CBI September 2020

Will Wang, the chairman of the Will's Group, China's largest club chain, has weathered the COVID-19 storm and is now searching for great opportunities.

“We believe the pandemic has confirmed how important physical fitness and a healthy lifestyle are to maintaining a healthy immune system. ... That's going to lead to great opportunities for our industry.”

Will Wang, Chairman

Will's Group - China


  • Getting Back to Business: Will Wang, the chairman of the Will’s Group, is a challenge-friendly executive. An award-winning bodybuilder as a youth, he opened the first Will’s Gym in 1996, and, since then, has transformed it into China’s largest chain. He guided it through SARS in 2003 and, now, has saved it from COVID-19.
  • Surviving Every Day: Having managed the COVID-19 crisis, Club Greenwood, in Greenwood Village, CO, is now future-proofing itself for tomorrow.
  • Hidden Opportunities: Others regarded the pandemic as a mortal threat, but Franco’s Athletic Club recognized a chance “to start over and get things right.”
  • Addressing Uncertainty: Confronting questions about closures, safety, and their offerings, clubs realized, “It’s time to reinvent ourselves and our businesses.”

News & Know How

  • News: Nautilus to divest Octane; Stollmeyer steps up; health club headlines; study suggests clubs are safe; IHRSA ups advocacy ante; online options thrive; industry alliances multiply; McFit acquires Gold’s Gym; a “Crisis Case Study”; and more.
  • Latin American News: Jacqueline Antunes, IHRSA’s director of Latin America, reached out to industry leaders in Colombia, Brazil, and Argentina, and asked how they were attempting to manage today (“Members”) and tomorrow (“Prospects”).
  • First Person: Joe Grieshop, the chief marketing officer of Daxko, on “new normal” member expectations.
  • On the Move: World Gym names new CEO and COO; YouFit Health Clubs’ leadership changes; and Gold’s Gym Tennessee upgrades in Jackson Innovations.

IHRSA Report

  • Time for Innovation: This month’s “must-see” event is the IHRSA Innovation Summit, says Chairperson Jason Reinhardt in this month’s First Rep.
  • Best Practices: Consultant Marisa Hoff offers strategies for training staffers post–coronavirus pandemic.
  • Finding Allies in Lawmakers: In this month’s Grow, Promote, Protect, health clubs and policymakers are well advised to play on the same team during turbulent times.
  • Value Proposition: Paramount Acceptance: Its experience, shrewd instincts, and real-time responsiveness allowed this club management software firm to deftly manage the unexpected.
  • Value Proposition: SportsArt: Though grand, the mission—of bringing corporate creativity to bear on improving global sustainability—is coming to fruition.
  • Quarantine 15 Quandary: A personal “appreciation” on getting back to the gym, recounts Joe Moore, the president and CEO of IHRSA, in this month's Last Rep.