The Smart Fit chain has growth in its sights in Latin America and has partnered with Life Fitness to achieve that goal; members at Cia Athletica in Brazil went on a memorable motorcycle ride; and Sports World in Mexico has introduced LOAD, a unique club brand specifically designed for millennials.
This article appeared in the print edition of Club Business International in August 2019.
Latin American News: Life Fitness, Cia Athletica, Sports World
Life Fitness will be part of Smart Fit’s growth plan; Cia Athletica members go outside for a ride; and Sports World works on a unique concept just for Millennials.
Based in São Paulo, the low-cost chain has more than 600 clubs in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Peru, Brazil, Chile, and Argentina, and, last year, increased its total membership by 34%, hitting 2 million members.
The company intends to accelerate its growth in the region over the next three years, equipping facilities whether they’re new or being remodeled.
“We need a solid and robust company to be our partner for this expansion in Latin America,” says Thiago Somera, the infrastructure director for the Bio Ritmo Group. Also headquartered in São Paulo, the group manages the Smart Fit chain. “With Life Fitness, we have the security of knowing that the company will work with us to carry out this process, and fulfill our mission and purpose—that of democratizing high-quality fitness and making it accessible to more people.”
“Smart Fit is one of our most important customers in our entire global operation, and I’m sure that the two companies will make this a lasting and ever-evolving partnership,” says Joel Pigott, the vice president of Life Fitness for North and Latin America.
Pedro Goyn, the general director of Life Fitness for Latin America, says, “We’re very proud to be part of the expansion of the Bio Ritmo/Smart Fit group, which has a tremendous impact on the fitness sector throughout the continent.”
Cia Athletica Members Rally on Motorcycles
In May, a Companhia (Cia) Athletica club located in Belo Horizonte, the capital of the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, provided a unique opportunity for its members to spend some time, and see some sights, together.
It organized a motorcycle trip from the facility, located at the Diamond Mall, to the city of Santana dos Montes, a distance of nearly 90 miles.
The trip was part of the club’s Cia Ride Program, which promotes motorcycle rides to cities near the capital. The outings are free, open to all members, and the only costs are those for lunch and road tolls.
The trip’s itinerary immersed riders in the history and local culture of Minas Gerais.
“Visiting Santana dos Montes is like traveling through time and landing in the 19th century,” notes Diogo Fiorini, who manages the program for Cia Athletica. “If the walls of the St. Anne matrix and the houses and farms could talk, they’d tell many stories of the Portuguese colonization and other historical events.”
Companhia Athletica, a chain with 16 units in Brazil, is predicated on the Cia “IN & OUT” concept, which has been designed to improve the lives of its members.
Sports World Introduces a Millennial Brand
The Sports World Group, a major Mexican chain, has introduced LOAD, a unique club brand specifically designed for millennials. It opened the very first unit in a mixed-use building, with offices and commercial spaces, in a neighborhood south of Mexico City.
The company, which is based in the city, has 61 units in the metropolitan area and throughout the country.
The new LOAD facility boasts a varied and innovative sports offering, including Workout Bar, which combines cardio, strength, and plyometric training in a single session; Cycling Lab, a contemporary form of stationary cycling; and the Beast Mode Lab, a club area outfitted with free and integrated weight training equipment.
The club also has a lounge area, where members can network to enhance their professional lives. They can read, socialize, identify shared interests, and otherwise strengthen their personal ties.
Membership options include everything from daily passes, to monthly agreements, to lifetime commitments.
Editor’s note: All of the news items were provided by Jacqueline Antunes, IHRSA’s director of Latin America, and Mercado Fitness.