and the battle against obesity and chronic lifestyle disease. IHRSA supports policies that promote more active lifestyles to foster a healthier, happier more prosperous America.