Gym Technology: George Foreman III on Tech, Millennials and More
By Rachel Zabonick on April 18, 2017
“I think if you want to be in business in the next 10 years, there are two things you’ve got to do,” said George Foreman III, the founder of EverybodyFights. “You’ve got to embrace technology. And you have to embrace millennials.”
Millennials and technology go hand in hand. And, millennials are one of the largest generations about to move into their prime spending years, meaning clubs who wish to capitalize on this market will need to learn how to speak to millennial consumers. Gym technology is a big part of that.
Foreman is successfully incorporating technology and embracing millennials at his fitness franchise EverybodyFights, a growing boxing concept that boasts stand-alone gyms, in addition to in-club franchising options. The brand’s app, “EverybodyFights — The Fighter’s Workout App,” allows members to play custom workouts, create workouts with music, learn the fundamentals of boxing and strength training, track workouts, and more.
The key, explained Foreman, is taking advantage of technology that falls in line with activities and habits people are already doing. “Technology is worthless when you’re trying to get people to do things they don’t already do,” he said. “Technology is groundbreaking when you can take things that people are already doing and make them more convenient. People want to show up at the gym, feel good, sweat and get results. Make that more convenient for them.”
Foreman isn’t wrong in this assessment. According to an AIMIA Inc. survey, “Millennials’ affinity for technology is reshaping the retail space. With product information, reviews and price comparisons at their fingertips, Millennials are turning to brands that can offer maximum convenience at the lowest cost.”
In addition to convenience, Foreman explained gym technology should add value to your club’s overall experience, something that is integral in reaching millennials. He explained millennials don’t spend money for just access to gyms anymore — they want an experience and to feel a connection with others.
“[Millennials] are willing to spend extra money on experiences,” said Foreman. “They want to be treated kindly at all times. They expect a high level of customer service and they expect things instantly, because that’s the world they live in. I think that’s something a lot of big-box operators are missing and are not embracing.”
According to Foreman, this speaks to the rise in popularity of boutiques, which historically have attracted high-percentages of millennial consumers. At EverybodyFights, the average member is between 24 and 38 years old, and around 70 percent are women.
Although gym technology can be difficult to implement, Foreman explained it’s worth the effort, especially for the gyms wishing to reach millennials. “Technology is a pain in the butt — you’re always using technology that your member is not quite ready for, but you’ve got to do it,” he said. “People are coming to these gyms, these boutiques, to connect with people — use technology for that. As long as you’re using technology for that, you’re going to be the best, I think.”
Bonus tips from George Foreman III
Evolve. “Where I see a lot of owners and business entrepreneurs missing out is they don’t have the stamina to evolve their execution of the same business. A lot of them are abandoning their businesses and saying, we’re going to do something different. No. Evolve the way you execute.”
Focus on your customer. “If you listen, they’ll tell you what they want.”