The future will be all about data...

As an estimated 80 per cent of CV equipment will be able to link up to Apple’s GymKit within a few years, the future will be all about data. Rather than threaten the role of the PT on the gym floor, I think data driven equipment will have the opposite effect and people will need more help, advice and reassurance on how to interpret it most efficiently. And, just as the car industry is having to adapt to the presence of electric cars, the fitness industry will also adapt. It will be more software than equipment led. With Apple, the largest tech company in the world, moving into our space and making it a data game, people’s perceptions of exercise will change. The gym is likely to be incorporated into everyday wellness habits like walking and climbing stairs. Data will give PTs the opportunity to get more involved with their clients between sessions, give personal push notifications, see what their clients are doing when not at the gym and praise them. This innovation will also involve more people from different levels of society, as one of the reasons why lower income groups don’t engage is because they often don’t know where to start. Operators will be forced to adapt, because their clients will adapt, but they should embrace the change. 

David Minton

Original Source: Health Club Management - issue January 2018, pg. 37

 
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The LISTED GYM SECTOR IS BULKING UP AGAIN

Last week an article was published in the Investors Chronicle discussing how 'The Listed Gym Sector is Bulking Up Again'. LeisureDB's statistics and David's insights were quoted. 

"Between 2007 and 2011 the industry ticked along quite effectively, but with limited growth due to little innovation. It takes a while for new technology and innovation to have an impact on an industry. Smartphones have revolutionised the way consumers record their daily activity and check their health. The interest in tracking devices and wearable technology could help maintain general interest in fitness and be good for the industry.

The penetration of private health clubs (not under local authority control) has grown from 7.5 per cent to 9.1 per cent in the past four years and the joint public-private penetration is an impressive 14.3 per cent - an all-time high. Although we can point the finger to the rapidly expanding low-cost market for most of this growth, it is worth looking at the underlying technology that makes it possible.

Low-cost clubs are a hub of technology, relying on immediate data science and enterprise security software. Their presence on social media and ability to communicate digitally with customers is impressive and also allows for secondary spend across their mobile platforms.

Timing has played its part in bringing fresh technology, vision, innovation, interest and finance into an industry that we have always believed has enormous potential. Parts of it have been driven from 'data poor' to data-driven businesses and some consumers have turned themselves into walking, running, cycling, swimming and fitness data hubs.

The Gym's successful IPO in November 2015 reintroduced the fitness industry to the City and Pure is about to list, while we understand Bannatyne could also be seeking a flotation. US-based fitness and technology expert Bryan O'Rourke believes the global fitness market will grow by 300 per cent in the next decade. If this happens, it will mean great opportunities for UK brands."

David Minton, Director of The Leisure Database Company

Original article: Investors Chronicle, Bradley Gerrard - The Listed Gym Sector Is Bulking Up