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IHRSA LATIN AMERICAN REPORT
Size & Scope of Key Health Club Markets
In collaboration with
INTERNATIONAL HEALTH, RACQUET & SPORTSCLUB ASSOCIATION
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Welcome from IHRSA
We are pleased to present The IHRSA Latin American Report: Size and Scope of Key Health Club Markets, which has been generously sponsored by Hoist. The first of its kind, this report is a valuable resource for the health club industry and investment community. Considerable effort has been invested by IHRSA, Mercado Fitness, and Fitness Brasil to ensure the findings and analysis in this publication are representative of the health club industry in Latin America. As you will soon read, the health club industry in Latin America is robust. The fifteen Latin American markets analyzed in this report generate $5.5 billion in revenue from more than 46,000 clubs. Nearly 15 million Latin Americans are members of a health club. The Latin American market is led by strong performance from global leaders. Brazil, alone, accounts for more than half of the health clubs in Latin America. Argentina has the highest penetration rate among all Latin American markets as 5.7% of Argentineans belong to a health club. Lifestyle indicators point to opportunities for growth in Latin America. According to Gallup, only 53% of Latin Americans engage in physical activity at least once a week. Additionally, three out of five Latin Americans pursue weight loss goals. Health club operators are uniquely positioned to meet physical activity needs and weight loss goals. We are confident this report will serve as an important tool for investors, club operators, and market research specialists. As an investor, this report will help you better understand profitable opportunities in the Latin American fitness market. As a club operator, The IHRSA Latin American Report will help you evaluate market trends and opportunities for club growth. For market research specialists, this publication will prove to be an authoritative reference to the macroeconomic landscape and industry outlook for health clubs in Latin America. Best Regards,
President & CEO
Executive Vice President of Global Products
Senior Manager Latin America
Senior Research Manager
Copyright 2012 IHRSA | IHRSA LATIN AMERICAN REPORT
By Guillermo Vélez (*)
IT WAS TOUGH, BUT WE MADE IT
A few years ago, IHRSA proposed to me the challenge of compiling the first Latin American health club market report together. I liked the idea from the start, although I knew it would be no easy task. I believe it is essential for entrepreneurs to have dependable data in order to help them make good decisions. Also, the rest of the world must have a solid understanding of the opportunities that are available in our region. Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Chile and Argentina - amongst other countries - have clubs with facilities at a level previously not thought of by those who come from other parts of the world. Their expectations are highly surpassed when they first visit us. Obtaining information for this report required a great deal of time, effort, and perseverance. The reasons include: there is no official data, some entrepreneurs still fear sharing data, this had never been done before, and the first time is always the most difficult. Regardless, we were able to complete it successfully. There is surely much that can be improved upon and we promise to do so in later editions. Special thanks to all those who collaborated on this research. It was tough, but we did it.
(*) Journalist, Mercado Fitness Editor
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Economy in the Region Health in Latin America Sedentarism Impact Obesity Epidemic Entrepreneurs by Force Great Steps, Great Companies News of the Year Road to Expansion Access to Capital Franchising Growth Low Cost Revolution From Pilates to CrossFit Main Difficulties Key Indicators Main Challenges State and Public Policies Market by Market The Sector in Figures Leadership Profiles
Research and journalistic drafting: Guillermo Vélez Research assistant: Dolores Pereira Duarte Graphic design: Mónica Vélez Translation: Victoria Ferrero Allende (English version) Dayse Helena Dos Santos (Portuguese version) English version review: Kristen Walsh
IHRSA LATIN AMERICAN REPORT | Copyright 2012 IHRSA
www. In addition.Special thanks to Hoist for its generous support of this research. Stefan Feketefoldi (Rep Dom).com www. spas. representing gyms. David Minton (United Kingdom). Its management and marketing magazine has been published bimonthly since 2003 and is distributed throughout several countries in South America in which seminars. United States. Gustavo Yepes (Peru). Antonio Carvalho (Uruguay). Esteban Ibarra (Chile). Noemí Corva (Argentina). IHRSA: The International Health. Stephen Tharrett (USA). it is a strategic ally of IHRSA in Latin America. and Alex Galeth (Ecuador). fitness centers and equipment and service suppliers. www. Instituto Fitness Brasil (Brazil). Carlos Muñoz (Chile). based in Boston. Ancizar Aragon (Colombia). Xavier Iturralde (Bolivia). conferences and rallies are organized and held.mercadofitness.Associação Brasileira de Academias (Brazil). Massachusetts. Racquet & Sportsclub Association is a nonprofit trade association. CONFEF – Conselho Federal de Educação Física (Brazil). IHRSA and its members are dedicated to making the world healthier through regular exercise and fitness promotion. Luis Alvarado (Guatemala).org Mercado Fitness: Spanish-speaking business and training community for sports club and gym business professionals. sports clubs.ihrsa. Jorge Méndez (Bolivia). ACAD . Javier Taimal (Colombia). Hans Muench (Germany). Ray Algar (United Kingdom).org Copyright 2012 IHRSA | IHRSA LATIN AMERICAN REPORT 5 . We also thank the key people and organizations that helped us gather the data and information contained in this report: Richard Bilton (Brazil). Sindicato das Academias do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil).ihrsa.
8 8. while unemployment has increased.3 6. as well as on reports from the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL).9 -0. From 1990 to the Country Argentina Brazil Chile Colombia Costa Rica Cuba Ecuador Guatemala Mexico Paraguay Peru Uruguay Venezuela 2007 8.7 2." Based on these figures.3 3.9 7.ihrsa. all countries decided to be governed by democratic government systems.2 5.8 9. It extends to 8. while unemployment has increased. On average.2 -3.2 Figures expressed in percentages. 6 IHRSA LATIN AMERICAN REPORT | Copyright 2012 IHRSA www.9 6. populism in some governments of the region is still tainted by authoritarianism.9 5. Caucasian European descendants. according to the census which took place in 2010.7 4.2 3.7 4.5 15 8.7 6.8 3.2 2010 9.3 2009 0. land of romance languages (Spanish. the economy has improved throughout the region. according to the census performed in 2009.3 1.9 4.7 -1 1. The city with the highest population density is São Paulo in Brazil. about 25 years ago.965 km2 and counts 197.5 6.4 -3. Latin America is a region of contrasts with the greatest wealth disparity on the planet: 10 out of Table 1 the 15 countries with the most income inequality are in Latin America.7 6 5.534.org .9 3.431 habitants.3 2 6.1 4 4.289.8 2. At the other extreme.1 5. the smallest and least populated country is Suriname. it can be observed that during the past 10 years.2 5. Ethnically.3 -1 1.5 -6.3 3.8 5.9 7.4 0.5 2. has lived a turbulent history of political and economic instability. "During the past 10 years. where even their autochthonous population is believed to have come from Asia through the Bering Strait.8 8. Brazil is the largest country in Latin America in area and population. with a population of 20. with 163.8 7.9 5. Most contain deep poverty pockets and marginality.2 7.1 3. and “Mestizos” .2 n/a 4.8 2008 6. These are lands of immigrants.5 8. French and Portuguese). the region is diverse: there are autochthonous or indigenous peoples of the Americas known as “Amerindios”.533 habitants. economic growth percentages in Latin America during recent years have been as follows: see Table 1. the economy has improved throughout the region. However. According to World Bank statistics.4 0.9 4 6.2 6.270 km2 and 530.8 0.511.Economy in the Region Latin America. Blacks brought as slaves from Africa.1 7.112.9 2.5 2011 8.a term traditionally used in Latin America and Spain for people of mixed heritage or descent.9 -1.6 2.2 3.
The consequences also made an impact in Latin America and the Caribbean. For the first time in decades.ihrsa.9 -4. a country in the region with one of the highest satisfaction levels concerning health.8 Figures expressed in percentages.org Copyright 2012 IHRSA | IHRSA LATIN AMERICAN REPORT 7 . Generally. when highrisk mortgage related problems became common in the United States.2 -3.5 -4. the global economic crisis interrupted the longest and most intense phase of growth in Latin America and the Caribbean since the 1960s. published in December 2011 by the Interamerican Development Bank. one of the greatest challenges the region faces is to improve its health indicators.1 -2. This number does not differ significantly from other regions around the world. Health in Latin America Undoubtedly. the wealth disparity has begun to decrease.2 2. the effect was not as dramatic as at other times and in other zones. child mortality and HIV prevalence. Although the region was able to face external volatility. This happens due to the influence of a very favorable prior external environment and an improved management of macroeconomic politics.5 1.7 9 4. despite a deficiency in various indicators. with variations between countries.1 8. given that it holds no relation with objective indicators such as life expectancy. Table 2 However.present. although the crisis had an impact in the region. even though its health indicators are among the best.5 -2.2 2009 -2.8 -3.5 -3. as indicated in the following figures see Table 2 on real GDP growth rates.1 -1.2 -3 -4.4 0. the economy in Latin America. Chile has one of the lowest satisfaction levels in Latin America. A high percentage (85%) of Latin Americans claim to be satisfied with their health.09 0. This growth took place within the frame of an international economic expansion covering the period from 2003 through mid-2007.9 8. On the other hand. (IDB).4 0. Unfortunately.5 5.7 -2. according to the “Health Perceptions in Latin America” report based on Gallup World Poll (2007). However. CEPAL /DAES 2008 World Developed economies Developing economies United States Euro zone China Latin America and Carribean 1. the report highlights that the satisfaction level in regards to health should not be considered as a health indicator itself.5 6. throughout all Latin America.1 IMF 2009 -0. its capacity to meet long-term challenges is still insufficient. has experienced situations without precedents in regards to liquidity and solvency.3 WORLD BANK 2009 -2. poverty levels have decreased about 20% and extreme poverty rates are down approximately 10%. An example of this is Guatemala.2 1. although it is still high. This is an important achievement for a 20-year period.9 -2. This reflects the high tolerance level of www.
However.factors such as gender and age. According to Brazilian sports doctor Víctor Matsudo. Mexico. such as the USA. and 3. regular physical activity is more common among men (61%) than women (47%). data obtained from a 2007 Wellbeing report by TNS Gallup reveals that only 53% of Latin Americans are physically active at least once a week. 10% have mobility limitations. Additionally. Mexico appears to be the most active. the population in Guatemala regarding health issues. along with factors which affect access to the health care system. it costs money: an inactive person generates an annual expense to the public health of $2. "Only 53% of Latin Americans are physically active at least once a week. When examining data by country. Additionally. In fact. 18. in the region.2 million people per year around the world. the research indicates that the satisfaction level in health decreases with age. It also decreases with age (65% in youth. it increases along with the socioeconomic level (73% in higher levels and 47% in lower levels). “Latin America is going through an extremely positive moment in terms of social awareness concerning dangers associated to sedentarism. socioeconomic factors such as income level and access to basic services. given that 7 out of 10 people interviewed stated that they perform some kind of physical activity regularly. These results were obtained by conducting 3. Chile is less tolerant in this aspect.000 interviews with adults over the age of 18 in Argentina. as occurs in most countries in Central America.5% are unable to carry out normal activities for a person of their age. Brazil and Argentina. On a different scale. differences in perception are closely tied to demographic Sedentarism Impact Sedentarism kills 3. followed by other countries such as Paraguay.org . 41% in older adults). who presides over the Physical Activities Network for Americas (RAFA/PANA) and is also an advisor in Active Life. Lastly. Uruguay.” However. in richer countries. 9." According to this study. Brazil.8% are disabled so much that they cannot bathe or dress themselves. 8 IHRSA LATIN AMERICAN REPORT | Copyright 2012 IHRSA www. such as payment method and trust in the system. and that such decrease is sharper in poorer countries. the Gallup survey indicates that the most common health issues in Latin America are as follows: 25% suffer from pain of some kind.3% have anxiety. Men are generally more satisfied with their health than women. a World Health Organization program. According to the IBD report. it is considered the fourth most common cause of death in the world by the World Health Organization.ihrsa.000 more than someone of the same age and gender who is physically active. satisfaction level increases after a certain age. Guatemala and Chile.
Medical expenses for treating obese patients are 40% higher than for non-obese patients. six of the countries with the highest obesity levels in people above age 15 will be Latin American: Venezuela. and Mexico. for fun (39%). exercise on their own or with a trainer (17%). Importance given to physical activity for personal well-being (on a scale of 1 to 10) 7. that number is 6 out of 10 people. gym (20%). which represents 21% of the nation’s annual medical expenses. Dominican Republic and BRAZIL TOTAL www.will reach the levels of the U. Brazil . weight loss or maintenance (44%). there will be 2. which are now the two countries with the highest obesity rates in the world.org Copyright 2012 IHRSA | IHRSA LATIN AMERICAN REPORT 9 . according to the World Health Organization (WHO). there will be 700 million obese people in the world. in the third decade of this century. Motivational reasons include: medical health advice (46%). dancing (5%). Obesity prevalence doubled globally between 1980 and 2008. accounting for 2.3 8. DC. WHO foresees that by 2015. the United States Medical Institute estimated that the annual cost for diseases related to obesity in the U.9 GUATEMALA ARGENTINA MEXICO This same TNS Gallup study revealed that nearly half of Latin Americans claim to have suffered from stress (46%) and lack of energy (45%) in the past 12 months. and esthetics (25%). running (25%).3 billion overweight adults. Uruguay. to release stress or tension (42%).8 million deaths per year. In May 2012. Obesity Epidemic According to data from BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research.S. Obesity is the fifth highest cause of mortality. within five years. yoga (3%). Argentina and Brazil register the lowest level of self-reported physical activity within the region.9 7. for the first time in history.22% of the population indicated that they suffered from depression at some point during the same time frame. Costa Rica. If current trends continue.ihrsa. with scarcely 4 out of 10 people being active on a regular basis. Preferred activities include: walking (48%).S.3 6. If current trends continue. and martial arts (2%). the number of people who are overweight around the world is similar to the number of people who are undernourished. sports (35%).5 6.though substantial .In Chile. According to WHO. Guatemala. A lesser .whose obese population rate is at 16% . According to World Watch Institute in Washington.4 billion are overweight. surpasses $190 billion. 500 million people around the world are obese and 1.
followed by physical activity (69%). Latin America has a higher percentage of people taking medication in order to lose weight (9%) than any other region.ihrsa. finally. Colombia. prescribed medication (3%). Venezuela and other countries throughout the region revealed that Latin America is the region with most people currently trying to lose weight (59%). bars. The rate is triple the global average of 3%. 10 IHRSA LATIN AMERICAN REPORT | Copyright 2012 IHRSA Emerging Countries World Average Latin America Asia Pacific North America Europe YES: 50 . Mexico. it was found that the most common action was changing eating habits (78%).Mexico.000 people in Argentina. and. Chile. nine points above the worldwide average. Below are responses by region to the question. This is despite research conducted in 2008 by The Nielsen Company indicating that Latin American consumers have strong intentions of improving their eating habits and doing some kind of frequent physical activity in order to improve their health. “Global Survey on Diets and Healthy Eating Habits. “Are you presently trying to lose weight?” % NO: 41 NO: 50 NO: 53 NO: 53 NO: 51 NO: 50 www. Five Latin American countries appear amongst the top 10 as shown in the following chart.” an online survey of 28. and shakes (8%). Brazil.org 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 YES: 59 YES: 50 YES: 49 YES: 47 YES: 47 As far as the actions that consumers are taking in order to reach their weight loss objectives. use of diet pills.
www. 8 out of 10 industry entrepreneurs started off in the physical activity field with little or no business background and scarce entrepreneurial vision.org Copyright 2012 IHRSA | IHRSA LATIN AMERICAN REPORT 11 . or not at all. there are huge opportunities for the health club industry and for professionals in this field. of small. there is still a significant percentage of people surveyed who stated that they exercise very little. this applies to 53% of consumers. this occurs with 22% and 16% of people. independent operators who manage one sole unit or two at the most. With these opportunities comes a responsibility to collaborate in the fight against sedentarism and obesity. Worldwide. Walking is strongly preferred in both Latin America (47%) and North America (46%). respectively. the world population is trying to move from sedentarism to doing some kind of physical activity. In addition. historically." BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research confirms that the efforts to reduce obesity represent a ‘mega tendency’. According to the survey. In Argentina. while it applies to 65% of Latin Americans. followed by running (13%) and attending a gym (10%). In light of this data. similar to the worldwide average of 25% and 15%. However. only 4% of club companies have more than one branch and 50% have fewer than 200 members. with implications for the next 25-50 years. This is most prevalent in Chile. There are still many who are against the “mercantilization” of education in physical activity.ihrsa. In Latin America. Brazil and Mexico. the health and fitness industry is characterized by its atomization and the predominance.% 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 12 Venezuela 10 Brazil 10 Chile 9 Lithuania 9 Romania 8 Israel 7 Hungary 7 Mexico 7 Argentina 7 Portugal 7 Belgium Following the “Global Survey on Diets and Healthy Eating Habits” also found that consumers are seeking out healthier and more natural food in order to lose weight. "The most commonly chosen physical activity is walking (38%). the most commonly chosen physical activity is walking (38%). who refer to their customers as “students” and who refuse to accept that fitness is a business. Along with the intention to improve eating habits. for example. in terms of quantity. followed by running (13%) and attending a gym (10%). Entrepreneurs by Force In Latin America.
These “entrepreneurs by force” are trainers who built their gyms as a means of self-employment.the first gym chains were born in Latin America. This means that nearly 80% of these companies have been in the market for 20 or fewer years. the top 10 leaders of Latin America had sales of $647. In 2011. A little under half (43. that the first U. great strides have been made in very few years. Mercado Fitness. their accumulated income increased more than 75%.in the early 1980s and even more so in the 1990s . and 35. and even janitorial staff. Undoubtedly. However.8 million. and can be. this figure is expected to increase by 34. That’s how young this sector is in this region of the world. in which the media and state have focused endlessly on “quality of life” and “well-being. Their arrival set new standards with regards to size and quality of the infrastructure and services.S. "In the early 1980s and even more so in the 1990s . Just over three years ago." This was achieved in a short time. presenting in the Latin American Gym Forum. a profound sense of vocation. Great Companies This sector has grown rapidly in the past few years. total income for the 10 leading companies in the region was $370 million. and. This was a full 30 years before the big boom of the main gym chains in Latin America. Gold’s Gym.4%) of the 50 main chains in the region started off in the 1990s. these would add another $150. this is a business created by trainers with average or below average management skills. "In 2011. in Venice Beach." 12 IHRSA LATIN AMERICAN REPORT | Copyright 2012 IHRSA www.9% launched after the year 2000. who have grown this sector with passion. with entrepreneurs and investors (without fitness backgrounds) who see a business opportunity and decide to exploit it. for example. They have done this during times when conditions were not as favorable as at present. some succeeding more than others. and the top gym chains in the region have grown in leaps and bounds. this has begun to change. the top 10 leaders of Latin America had sales of $647. California. receptionist. who fill the roles of sales representative. the average age of club owners and founders is only 46. Consider.4%.This is how . in 2012. It is very common to find the owner/manager who multi-tasks with the help of relatives. and a great deal of effort. in 2012. and. revealed that in 2008.ihrsa.4%. However. trainer.8 million. This means that in only four years. introducing a new social idea of what a gym is.the first gym chains were born in Latin America. this figure is expected to increase by 34. Great Steps. If the next 10 companies with the greatest income in 2011 were considered (totalling 106 clubs).8 million.” With patterns in different countries.org . On a similar note. was inaugurated by Joe Gold in 1965. this is the reality of the overall market in Latin America.
” www. Interesting facts » Some important companies within the sector.6%). Colombia (10. the global fitness industry does not yet fully understand that the Latin American market is fit for growth and expansion.Of the $647. Argentina (14. These leading companies have 426 clubs operating and 112 under construction. the coach for the Brazilian national volleyball team. and the franchise Pelé Club (Brazil). in Chile. Chile and Mexico. Later. although they are unrelated. which are both run by homonymous soccer players. share the same name. vice president of international development.org Copyright 2012 IHRSA | IHRSA LATIN AMERICAN REPORT 13 . with half of the total population.4%). However. Sportlife (Peru) is owned by former tennis player Jaime Yzaga. is a shareholder in Bodytech (Brazil). Chile (9%). In addition. Considering that most of the income these companies generate comes from membership fees. depending on the point of view taken. They employ over 19. It is worth highlighting that Brazil and Mexico are the two largest economies in the region. there is Ciudad Deportiva by Iván Zamorano. John Kersh.I felt an incredible energy and I understood that the fitness industry had enormous growth opportunities.000 people and provide services to approximately 906. in Brazilian and Mexican chains. followed by Mexico (25. there are now companies within the top ten in sales in Latin America whose income comes from markets in different countries. generating approximately two thirds of the entire GDP. and Peru (0. » Some renowned brands within the sector have the support of important figures in the sports world. Bernardinho. Speedworks (Chile) is managed by Felipe Apablaza. the Chilean record-holder in the high jump. I had a similar feeling during my visits to Argentina. as well as Bodytech in Colombia and Brazil.000 users.ihrsa.which was to Brazil in 1996 . and dividing the total income by the number of accumulated members they have. the greatest share (40. I believe those opportunities still exist. which operate in different markets throughout the region. Anytime Fitness “During my first trip to South America . and I eagerly anticipate the bright future for this region. World Gym (Guatemala) belongs to the former motocross champion Juan Ramón Morales. These include Sportlife in Chile and Peru. I am confident that what lies ahead for Latin America is positive. Interestingly.8 million generated in 2011. Fortunately or unfortunately.5%). membership fees range from $120 to $200 per month. Sixteen years later.4%).1%) comes from Brazil. in a shift from three years ago. and AirSports Club (Peru) is owned by triathlete and Ironman Vladimir Figari. the average monthly fee is approximately $58.
and Martí de México group. the Chilean chain Sportlife signed a memorandum of understanding for a joint venture with the Colombian company Bodytech. replacing Héctor Troncoso Navarro. it would be a Hard Candy Fitness. Last December. who would continue chairing the management board. Hard Candy Fitness.News of the Year The end of 2011 and the first few weeks of 2012 brought some interesting and surprising news from several large companies in Latin America. an elite zone in Mexico City. and to enter the stock market. as announced by company spokespersons. Towards the end of that same month. Mexico 14 IHRSA LATIN AMERICAN REPORT | Copyright 2012 IHRSA www.org . is to duplicate operations in the region during the next five years. the company is building six more clubs. with over 150. owner of Energy gyms. as had been previously announced. about 2. it took place in July. their competitor. In January.500 employees. which is the low-cost gym model launched by the Brazilian company in 2009. This way. and have maintained their own executive teams. and Sport City became one of the first in Mexico to bet on a low-cost gym model. announced that Fabián Bifaretti Zanetto would be the new general director. where a 2. Although the inauguration of this 3. Mexican.000 square meter. At present. two important companies in the region . company founder. the gym brand launched by pop star Madonna and New Evolution Ventures (NeV).Bio Ritmo group from Brazil.announced a joint venture to introduce SmartFit in Mexico. The first steps Hard Candy Fitness took were in Mexico in November 2010. led by Mark Mastrov.ihrsa. revealed that the new club he would open in Parque Araucano would not be an Energy Aquafitness. Brazilian Bodytech announced that BTG Pactual .would acquire 30% of its stocks.700 square meter club was opened in Bosques de las Lomas. Carlos Gómez Andonaegui resigned and was replaced by Paul Smith Márquez. after leading Grupo Martí (Sport City) in Mexico for four years. SmartFit became the first gym network in Brazil to expand overseas. $4 million club was scheduled for April. Sport World. Chilean entrepreneur Alex Wiesner. The initial investment of $5 million was to open the first five units. Colombian Bodytech revealed that they would be receiving a private investment fund of $40 million from Teka Capital to consolidate their expansion. and sales projected for 2012 of about $125 million. who had served as the company’s finance director. At the beginning of April. In July. This fusion of both companies joins 82 clubs operating in Chile. Colombia and Peru.000 active customers. Rather. mainly in the Brazilian. In June. Both companies have continued to work independently in each country. Peruvian and Chilean markets. The objective of this fusion. Colombian. Towards the end of February. also the owner of the Sport City club chain .one of the main investment Banks in Brazil .
Pilates.have chosen to expand their businesses in the short and medium term. Quick Fit is the 30-minute gym launched by Energy in Chile. investment funds and franchises are a few of the words which best describe the roads which most of this sector . in the United States. bureaucracy. which Sportlife chose to expand in Peru to reach districts with lower incomes. In January 2012. or through franchises . new players as well as existing ones are exploring niche offerings – women-only. in areas or cities which are more competitive (given that they already have a good offering in terms of quantity and quality of sports clubs).org Copyright 2012 IHRSA | IHRSA LATIN AMERICAN REPORT 15 . etc. The first was Argentine Sports Club that arrived in Spain in 2004 with 10 branches under the name of Polideportivos y Fitness. California. mega-acquisitions. and Fitness One on One is the personal training studio of MultiSpa in Costa Rica. Generally. Colombia Fusions. – or creating alternative brands to provide services to those with lower incomes. alliances. employees and competitors with which they are already familiar. linked very closely to this.Road to Expansion Bodytech. Limited internationalization is mainly due to the fact that generally. most prefer to explore options for expanding within their own countries with laws. In more developed markets in which heavily populated areas with higher income levels have become overcrowded. Some examples include: Entrenna. Brazilian chain SmartFit launched in Mexico. consumers.so that someone else is putting their capital at risk. In 2010. for finding adequate locations at an acceptable value. In 2008. large chains choose to buy units which are already operating.though mainly the large companies which set the pace in Latin America . niches. and Life Sport & Fitness. the sub-brand under which Sport City (Mexico) opens clubs in popular areas at lower rates. Colombian Bodytech launched in Peru. two major issues are at stake: financing (access to capital) and. opened b2be Sports & Wellness in Chula Vista.ihrsa. whether such growth will be with self-owned units. founder of Sports World Mexico. swimming pools. When expansion and growth plans are discussed. www. motivated also by real estate related issues. Few brands in Latin America were able to make a huge commercial leap and internationalize. Héctor Tronocoso. fast circuits.
and banks have been cautious about approving and providing funding. Peru and Chile. it was recently made known that Harp Helú intends to "delist" company titles. Brazil 16 IHRSA LATIN AMERICAN REPORT | Copyright 2012 IHRSA www. which belongs to Grupo Martí. and SEAF (in 2007) with BodyTech in Colombia and Peru. only three companies . taking advantage of the benefits of Mila (Mercado Integrado de las Bolsas . two of the 10 main companies in the sector are public.the financial market does not yet view it very favorably.org . and BTG Pactual (in 2012) with Bodytech in Brazil. most companies must fund their growth with capital generated by the same business. and both are Mexican. . Pioneers in this field were: Eagle (in 2000) with Runner in Brazil. However. CEO of Bodytech Brazil. For this reason.. which usually impacts negatively on the speed with which they can expand. There is no specific date for this yet. Town Sports International and Health Fitness Corp. However. which were purchased in 2007 by Alfredo Harp Helú. "In Latin America. which also owns about 200 sports stores. an old shareholder from Banamex financial group. "We await the consolidation of our operations in Colombia.S. providing investors with opportunities. In Latin America.Integrated Stock Market). some companies have managed to spark the interest of investment funds.S) to trade in the stock market (BMV Bolsa Mexicana de Valores). and both are Mexican". One is the Sport City chain. Following the same path. More recent cases include: Banco Pátria (in 2010) with Bio Ritmo in Brazil. and facilitating access to credits.ihrsa. “We have an important and aggressive growth project. founded in 1996 by Héctor Troncoso. says. two of the 10 main companies in the sector are public. Sports World group. the three main operators are also public companies: Konami Sports. we intend to make an IPO (Initial Public Offering) with the purpose of accessing new resources. We will do it when the timing is right in the market and for the company. Interest rates are high. In Japan.are publicly traded. Nicolás Loaiza. also went public (under the symbol SPORT.as well as the young age of the sector . thus doubling the chain size in the two years since its stocks were listed.” Runner. Teka Capital (in 2012) with Bodytech in Colombia.Access to Capital Due to the informality of many companies . However. then Nexxus Capital (in 2005) with Sport World in Mexico." Luiz Urquiza. Even in the U. With the implementation of this plan. Few companies in the sector are listed in the stock exchange market. Renaissance Sports and Central Sports. in October 2010. We believe that 2014 could be the year for going public and listing in the stock market. the company aspires to have 28 clubs operating. Bodytech plans to move in the same direction.Life Time Fitness. says. this is not unique to the Latin American industry. By the end of 2012. president of Bodytech Colombia.
with 30 more expected to open by 2015. Few European brands have managed to set foot in Latin America through franchises. three in Honduras. two in Caracas. this well-known brand was unable to prosper. The Little Gym. One of its major competitors. where two units are now in operation. Guatemala. and another in Puebla. four in both Uruguay and Venezuela. Uruguay Of all the traditional. The American franchise of personal training studios. Gold’s Gym currently operates in the Dominican Republic. Chile and the south of Brazil. and one each in Peru and Paraguay. launched in June 2009 and has five units open in Brazil.Franchising Growth Although the fitness sector in Latin America is still at an infant stage as far as franchising is concerned. which consists of smaller units in more populated areas at lower rates. opening in Montevideo in late 2011. Gold’s Gym is the American franchise which has achieved the most success in Latin America. Venezuela. operates one unit in Mexico and another in Puerto Rico. "There are already 13 American and two European brands with franchised centers in the region".has the largest number of franchised centers in Latin America with 437 branches: 188 in Brazil. a Spanish franchise with three centers in Madrid which specialize in esthetics and weight loss. Ecuador. Balli is currently negotiating the acquisition of this master brand with Gold’s Gym International (GGI) for Argentina. all in Sao Paulo.org Copyright 2012 IHRSA | IHRSA LATIN AMERICAN REPORT 17 . Portuguese women-only gym franchise Vivafit chose Uruguay as its first entry point in Latin America. one in Mexico City. and four more which intend to do so. In Peru. on the other hand. In Brazil and Argentina. 15 each in Colombia. www. In Mexico. Curves . Vivafit. the last two of which opened in 2011 with an express format. Its competitor. seven each in Guatemala and Panama. 25 in Argentina. there are eight Latin American brands growing within and outside their markets of origin through franchises. there are already 13 American and two European brands with franchised centers in the region. Venezuela. Contours Express first opened in Latin America in January 2007 in Costa Rica. 142 in Mexico. One is Vibro Slim & Fit. Peru and Mexico. My Gym counts eight units in Brazil and two in Mexico.ihrsa. there are currently 11 Gold’s Gym units in operation. Contours Express. Likewise. The brand will also look for opportunities in Argentina. multipurpose gyms. The master franchise contract signed by Uruguayan entrepreneur Ulises Fontanini calls for 20 units in Uruguay during the first three years.the American franchise of express women-only gyms founded in 1992 . there are 12 gyms. six in El Salvador. Fitness Together. two each in Chile and Nicaragua. has 74 units operating in 18 states in Brazil. It operates two units in Mexico. Costa Rica. Two of the top franchises of children’s gyms in the American market also have a presence in Latin America. Ecuador and Costa Rica. where they arrived in 1997 via Fabrizio Balli.
Gold’s Gym’s most recent successful development is the one managed by Andrés Capriles since 2007 in Venezuela. In this country. The fifth Gold’s Gym is under construction and will open before the end of the year in a studio format in the private Club Los Cortijos. there is a fourth gym being built (14. they count five units operating. already has two units operating in Puerto Rico. counts two franchised units in Venezuela. Dominican Republic 18 IHRSA LATIN AMERICAN REPORT | Copyright 2012 IHRSA www. In Guatemala. The company expects to close out the year with 15.org . the renowned former motocross runner. gym franchise. they have two branches in Costa Rica. of which four are in the federal district (two in Brasilia and two in Taguatinga) and one is in Florianópolis. and. currently has eight gyms in operation and four under construction. which currently Gold ́ s Gym. at least in their initial phases. In Mexico. the low-cost U. five of which just opened in 2011. the American 24/7 franchise. one in Puerto Rico. Planet Fitness. For many years. already operates 17 franchises in Mexico. Peru. Last June. World Gym operated in a shopping mall in Lima. Ladies of America.S.Ian Rondon.000 square meters). Gold’s Gym now has 10 branches. three units are being built in the Dominican Republic and are scheduled to open in November 2012.ihrsa. and another in Ecuador. In Brazil. One of the most successful Latin American franchises is Sportlife in Chile. World Gym has sole branches in Mexico (in the city of Monterrey). under the leadership of Juan Ramón Morales. they count seven more gyms in this country. which will be inaugurated in March 2013. the master franchisee for the Caribbean and Central America. Snap Fitness. which belongs to Sportlife. World Gym is another American brand which has established a presence in the region through franchises. along with the Ladies Workout Express brand. and another in Maracay. its main competitor in the American market. one in Guatemala. until they were recently acquired by the local chain Life Sports & Fitness.the first in a non-capital city. Maracaibo . and to reach 30 units by 2013. has grown his portfolio of clubs significantly since the first Gold’s Gym opened in the Dominican Republic in 1999. Costa Rica and El Salvador. owned by former tennis player Jaime Yzaga. At present. Anytime Fitness. Additionally. this entrepreneur opened his fourth gym in the country in Doral Mall. one in Caracas. Both companies have chosen. to focus on non-capital cities outside of the federal district in Mexico City. under the name HCOA (Health Clubs of America). The LOA Fitness for Woman brand has eight centers in Puerto Rico.
is a franchise. At present. Of these. and Pacific Fitness from Chile. the company is evaluating changing horizons and gearing towards franchising before the end of the year and is conducting a pilot test with a gym in an area within Sao Paulo. as of only recently. located in Brazil. The company aspires to reach 44 gyms of its own and 46 franchises by the end of 2012. Formula Fitness. 28 are franchises.org Copyright 2012 IHRSA | IHRSA LATIN AMERICAN REPORT 19 . Overall. initially chose to expand through licenses instead of franchises. In fact. one of which is a franchise. the capital city. Bio Ritmo Group also expects growth through franchising of its two brands: Bio Ritmo and Smart Fit. emphasizing areas outside of Santiago. Brazil’s Runner network. and a few countries in Asia. although no agreements have been signed.000 square meters). they count three units operating (one of their own and two franchises) and expect to open five more by the beginning of 2013. three are franchises. Of the 22 existing Bio Ritmo clubs in Brazil. With franchises. for the moment. but throughout Latin America. Bodytech Group introduced the Formula brand as a smaller gym model (400-1. expects growth through franchising. Likewise. 16 licensed clubs in operation. has eight gyms (seven of which are franchises) in Querétaro and one in the federal district. the company counts eight clubs of its own. Scandinavia Gym chains from Guatemala. There are 24 more under construction.ihrsa. Energy Fitness is another Chilean company that is exploring franchising. and another seven are being built. a brand born in 2005. In Brazil. growth among fitness companies who bet on franchising in Latin America ended up being slower than initially expected. where it is said negotiations are taking place. At present. born in 2007. Some leading chains that also developed a franchise concept later lacked interest or were unable to follow that growth line and preferred opening clubs as part of a chain. Smart Fit counts 46 units which are open (43 in Brazil and 3 in Mexico). www. in Brazil. In this case. 4U GYM®.counts 40 gyms (plus five under construction). In Mexico. eight clubs (three of which are franchises) operate under the brand name Energy. offering bodybuilding. A year later. Three more are being built. SmartFit also announced several franchises would open this year. in July 2011. founded in 1983 by Mário Sérgio Moreira. two Quick Fit gyms are open and. In this country. Only one. of which 23 (17 in Brazil and 6 in Mexico) are their own and the other (in Brazil) is a franchise. The company projects to open 10 franchises for this brand within the next four years. advanced negotiations are underway in two South American countries. Brazil they intend to reach strategic zones and capital cities in Brazil where they do not own operations. This company also looks towards the U.S. In Chile. cardio and group fitness. It belongs to the American holding New Evolution Ventures™ (NEV). Also in this country. there is only one unit in the federal district. Pelé Club. with lower membership fees ($79/month) than those of their Bodytech clubs. they expect to expand not only to cities within Brazil. the country is home to one Hard Candy Fitness (HCF). revealed some time ago that they plan to grow through franchises. However. The overall growth plan involves opening four franchises per year until 12 are reached. Formula has a unit of its own and 16 franchises sold. However.
Bonga Gym already counts three units . BasicFit (the Netherlands) and The Gym (England). for the time being. The monthly fee at SmartFit is about $25. Setting up these gyms requires an investment of $1. conditions are ripe for a similar phenomenon to repeat with CrossFit. Unlike a low-cost European gym. With clean and pleasant environments.500 square meters. a SmartFit gym has about 15 employees per club. On average. Mexico From Pilates to CrossFit In the new millennium. With aggressive price strategies and focusing strongly on technology and a high level of operating efficiency. a commercial phenomenon has flooded the physical activity world in various markets: Pilates studios. requiring fewer employees. Unlike SmartFit.000 per square meter. However. Smart Fit. Italy. All include large areas for bodybuilding and cardio. and with few price options. which has grown around the world mainly through franchising. which is present in both Brazil and Mexico. with the slogan “highest quality at the lowest price (starting at $28)”.ihrsa. One of the most notable brands in the sector is Tamara Di Tella Pilates.200-1. Although it may be too soon to tell.Izcalli and Perinorte in Mexico State. 20 IHRSA LATIN AMERICAN REPORT | Copyright 2012 IHRSA www. In Mexico. one case to highlight is the aforementioned Brazilian brand SmartFit. This physical training methodology combines functional exercise using the weight of the body along with Olympic weightlifting and aerobic activities such as running or rowing. they offer consumers only the essentials. Bonga Gym’s owners are not considering the possibility of franchising their business model.Low-Cost Revolution One of the newest and most successful models. although the company is conducting pilot tests in Brazil with smaller units. which managed to have dozens of franchises all over Latin America as well as in Germany. and Azcapoztalco in Mexico City .800-$2. these gyms encourage self-service. is low-cost gyms.org . Without long-term contracts. the low-cost gym concept has not yet fully taken off. McFit (Germany).).and planned to open a fourth branch in October and a fifth in January 2013. enabling them to get a business started with very low investment and reach their desired economic independence. In Latin America. fully equipped with a variety of equipment and usually without classes. the size of SmartFit gyms ranges from 1. Pilates was a quick and effective self-employment means for trainers. but do not offer group fitness or personal training. Some of the most renowned brands include Planet Fitness (U. The technique proved to be efficient and safe and therefore had great appeal.S. budget clubs are dominating the international scene. whereas a Bio Ritmo or Sport City club has a monthly fee of approximately $120-$200. established in the 1990s. Brazil and the United States.
without internal divisions or rooms. dipping belts. the sports brand Reebok decided to associate with CrossFit. mostly (2. speed. dumbbells. two in Guatemala. It does. Inc. also known as the Fitness Olympics. bands. Each session lasts 60 minutes and consists of warmup. sandbags. The challenges change each year and are kept secret until the events take place. two in Costa Rica. however.000 centers affiliated in 67 countries. medicine balls. sledgehammers. Sessions are called WOD (“Workout of the Day”) and only vary in intensity and weight load.org Copyright 2012 IHRSA | IHRSA LATIN AMERICAN REPORT 21 . are four in Argentina. is an American company founded in 2000 by Greg Glassman. nine in Brazil. agility and balance. two in the Dominican Republic and one in Puerto Rico. box jumps. five in Panama. athletes compete in a variety of training circuits. Each “box” gym has about 200 square meters and is rectangular. Setting up a CrossFit gym does not require great investment in equipment.CrossFit does not train muscles separately. strength. an annual fee of $3. WOD and back to ease. and two in Peru. In Latin America. involving all physical capacities: resistance. the body is considered a whole unit and is therefore worked through exercises which engage several muscle groups at a time.S. tractor tires. CrossFit Additionally. gathering 50 men and 50 women who battle to be crowned the most fit person in the world. flexibility. A CrossFit gym tends to have about 150 members who pay a monthly fee which is much higher than what traditional gyms charge. At present. a few specific elements. there are 4. there are eight centers affiliated. Instead. require investment in training. Participants must be prepared for the unpredictable. etc. nine in Ecuador. three in Central America and the Caribbean. six in Chile. rubber discs. power. CrossFit can be performed by men and women of different ages and varying fitness levels. coordination. and a garage or warehouse. five in Colombia. overcoming very intense physicals tests. The annual Reebok CrossFit Games take place over three days. there CrossFit www. This phenomenon has had such growth worldwide that in 2011.ihrsa.000 for training at level 1. Once again. It is equipped with kettlebells. In South America. Olympic bars.100) in the U.000 is charged as well as $1. weight vests. In Mexico. In these games. ropes. this proposal has been widely accepted. balls. trainers have the possibility of starting a business with low initial investment and good profit potential. CrossFit.
org . and involves managing growth. Lastly. Management of a gym or sports club is no easy task.Main Difficulties 4U Gym. and others are internal. finding locations. Tax burdens: High taxes . there are a number of obstacles to be overcome.are a headache for many. crushing prices. 2) The low percentage of people who do attend gyms is very volatile and unstable in their consumption behavior.especially those related to rent and salary payments . there are new actors such as gyms within condominiums.ihrsa. and old actors reappear such as social and sports clubs that become an interesting alternative through the options they offer consumers. Mexico On the growth path the fitness sector is following. Competition: The lack of regulations within the sector gives place to a certain informality in which many gyms operate generating disloyal competition.a competitor with subsidies on their community gyms.which are not paid by all and that must be assumed by companies which chose a formal business scheme . keeping costs under control . and dragging the market to a depredating war in which most lose. far below what they allocate to other activities such as entertainment. Still. A survey conducted by Mercado Fitness in February 2010. On the other hand. Lack of awareness: The little importance most of the population places on physical activity for health tends to lead to the following three consequences: 1) Most of the population does not attend gyms. 3) Those who do consume this service are only willing to pay a minimum percentage of their income. entrepreneurs within the sector state that their main internal difficulty is staff management. Some of the difficulties faced by entrepreneurs are external and mainly associated to the markets.and improving sales and retention ratios. which surveyed 53 companies 22 IHRSA LATIN AMERICAN REPORT | Copyright 2012 IHRSA www. the government is in some markets . meaning specifically related to this business.
These difficulties affect both small companies and large chains. and then train and frequently evaluate them. disparity of opportunities to a certain extent for entrepreneurs whose clubs are located outside of these cities.” This translates into results such as tardiness. This implies a need for strict and permanent supervision of staff and their work on behalf of the managers. in markets with a richer history of fitness. lack of initiative and delivery. entrepreneurs must search for better professionals who are also better prepared.who “are honest and have the attitude it takes” for performing well. 2) Motivation: Nearly half (41. and inferior customer service. where the offering of specialized fitness is scarce or at a low level. technical competence is not questioned as much as the attitude of the professionals and their lack of focus on customer service. it is clear that operators must assume responsibility for training their workers to the point that some leading companies have created their own training centers. There is a lack of good trainers for bodybuilding as well as for leading group fitness classes. Consequently.throughout Latin America (representing 551 sports clubs and 21. which many refer to as “irresponsible and informal. Brazil www. but it also impacts planning and growth rates. as in other sectors. In less developed markets. This makes the staff selection process difficult and obliges companies to invest in the development of their people.ihrsa. These results are critical in a sector which becomes more and more competitive and in which more demanding and informed consumers prevail with expectations of better results. there is a lack of qualified human resources . In any case.5%) of the entrepreneurs who were surveyed mentioned poor motivation levels among employees. questioning in regards to lack of professional formation remains an issue.400 workers) specifically revealed such difficulties and brought to light some key indicators for human resources. However. This is mainly due to the fact that most were trained to educate children in schools. "One of the greatest challenge is employee management. because training people requires both time and money. This scarcity in the market of qualified professionals not only makes it difficult for companies within the sector in Latin America to operate on a daily basis. or to train athletes. the vast majority of training opportunities are concentrated in the large metropolis. which generates Formula Fitness. such as Sport City University and MultiSpa Institute." 1) Training: According to 68% of the companies surveyed.from both a professional and technical point of view .org Copyright 2012 IHRSA | IHRSA LATIN AMERICAN REPORT 23 . Accessing such training can involve high costs. In addition.
This complex scenario becomes even more challenging due to another important problem which entrepreneurs within the sector face: high turnover levels that increase training costs.4%) as are physical/ medical evaluations (49. Personal training is provided by internal staff (60. • Kind of work relation: 80% of workers are directly employed. hence. generates complications. Such is the case for instructors of group classes who tend to have several hourly classes scheduled in different gyms and who do not have a formal work relationship with any of them.1%). which is usually a much better paid position than simply supervising a bodybuilding room.4%). and 57% leave the restaurant/bar in the hands of an outside party. 4) Legislation: Lastly. Key Indicators Although the following data obtained from the survey conducted by Mercado Fitness in 2010 does not represent the market as a whole. unless his or her career is reformulated. Some defined the employment methods they use as “sui generis” (or “unique”). Nutritional assessment is offered by internal staff (43. • Outsourcing: Many club managers may hire an outside vendor for select club operations as select results indicate that not all day-to-day tasks and non-dues services are conducted in-house. and instead relates to the largest companies within the sector which were interviewed.org . Sounds like a age discrimination. they often feel that working at a gym is simply a means to a better job. whereas the sports store is outsourced (40%) along with esthetics-tanning-spa services (38%). 57% of clubs perform maintenance and cleaning with their own staff. This also commonly results in a low commitment level on behalf of these professionals towards the places where they work. it will be unlikely for them to find a job in a health club. which places many in a situation of legal insecurity. which is even more alarming. but many entrepreneurs agree that once a fitness professional is over 50 years old. formalizing such work relations is so expensive that doing so would jeopardize the profitability of the business. mainly in reception and sales areas. With trainers. Their search for better-paying job alternatives shows that the level of commitment to the company on the part of trainers is below the company’s expectations.6%) of the companies surveyed stated that employee turnover.ihrsa. when considering that they represent half of the industry’s workforce. several highlighted the absence of specific and adequate work legislation for the sector – what some call a “legal void”. 24 IHRSA LATIN AMERICAN REPORT | Copyright 2012 IHRSA www. Instead. the situation does not differ much. 3) Employee Turnover: Nearly one quarter (22. In many countries. This occurs mainly with the employment method used for employees who work few hours per week and are paid by the hour.9% of gym entrepreneurs surveyed commented on issues related to work legislation for the sector in Latin American markets. meaning they work by the hour teaching classes at different gyms. In fact. Those who perform these functions rarely envision growth opportunities. A specific issue is how attractive they find the function of being a personal trainer. In addition. an important part of the workforce – group class instructors – tend to incline towards multi-employment. 18. and 20% are independent and provide services or are employed by an external supplier for the club. For example. they work as external service providers. such data will at least serve as a reference point for the reader to understand some of the key indicators within this business.
org Copyright 2012 IHRSA | IHRSA LATIN AMERICAN REPORT 25 .). it is 30% and in Costa Rica. a coordinator $1. adding further value to offerings and proposals.• Sports Staff: 50% of the workforce in companies within the sector belong to the sports area (trainers. etc. Bonuses and commissions enable these employees to sometimes even double their monthly base salaries. • Customers per Employee: The companies surveyed employ one worker (whether direct or external) for every 29 customers. a sales rep $350 and a receptionist $400. 26%. • Stressing creativity and innovation in terms of marketing and sales strategies. Sedentary www. according to the survey. whereas in Argentina it varies between 30% and 35%. In Colombia. If these are segmented by number of employees. • Increasing the number of members and improving retention levels.ihrsa.500 per month. On the other end. For many fitness professionals. Gold´s Gym There are still companies without a variable component in terms of payment of their employees. a regular teacher $450. awards for results consist of three hours of personal training within the same club which enable them to earn between three and four times more than what they make per hour in their other functions. kinesiologists. Functions which usually receive rewards or commissions are managerial (in 38% of cases) and sales reps (in 45% of cases). Salaries by Country: Honduras and Bolivia are the countries that register the lowest salaries within the sector. The first group can be summarized as follows: • Improving service quality. companies Main Challenges Challenges the sector faces can be divided in to internal and external. payroll overhead ranges between 60% and 100%. • Keeping employees motivated and reducing their turnover rates. Taxes: A frequent complaint among entrepreneurs in some of the markets within the region is related to taxes. With regards to external challenges. coaches. • Cost reduction without affecting quality. respectively. for purposes of improving profitability margins. which ranges between 30% and 40%. instructors. on average. in Mexico and Brazil are the ones with the highest salaries. it is essential to educate and create awareness in a greater percentage of the population on the benefits of physical activity for improving quality of life.000. In Brazil. Salaries and Taxes: Companies within the sector invest an average of 35% of their revenue in payments to employees and the state as salaries and taxes. for instance. there is no significant variation in this central tendency value. according to entrepreneurs. Group fitness instructors earn $10 per hour. • Salaries: A branch manager gets paid $1.
nor must it only be associated to esthetic benefits. many surveyed companies agree on the need to develop bonds with professionals from the medical community who can potentially become awareness generators and eventually drive customers to the sector. chambers could advise legislators on the creation of a regulatory framework for the sector. for example. entrepreneurs within the sector expect a stronger commitment on behalf of the state to concrete changes in the current policies and support for making way to promote physical activity within the population." Physical activity must not be considered a luxury. many attempts failed during the past decade. developing and strengthening alliances is another great challenge to be faced. agreements with other health companies and enable the unification of criteria for making proposals and presentations before government bodies with the purpose of promoting development in public policies and laws to promote physical activity. the potential market and growth opportunities are enormous. and the creation of an association is in progress in Tijuana. In this context. etc. Entities of this kind exist in Argentina and Brazil. The population needs to understand that exercise is a preventive health tool and a main ally against countless non-transmissible diseases. The great challenge in this sense is to prove to companies that the investment made in well-being programs will have an excellent "Main demands focus on creating laws which will lower taxes. reducing VAT taxes from 21% to 10. In this sense. absenteeism. the Chilean Chamber of Sports was created at the end of 2010. return in terms of greater productivity. with or without chambers. highlighting the positive influence on their health and well-being. Likewise. although it has had little activity. In Mexico. In Chile." For example. Formalizing entrepreneurship groupings for this sector through these kinds of entities will facilitate.people must be encouraged to form the habit of doing physical activity. 26 IHRSA LATIN AMERICAN REPORT | Copyright 2012 IHRSA www. To this effect. acknowledging the contribution gyms make to society as health agents and promoters of healthy habits. In addition.org . In any case. Precisely.5%. CGA hopes to count on support from the Buenos Aires Commerce and Industry Federation.ihrsa. main demands focus on creating laws which will lower taxes along with others which will enable the formalization of work relations given that “profit cannot be based on informality. Seen this way.” "It is essential to educate and create awareness in a greater percentage of the population on the benefits of physical activity for improving quality of life. at present. One of the main allies must be the corporate sector in order for workers to do more physical activity. lower health costs. many agree on the need to promote organized entities to represent them before the state as well as other organizations. the Argentine Chamber of Gymnasiums is working on a project for the state to consider fitness centers as healthrelated companies.
diabetes. regular physical activity. It consists of a guide whose main objective is precisely to guide health professionals in prescribing physical activity and making progress in the creation of healthy environments in order for the population to be able to perform physical activity regularly. smoking. In Colombia. In Peru. strokes.State and Public Policies About 60% of world expenses in health are related to chronic. stress.cardiovascular. “Physical Activity National Plan” was launched. Faced with this scenario. Health and Education Ministries have implemented “Healthy Kiosks” to promote adequate eating habits in the educational community. and drug consumption. building bike paths and healthy parks. They launched a program called “5 Steps. www. health authorities developed a free DVD with software that assesses the level of physical activity for each employee and schedules an appropriate exercise program. inadequate diets. etc.ihrsa. walking and biking. poor eating habits. encouraging active break hours. cancers. acknowledging sedentarism as a public health issue.116 schools. Michelle Obama. and the Colombian Physical Activity Network fight against sedentarism through fitness programs encouraging physical activity. In Argentina. Government authorities in Mexico also understood that improving the quality of life of their population could save money on health care. where child obesity is a serious problem. In its first year.” among other measures. improvements in sports infrastructure in 1. non-transmissible diseases . the bike route program uses the most important streets as tracks which are closed to traffic during six hours on holidays and Sundays for widespread recreation: running. the “Active Colombia” program. In Paraguay. etc.org Copyright 2012 IHRSA | IHRSA LATIN AMERICAN REPORT 27 . the government installed “Healthy Stations” in different strategic points throughout the city and has built over 80 kilometers of bike paths. the Health Ministry has recently launched the first Director Manual for Physical Activity and Health.whose evolution is associated with unhealthy lifestyles resulting from sedentarism. the Ministry of Tourism and Sports presented “Become Active at Work”. In Uruguay. some governments in Latin America have reacted with the implementation of public policies which tend to correct such unhealthy habits by driving programs which promote. implementation of a “Sports on Your Street” plan and publishing of “Healthy Cooking. community plans were launched to promote health throughout the country with recreational sports workshops in 891 schools. In Argentina. alcohol. obesity. which has existed since 2002. In Bogota. for example. Both public initiatives were inspired by the program “Let’s Move!” which is conducted by the first lady of the United States. .” which resembles the one in Chile. In Buenos Aires. which is a guide with exercises that workers can perform in their offices. Chile’s “Choosing to Live Healthily” is a good example.
org .One of the healthiest initiatives which has succeeded throughout different cities in Latin America during the past five years has been the creation of active or health plazas/parks/squares. If there were still any doubts as to the benefits of these measures. which reflect a greater interest on behalf of the government authorities in that aspect." It can clearly be seen that public measures have been taken to promote healthy habits.resistant to outdoor weather and vandalism . Hundreds of municipalities have installed basic. a recent study conducted in Chile by the Architecture Department in Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María confirmed that the construction of bike paths and active parks has a positive impact on the physical activity level of the population. "The construction of bike paths and active parks has a positive impact on the physical activity level of the population. 28 IHRSA LATIN AMERICAN REPORT | Copyright 2012 IHRSA www.for working out in green spaces out in the open air. easy-to-use equipment . There is still much to be done by the government authorities. However.ihrsa. entrepreneurs who own sports clubs and gyms in the region maintain a very critical and skeptical view in relation to these initiatives.
274 km2 Population: 40. 33%).9%. and Europe. sedentarism in Argentina climbed from 46. Men are more likely to be active than women (51% vs. A report conducted in 2011 by TNS Argentina yields similar figures: 4 out of 10 Argentineans (42%) claim to exercise at least once a week. whereas today it is just 6. www.7%). our employment rate reached 25%.724. lack of interest and motivation (15.8 habitants per km2 GDP per capita: $10. We are confident that the size of our business will double within the next 10 years.ihrsa.S. We who run company management within the sector take note of this. Guido Miguez. according to data obtained from the Risk Factors National Survey conducted by the National Health Ministry. In 2001. This survey also revealed that the main justifications for not engaging in physical activity are: lack of time (40.941 Currency: Argentine Peso Language: Spanish Between 2005 and 2009. and the key to growth has undoubtedly been the people who choose to consume more fitness and who reward quality service. and those who exercise at least once a week have higher socioeconomic levels (51% upper and upper middle class versus 35% lower class). we have been witnesses and key actors in one of the most incredible periods of the short history of the sector in Argentina. Those under 25 years of age are more likely to be active (51% vs. precisely when the industry attempted to consolidate itself. We hope the government will acknowledge the relevancy of this sector in promoting well-being and consider us health companies. our sector is taking shape. our economy experienced an economic crisis.3%). do our homework. and train our teams to constantly innovate.4%) and lack of money (7.MARKET BY MARKET ARGENTINA Capital: Buenos Aires Area: 3.761. far below levels in the U.8%.3%).2% to 54. 37% of those over age 65). a little over 5% of the population attends a gym. At present. among others.269 Density: 10. health problems (24. lack of will power (8. In Argentina. general director of Megatlon In recent years. Back then.org Copyright 2012 IHRSA | IHRSA LATIN AMERICAN REPORT 29 .8%).
The two largest operators within the region concentrate most of their branches in Buenos Aires City and the suburban belt around the City of Buenos Aires. As a sector. our annual inflation rates range between 20% and 25%. and adjust expenditures in order to maintain adequate service and maintain profitability. service quality has also increased considerably. "Gyms as a whole have an annual sales volume in memberships of about $930 million. At a country level. and salary increases compromise ongoing profitability.000 customers comprise 17. Preference varies according to the profile of those surveyed: sports are chosen by men and youth.2% of transactions.org . According to TNS. Likewise. This data was obtained from a survey conducted in April 2012 by Mercado Fitness of 549 gym and/or sports club managers in Argentina. those interviewed indicate the main reasons they exercise are: for fun (41%. David Btesh. The payment method most commonly used is cash. whereas credit cards comprise a scarce 4%.7% of the total. Small and medium size gyms clearly predominate in the Argentine market.000 members." The kind of membership most widely sold is monthly (82.2%. preferred activities are sports (33%) and walks (32%) followed by attending a gym (17%). This is the context in which about 6. In addition. whereas women and the elderly prefer walks. Further down on the list. and labor laws do not serve to improve the quality of employment. who represent a little under 5. There is Megatlon 30 IHRSA LATIN AMERICAN REPORT | Copyright 2012 IHRSA www.600 gyms operate at present.000 individuals. accounting for 89. The next few months will be important for the gym sector in Argentina. The total number of fitness consumers in this country is estimated to be 2. reinvest. we have witnessed a significant growth in both the number of gyms and the number of consumers who understand the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. director of Sport Club In the past 10 years.7% of the population. followed by annual memberships at 4. for health reasons or medical advice (33%. The tax burden is high. One-third are within the metropolitan area of Buenos Aires City and Greater Buenos Aires in Argentina. which must redefine pricing policies.9%). which increases to 56% among men versus 21% among women). yet prices remain lower than those in other markets.For those who indicate that they regularly exercise. which increases to 42% among females versus 26% among men). we still have major challenges to be overcome in the next few years.8% of the market and those with over 1. the reality is a bit different: gyms with fewer than 200 members represent 38. bank loans are inaccessible (or are more like “iron lifesavers” due to high interest rates). nearly half of the fitness centers have fewer than 200 clients and barely 6% serve more than 1. Gyms as a whole have an annual sales volume in memberships of about $930 million (the average monthly membership fee is $33). to release stress (24%) and to lose or maintain weight (21%).ihrsa. In Buenos Aires.290. jogging is chosen by 11% of those interviewed.
000 customers. making them real and lasting.ihrsa. are aware of their power of decision and point it out more and more. and Body Builder’s (3) in the north. gym operators in Argentina have become aware of the need for adopting a commercial vision of their businesses in order to be competitive: to understand and see their gyms as companies. Sport Club chain has 26 units operating. and Le Parc (2). consumers have also evolved and. In greater Buenos Aires. Aires Up (4). Argentina www. 1. those which stand out are: Open Park (3) in the west.600 employees. technical director of Body Systems During the past 10 years.all of which enable the consumer to use these factors as negotiation elements when deciding which services to purchase. and 80.Gabriela Retamar. with 23 branches. some of the leading clubs include Flex Gym (6) in Mar del Plata. Other renowned brands in Buenos Aires City are: Wellclub (5 locations). In addition. Megatlon. 1. People receive a great deal of information regarding physical activity and the market offering increases by the moment . and their students as clients. American Sports (4). In this context. their instructors as service providers. Nowadays. four more under construction. the greatest challenge the sector faces is to transform informality into professionalism in order to generate value.org Copyright 2012 IHRSA | IHRSA LATIN AMERICAN REPORT 31 . as such. and 102. it is still difficult to embrace a real change in behavior which will enable them to implement such changes. for many. Vip Gym (3) in the south.000 users. 10 corporate gyms. Further inland.000 employees. However. Ergo Club (5) in Córdoba and Jockey Gym (4) in Tucumán. Terra (4) in Neuquén.
BOLIVIA Capital: La Paz Population: 10. and in Santa Cruz de la Sierra. Aymara Bolivia does not escape the general trend in terms of obesity.org . Go Fitness & Spa.778 Area: 1. Premier Fitness Club is the only gym chain in the country with 5.098. Faced with this situation. founder and director of Premier gyms The sector has really evolved during the past 10 years . to look good. or with the goal to break up their work routines and escape from daily stress. The most affected regions are La Paz. the sector has developed most within these same cities. Santa Cruz and Cochabamba. we still encounter various difficulties. Some of the key actors are: in La Paz. but also in terms of how people have changed their habits and how they choose to work out for health reasons.907. given that our monthly membership fees are low. Forma. and to obtain some kind of benefit in terms of tax exemption and/or preferential tariff rates through the Sports Ministry for importing fitness equipment. which increases investment significantly and slows return.ihrsa. and one out of every four children is overweight or obese. according to data provided by the National Non-Transmissible Diseases Program run by the Health Ministry. especially in the western region of the country.580 km2 Density: 9. Ironically. our most important challenges are to train our collaborators in order to offer consumers professional services. However. 32 IHRSA LATIN AMERICAN REPORT | Copyright 2012 IHRSA www. In this country. A major one is finding trained people to staff clubs. Body Masters.000 users and five branches operating. Vip Center and Club Gym Shop. Ricardo Issa. Another is high taxation rates on the equipment we import.not only in terms of technology and equipment in gyms.421 Currency: Bolivian Peso Language: Spanish.928 habitants/km2 GDP per capita: $2. in Cochabamba. Quechua. 30% of the population suffers from this disease.
this market continues expanding. In private clubs. in addition to a monthly maintenance fee which ranges from $50 to $100.000 and $20. but not to the same extent in terms of training professionals. the capital city. with about 200 users each who pay an average membership fee of $20 per month. This is mainly due to the lack of plans for health promotion and improvements to quality of life . The negative aspect of this scenario is that the market does not have a guide to follow and has stagnated with gym concepts from the 70s.I believe that. Xavier Iturralde. especially in Santa Cruz de la Sierra. Premier Fitness. 80s and 90s (in the best cases). on average.not only in the private sector. commercial director of VIP GYM The market in Bolivia. because despite some low-quality gyms. These are the same reasons why the potential for boosting development is even greater. reveals that the size of these centers is 320 square meters. which offer various sports activities. Bolivia www.000. as a sector. membership fees charged range between $5. With innovation and focusing attention on global tendencies .org Copyright 2012 IHRSA | IHRSA LATIN AMERICAN REPORT 33 . Even at present.Pablo Izaguirre. but also in public policies. it is possible to grow even more. given that we are still developing compared with other countries in the region.ihrsa. As far as the number of gym users.along with a serious analysis of the local situation . we have a wide area to work with. director of Dream Body This is an emerging market experiencing rapid growth due to a greater social inclusion of population segments which were previously ignored. has grown in infrastructure and technology. it is more difficult to find and hire a good instructor than to buy the most modern equipment available. A survey conducted of 35 gyms located in La Paz.
Even so.1 habitants/km2 GDP per capita: $12. media support. According to the Brazilian Geography and Statistics Institute. Facing this situation. according to a study performed by the Brazilian Cardiology Society.289. In part.511. and 10 million are obese.594 Currency: Real Language: Portuguese The Brazilian Medical Association states that in this country. In the mean time. driven by a new middle class. In fact. The mid-term trend is to upgrade towards greater professionalism and formality. which have lower rates than commercial banks. such as the economic growth of the country.965 km2 Density: 23. the market is growing at an annual rate of 10%. as a sector. low unemployment rates. the market is characterized by its informality. the opening of new shopping malls.533 Area: 8. services and equipment.org . 34 IHRSA LATIN AMERICAN REPORT | Copyright 2012 IHRSA www. we must coexist with high loan interest rates and the absence of financing in the long term. data obtained from the Brazilian Health Ministry indicates that only 14. and has begun a consolidation process. Luis Urquiza. and the upcoming Olympic Games and World Cup. Our greatest challenge is to protect profitability margins and search for scale economies to counter the high taxation burden. Many opportunities lie ahead. To make matters worse. over 65 million people are overweight.7% of this country’s population exercises regularly.ihrsa. the cause that explains this critical scenario is that half of Brazilians do not engage in any physical activity. CEO of Bodytech Although the large chains maintain standard international levels of infrastructure. we are faced with serious difficulties related to tax burdens and stricter regulations imposed by the state. and one-fifth of the adolescents in the country.BRAZIL Capital: Brazilia Population: 197. overweight affects one out of every three children between the ages of 5 and 9. we have exhausted funding alternatives through development banks (BNDES).
we face taxation burdens which rank among the highest in the world. if the client does not present such certificate. from 45 to 59 it applies to 53%. This company. Here as abroad. Since 2007. medical certification attesting suitability and physical fitness for performing physical activity is mandatory. A simple example is that of employers’ contributions. One of these large networks . medium and low.S. which requires a large investment to be built and targets a differentiated audience. with gyms operating at three different price levels: high. For instance.000 in hand costs a company $2. Meaning.ihrsa.and the first to emerge . those who operate on the extreme ends have an advantage over those in the middle which are affected by the others. there are low-cost gyms. However. and two more under construction.was Runner.org Copyright 2012 IHRSA | IHRSA LATIN AMERICAN REPORT 35 . like premium clubs. 39% engage in no physical activity. it stands out for counting ISO 9001:2008 quality certification and also certification from the Medical Fitness Association (MFA). This is the situation the main gym chains in Brazil . the gym is accountable before the law. Between ages 25 and 44. in Brazil. with 16 clubs operating at present (65. On the other end of the spectrum.which counts 22 clubs at present (three are franchises) with three more being built . it is not a user right as much as it is a company responsibility. In 2010. The second company was Companhia Athletica. established in 1983 out of the initiative of Mario Sérgio Moreira. Runner is focusing its growth in the northwest region of the country and aims to reach 50 units by 2014. Brazil Research conducted in 2011 by consulting firm Datafolha shows that in the 18-24 age group. Meaning.must face. Additionally. and in individuals between ages 60 and 70. Bio Ritmo was started in 1996 by the current CEO. In addition. which provides services to 32. that percentage increases to 50%. president and director of Cía Athletica Ours is a market which is still growing and has much room for improvement.000. this firm has focused their expansion on selling licenses and since then has added 16 licenses (plus seven more under construction) to the eight of their own. which mainly provide services. based in the U. In any case. Edgard Corona. was the first in the sector to open a gym in a shopping center 20 years ago and now counts over a dozen. As gyms. someone who earns $1. physical inactivity reaches 57%.has been strengthened with the entry in 2010 of Patria Inversiones. we move toward segmentation. Our clubs are included within the first group.along with the sector as a whole .000 square meters each).Richard Bilton. which contributed to its www. all of our companies within the sector have to live with the extremely strict state regulations which end up hindering the market. Companhia Athletica. this company . have more space for more growth and eventually end up weakening medium-sized gyms which offer a reduced variety of services. Generally.000 users. we are all affected by this reality. which. founded in 1985.
World Gym. Bio Ativa (5) and Fitwell (4). the Soccer World Cup in 2014.398*clubs which 7. Monday. in number of clubs. putting aside the big chains. followed by the Olympic Games in 2016 in Río de Janeiro. Lack of vision. after the United States. Fit Premium (3)." It is worth noting that major world sports events will take place in Brazil in the next couple of years.ihrsa. and lack of resources continue to be the causes which led micro and small companies to represent 65. Contours Express. in Brazilia. During the upcoming years.Reebok Sports Club (2) and Monday (6). in Brazil.7% of the population) at approximately $28 per month. Faced with this.35 billion. there are 23. in Belo Horizonte. consultant and COO of Monday Academia The evolution process which the sector has undergone in recent years only includes a small segment of fitness entrepreneurs. the actors in the fitness industry in this country are preparing themselves to capitalize on both events in the best possible way. Runway (6) and Nad´arte (6). First.400 users attend (3.019. informality. The reason is that although Brazil ranks second worldwide in number of gyms.398*clubs which 7. 99% of gym owners still suffer the same problems as 10 years ago.7% of the population). "In Brazil. Annual income for this sector is estimated at $2.org Copyright 2012 IHRSA | IHRSA LATIN AMERICAN REPORT 37 . Malhação (11).9% of bankruptcies declared in 2011. Luis Amoroso.019. in Porto Alegre. (*) This figure does not consider gyms that closed. With these figures. Some of the international brands with presence in this market include: Curves.400 users attend (3. Brazil www. According to data obtained from The Federal Physical Education Council and the Gyms Union in Rio de Janeiro. and in Curitiba. there are 23. Brazil becomes the second largest market in the world. there will be significant changes in the market driven by companies which survive difficulties related to the increase in competition. Fitness Together and My Gym.
000 users. Pacific Fitness is the chain with the most clubs. although. we are still within acceptable rates. Last January. an entrepreneur who owns multiple businesses in the hotel. signed a memorandum of understanding to merge with Bodytech.ihrsa.7 habitants per km2 GDP per capita: $14. which employs 800 people and provides services for 60. Additionally.006. This has materialized in an income increase for a lot of people. It is said that Bartsch. Chile 38 IHRSA LATIN AMERICAN REPORT | Copyright 2012 IHRSA www. The National Health Survey (ENS) revealed that 39% of people over age 15 in Chile are overweight and 300. the government has contributed to promoting sports and health. the Colombian medical sports centers network. This is why if the economy maintains the growth level it has had during these recent years. In both surveys. In addition. for now. Sportlife is a pioneer brand within the sector in this country.096 km2 Density: 8. At present.Capital: Santiago Population: 17. and finance sectors.000 suffer from morbid obesity. at present this chain has 40 branches operating.394 Currency: Chilean Peso Language: Spanish CHILE Fritz Bartsch. this company.945 Area: 2. who owns most of the properties. mainly due to the excellent economic period we are going through.org . they have 67 branches operating (52 in Santiago and 15 in different regions) – of which 14 are open 24 hours a day – and another 24 are under construction. sedentarism was higher among women and among people with lower educational levels.569. who also tend to pay more attention to taking care of themselves with physical activities and avoiding unhealthy habits. according to the Economic Development and Cooperation Organization (OCDE). considered Pacific Club. Chile ranks sixth in the world as far as child obesity. Input resulting from the National Socioeconomic Characterization Survey (CASEN) by the Social Development Ministry and the Quality of Life and Health Survey (ECVS) indicates that more than 70% of the Chilean population does not engage in any kind of physical activity and about 90% exercises less than 30 minutes three times a week. Founded in 1993 by Mauricio Musiet. president of Pacific Fitness Clubs The gym sector still has much space for development in our country. of which 28 are franchises and another five are under construction. This is the reality that health professionals (along with fitness and wellness professionals) face in Chile. we will have important opportunities as an industry. The flip side is the increase in real estate prices. real estate. founded in 1995 by Fritz Bartsch.
which currently has four branches operating and provides services to 6. mainly through the oldest and more traditional chains. Since 2003. and has increased the budget for improving the sports infrastructure. they have eight multi-service clubs with the brand Energy. this company has been part of American holding New Evolution Ventures. Hard Candy Fitness. as has both the supply and demand in the market. directed by Mark Mastrov. Two renowned brands in the high-end market segment are O2 Club. the percentage of the population which practices sports has increased. as well as through some new operators in the market. Sports City. in Las Condes. The state is also contributing to this growth through programs such as “Choose to Live Healthy”. purchasing land in Brazil with the intention of expanding in that region.Mauricio Musiet. two named Quick Fit and the one most recently inaugurated. with an imposing 6. who founded 24 Hour Fitness.000 square meter branch located within Mall Sport. The number of high-level gyms has increased. Our challenge as an industry which is still young and growing is to continue to become more professional and improve service standards. I believe this is due to the following reasons: people are more concerned about improving their quality of life and thus dedicating more time and resources to this. by Madonna. and Balthus. Likewise. by Iván Zamorano.org Copyright 2012 IHRSA | IHRSA LATIN AMERICAN REPORT 39 .ihrsa. Two notable players have renowned Chilean sports stars behind them. occupies an estate of 12 acres in Sportlife. A third historic brand in the sector is Meds sports health centers with three gyms. the media informs the public more about physical activity. and companies acknowledge that healthy employees result in greater productivity.000 users.500 square meter club inaugurated in 2001 in Vitacura and another 3. Chile www. Another important brand in the sector is Energy Fitness. At present. founded by Alex Wiesner in 1996 under the name PowerHouse. founder and president of Sportlife The fitness industry has grown impressively in our country during the past few years.
we have noticed important developments in the industry both in gym offerings (more quantity and better quality). 40 IHRSA LATIN AMERICAN REPORT | Copyright 2012 IHRSA www.ihrsa. which we will surely see within the next 5-10 years. Although at present.O2 Club. However. Therefore.org . as well as demand with consumers who are more aware of the importance of sports for health and quality of life. this growth is limited by the market structure in Chile in terms of income. We still have a long way to go for developing this market. and is building a second branch in Concepción. the annual income is approximately $17. there is room for growth. In general. SpeedWorks is a chain which consists of athlete training centers. founded in 2005 by Olympic high-jump national recordholder Felipe Apablaza. Chile Alfredo de Goyeneche. Las Condes. Undoubtedly. and have changed their behavior towards developing the habit of sports. those of us who participate in this industry work day by day towards improving the offerings and accessibility to gyms. there is no way we can reach the 15% penetration achieved in the United States. only 30% of the population earns enough to afford a gym membership.000 per capita. general manager of O2 Club In the past few years. I also notice that consumers are more informed and demanding. with four branches in Chile and one in the United States.
200 people ranging in ages from 18 through 60 from socioeconomic levels 2 to 6. the women surveyed showed indifference towards practicing sports in a group. a company founded in August 2000.Capital: Bogotá Population: 45.” These results were obtained from a survey conducted between February 4-12 in Bogotá. although this esthetic interest decreases as the education level rises. a company founded in 1997 which now has 45 units operating throughout the country and seven more under construction.org Copyright 2012 IHRSA | IHRSA LATIN AMERICAN REPORT 41 . They have also opened three fitness boxing clubs under the brand InBox and one Boot C camp-focused facility for military-style training. According to the Yanbal Survey of Colombian Women 2012. Also. regular physical activity increases. The survey also reveals that 16% of women and 15% of men choose a gym to work out in. who each pay monthly dues of about $40. in general. one in Cali.910 km2 Density: 39. In Barranquilla. versus only 43% of the men.ihrsa. In Medellín. the higher the monthly frequency of exercise as well. In this city. with seven branches operating and two more being built. According to this study. At present. Cali. In this country. that figure in men is just 18%. one in Cartagena and one (a franchise) in Medellín. It found that the average sports center is 480 square meters in size. the historic mark in the city is Forma. one in Ciudad Salitre and another in Colina Campestre. Hard Body counts four gyms operating at present in the Colombian capital. there are other important players such as Spinning Center Gym. While 21% of men practice sports as a team. For the first time. Only 13% of women do sports 2-3 times per week. which inaugurated their first gym in 2009. the country capital. Medellín and Barranquilla of 1. In 2011.469. inaugurated in 1994. men exercise more regularly than women (10 days a month versus 7. In Bogotá. Bodytech ranked 25 amongst the 50 most valuable companies in Colombia. www. which counts eight training centers there and a ninth one in Armenia. is about to open their third (1. 67% prefer individual activities such as walking or jogging. Also. The higher the socioeconomic and education level among women. Athletic Fitness Gym stands out with two.138. functional training studios such as Steaphead Fitness stand out. run by brothers Beto and Andy Gaitán. with age. and three in Cali. only 3% of women do so.6 days). While 44% of women do not engage in any kind of physical activity. versus 22% of men.397 Area: 1. they have six branches in Bogotá.9 habitants per km2 GDP per capita: $7. “They show little interest towards team sports and are more concerned about ideal weight. the main player in the market is Bodytech.067 Currency: Colombian Peso Language: Spanish COLOMBIA In Colombia. One of the main reasons women give for not exercising is lack of time (46%). ProGym. it includes opinions from men (600 men were interviewed). In Bucaramanga. and the typical gym provides services to approximately 380 users. In fact.500 square meters) in this city. A survey was conducted during the month of July 2012 in 252 gyms throughout the country. according to an annual report by Compassbranding. Megalastra.
We face this possibility with the same level of responsibility as the one we have for delighting our customers with quality service. However. especially in the main cities. mostly in the main cities. Colombia César Casallas.org . increasing their presence and control. Bodytech. The industry has matured and nowadays we have a large number of gyms. and passion our business requires. fitness offerings are still insufficient in mid-sized cities in Colombia.is finding venues that are both affordable and adequate for opening new units. Another problem we face is development of human resources in work teams. attitude. where we can still find prices per square meter which are more aligned with our investment model. However. we grow so quickly that sometimes we find it difficult to find enough people in the market with the experience. but also on a worldwide level. However. This leads us to search for locations in mid-size cities.mainly in Bogotá . Doors for growth are wide open and. due to the high cost per square meter of space. in which people are more concerned not only about looking well but also feeling well. thanks to globalization. for us. this applies not only to us as local players. 42 IHRSA LATIN AMERICAN REPORT | Copyright 2012 IHRSA www. Growth. One of the main obstacles we face in terms of growth as gym chains . During the past four years.Nicolás Loaiza.growth and sustainability are guaranteed. given the recent and noticeable increase in property values. faces the major issue of finding new venues. As long as the sector continues meeting and exceeding the needs and expectations of the consumers – and provides them with innovative and high quality products and services . president of Bodytech We are in a market with a growing demand. the state has shown greater interest in the sports clubs and gym sector. director of Spinning Center Gym The sector has evolved in important ways in the past 10 years. we have an area which focuses on developing leaders and teams with a high level of performance.ihrsa. their active participation in this field is still insufficient. In our company.
Even so.ECUADOR Population: 14. the country ranks 98th out of 198 countries in terms of obesity with a 47. According to Forbes.287. adapting themselves to the needs of our country. the overall picture is encouraging. general manager of Phisique Wellness Club In the past 10 years. but there is also a lack of human resources with adequate professional levels – mainly group fitness instructors and personal trainers. Alex Galeth. In addition. Not only is there a lack of options for capitalizing entrepreneurships needed for market penetration. Enrique La Motta. educational offerings for trainers are very limited. and Miriam’s Gym (2). This market also counts the presence of international franchise brands such as Gold’s Gym (1) and Curves (15). Nevertheless. or are even concerned with being up to date on qualifications. 59% of the population in Ecuador is overweight. globalization in communication has awakened public interest in physical activity. Ecuador has experienced important economic growth (its GDP grew 1. Phisique (2) and FCP Center (3). the gym industry faces great challenges to growth. Some of the main actors that stand out are: Ventura. with one facility.ihrsa. including fitness. In addition. Still. www.9 times). where there is always a park nearby for exercising outdoors.370 km2 Density: 55.273 Capital: Quito Area: 256. many fitness programs which have succeeded around the world have been launched here. which reflects increased consumption of different products and services. personal trainer and owner of FCP Center The physical fitness industry has evolved in our country in recent years. favored also by the geographic factors of Quito.569 Currency: American Dollar Language: Spanish According to 2010 data provided by the Health Ministry.org Copyright 2012 IHRSA | IHRSA LATIN AMERICAN REPORT 43 . because physical activity continues growing. Not all trainers can access them. The number of gyms has increased and quality has improved in terms of infrastructure and equipment. in Guayaquil. This is the reality that the young gym industry faces in Ecuador. in Quito.1% prevalence of this condition. Official data also indicates that 72% of the people in Ecuador are sedentary.72 habitants/km2 GDP per capita: $4.
We have an extremely attractive market. spending 30% of their time with video games.972. facilities. Among men ages 18 through 25. 23% attend gyms. commercial director for Acuática Nelson Vargas (ANV) Sports in Mexico have always been a controversial issue and the drive towards different disciplines has been limited due to reduced budgets. 44 IHRSA LATIN AMERICAN REPORT | Copyright 2012 IHRSA www. according to a survey conducted by Defoe. and our obesity index rates place our country as first worldwide. a survey consulting firm. Elliher Hernández.064 Currency: Mexican Peso Language: Spanish MEXICO Four out of every 10 people in Mexico City regularly engage in physical activity. and 11% work out in their homes. According to the Defoe study. television and/or social networks. 15% attend sports clubs. smartphones. youth and adults to enjoy full and healthy lives. There are many roads to explore for attracting children.ihrsa. Sports promotion on behalf of the government is practically non-existent.561. The sports club industry has seen important growth during the past decade. Youth tend to gravitate toward technology. half state that they work out in the company of others. biking or using an elliptical machine. 46% choose to do sports at parks. Zumba and yoga. three out of 10 prefer team sports. services and even concepts. The challenges we face are constant competition and market price control. most people (42%) prefer aerobic activities such as running.5 habitants per km2 GDP per capita: $10. in part by beginning to capitalize on this opportunity. given that prices vary tremendously by zone.550 km2 Density: 55. In terms of venue.057 Area: 1. In Mexico City. while 18% prefer team sports such as basketball or soccer. Another important group (22%) has a preference for group activities such as Pilates. This healthy habit is stronger amongst youth (ages 18-25) with preparatory studies or more advanced education levels.Capital: Mexico City Population: 109.org .
general director for Body Systems Mexico In recent years. outlining a very interesting picture. Sports World placed 58% of its capital in the Mexican Stock Exchange. SW Gym Plus. the government has a vital responsibility to contribute to the creation of a fitness culture to reverse the trends of overweight and obesity. Their main competitor in the metropolitan zone is Sports World. Entrepreneurs. this group had an income of US $367.will reach a total of 28 units in 2012 with a presence in Tijuana. Our consumer has little knowledge of the technical aspects of fitness. In addition. in 2009 it represented 56%. Active & Corporate Wellness – in several cities.José Mársico. Having accelerated their expansion by opening nine clubs this year. This chain. In 2012. which now totals 37. the company with the most branches is Super Fitness Damas. the sector must become more professional in order to grow.which now counts 25 units operating and three in presales .500. Women's Workout. managers and trainers must train themselves to create positive experiences for their customers. has four club formats: Sports World. Executive.000 square meters each) with different formats – Fitness. the company will invest US $50 million to open three Sport City Entrenna and 70 Martí stores. supported by wellness experts. of which one third (US $126. we have seen evidence of favorable change in population habits towards more healthy behavior. reaching $2. Mexico was introduced to the low-cost gym concept by SmartFit. which expects to end 2012 with 22 clubs. Entrenna. and the market’s opportunities are extraordinary. national campaigns to promote physical activity should take place. which also owns 200 sports stores. Clearly. During the past decade. which now counts 100.org Copyright 2012 IHRSA | IHRSA LATIN AMERICAN REPORT 45 . and its net utility grew 3. the major player is Sport City. a female gym chain. While in 2010 the profitability of the clubs represented 48% of the profitability of the group. in 2014. established in 1995. with 56% of respondents choosing this answer. In this market. Still. In 2012.000 www. SporTravel agency and City Café.9 million. clients and 46 clubs (180.9 million. Swim.3%. Puebla and Veracruz. There is much to be done. thanks to the increase in the number of clients. established in Monterrey in This study reveals that health is the main motivation factor for working out. At the very least. Its main shareholder is Nexxus II fund with 22% of the capital. and in 2011 it had income of $38. this chain . fast changes have taken place in the gym and fitness business and new players have entered.ihrsa.7 million (10% higher than in 2010).5 million) corresponds to clubs. In October 2010. SW FIT and SW GYM. Emoción Deportiva. Monterrey. Outside of the metropolitan area. These clubs are part of Grupo Martí. while 18% belongs to the founding its group (Troncoso). Hermosillo. without involving suffering. its direction may shift towards other regions. Although up until now focus has been mainly in Valle de Mexico. Weight-loss motivates 20% of those surveyed and esthetic improvements are what drives the remaining 14% of people. and needs to feel that exercise can be fun and gratifying. founded in 1996. Last year. In 2011. its income is expected to grow 43% in relation to 2011. income for clubs increased 6% in relation to 2010 and 15% in relation to 2009.
Sportium. with three units. Within this frame. accompanied by the interest of third parties to fund this type of business whether with debt or capital risk. It is notable that the industry has concentrated in the main cities within Mexico. leaving a great market with unmet needs in other cities throughout the country. but it has begun to develop an awareness of this need. At present. founded in 1978. Sportium. during the next two years.ihrsa. general director for Sportium Growth in the gym industry in Mexico has increased exponentially in the last two years amidst favorable conditions. born in 2003. mainly local.000 users and 25 units (plus two under construction) spread out throughout Monterrey. with seven clubs. Gómez Palacio. Also social clubs such as Casa Blanca. and Albatros. Enrique Vera. we will witness growth in the sector similar to that of the past decade. In my opinion. Likewise.org . Energy Fitness. Not only does the Mexican population urgently require these kinds of services in order to improve the quality of life. Torreón. Other renowned companies are: Acuática Nelson Vargas. Mexico 46 IHRSA LATIN AMERICAN REPORT | Copyright 2012 IHRSA www. with seven branches. the main chains have grown and new competitors have also been born.2002. the offering of needed space to set up sports clubs has increased. with 14 branches. for example in shopping malls. play an important role in Mexico. Matamoros and Durango. Cancún. Guadalajara. they count 65. with three branches in Mexico City and a fourth soon to open in Cancún.
Regardless. editor of Sport Magazine and organizer in Wellness Paraguay The last decade has been a period of great changes and a strong impetus for the sector in Paraguay.137 Area: 406. However. www. Even more alarmingly. given that few well-trained professionals are available. the Paraguayan consumer is more informed and more demanding than ever before. Forma Física and Cecilia Center (which operates three women-only branches). The gym industry in Paraguay has been growing with some of the following renowned actors located in Asunción: Look Vital. Nueva Onda.org Copyright 2012 IHRSA | IHRSA LATIN AMERICAN REPORT 47 . a sector characterized by empiricism began taking interest in training and improving its level of professionalism. MK Gym.5% of the adult population is overweight or obese. and another 14% are overweight. gradually. 20% of children and adolescents are obese. Thus. and Rakiura. this does not always occur. In Asunción and in the metropolitan area. Javier Correa.752 km2 Density: 16.24 habitants per km2 GDP per capita: $3. 32% of residents are obese. Aerofisic.ihrsa.Capital: Asunción Population: 6. Sajonia. Yacht & Golf. Lo de Kim.635 Currency: Guaraní Language: Spanish and Guaraní PARAGUAY According to data provided by the Health Ministry of Paraguay.606. We will only manage to have better gyms if we emphasize the human factor. which also means an increase in competition within the market. the greatest challenge is to formalize and professionalize the industry. due to the lack of long-term vision. Faced with this reality. This is why gyms must invest in human resources in order to create new generations of better-prepared trainers. there is still a long way to go. given that there is much potential for growth. 75% of the population is sedentary and 64. driven by the emergence of many sports centers. Some notable private clubs include Centenario. At present. Body Solid.
the gym offering is concentrated in Lima. its GDP grew 6. The National Demography and Family Health Survey for 2010 shows that 16% of women in Peru are obese and an additional 35% are Gigliola Aycardi. It is our responsibility to ensure that the obesity epidemic does not expand throughout the country as it has done around the world. a tendency expected to continue throughout 2012 and 2013. Results also indicate that 8% of the women living in extreme poverty also suffer from obesity. and of these.473 Area: 1. Peru ranks eighth in the world in terms of childhood obesity.org . In Peru. Still. Overweight is greater in women ages 30 through 39 (43%). while obesity is most prevalent in women ages 40 through 49 (27%).ihrsa. which are the main cities in the country and represent an important potential due to the scarce offering which exists.285. Weather conditions are favorable for this in Lima (known as the city where it never rains). where the main chains in the country coexist alongside many small. with a presence in Arequipa. poverty levels in the country decreased from 55% to 28%. affecting about 15% of children under 5 years of age.600 Currency: Nuevos Soles Language: Spanish. general manager for Bodytech In Peru. less than 3% of the population attends a gym regularly. there are some concerning health indicators in Peru. However. This is the main challenge for operators in the market. between 2002 and 2011. many claim to perform physical activity outside. Trujillo and Piura.216 km2 Density: 21. 48 IHRSA LATIN AMERICAN REPORT | Copyright 2012 IHRSA www.403. Quechua and Aymara PERU Macroeconomic data for Peru is very encouraging. independent operators. In 2011. The only national player is Bodytech. As far as government. overweight.9% and the Peruvian economy accumulated 10 years of growth. Information regarding physical activity resulting from the same study points out that 40% of the people surveyed regularly perform mild physical activity. 72% do not complement their regular activities with additional exercise or other vigorous physical activity. not much has been done to prevent obesity or promote physical activity.3 habitants per km2 GDP per capita: $8. Likewise.Capital: Lima Population: 27.
the company has 12 clubs operating in different regions throughout Lima. Another historic player is Sportlife. At present. The newest actor. executive president of Gold’s Gym In the past 10 years. which will be the third. Air Sports Club (two). Awareness in Peru of the benefits of healthy lifestyles and exercise no doubt contributes to this growth. Yzaga launched a second brand. the American franchise which arrived in Peru via Fabrizio Balli in 1997. which now counts two clubs operating and recently purchased World Gym in Surco. Fabrizio Balli. this chain has four branches in Lima.A survey of 217 gyms representing 105. Personal Training (two). In light of this. ranging from 3% to 5%.000 users. 7. after buying Gym El Polo.6% in Arequipa) reveals that only 10% have more than 1. Gym Paradise (one). Opportunities in this sector are limited by the complexity of city traffic in Lima. Peru www. Clearly. is Bodytech.org Copyright 2012 IHRSA | IHRSA LATIN AMERICAN REPORT 49 . there may be more opportunities to set up gyms in specific neighborhoods which consumers can easily access.000 square meters. Other brands include: Energym (three). 250 employees and five more clubs under construction. given that it is becoming more difficult to move within the city. employing 500 people and offering services to 30. 8% in Trujillo and 7. which quickly gained relevance. they have five branches operating in two provinces.8% in Lima. accompanying worldwide growth and development.ihrsa. the reality differs for leaders within the sector. This is due in part to greater competition and offerings within the market. This trend continues today. The average ratio is 0. This will create a demand which is not yet provided for by existing gyms in Peru. At present. which arrived in Lima in 2008. and the average monthly fee is $25 (only 11% charge above $50). Life Sport & Fitness. In September 2008. Currently.7 clients per square meter. also born in 1997 from the initiative of former Peruvian tennis player Jaime Yzaga. We trust the local market can reach penetration levels similar to those of neighboring countries.500 users. One of the main and historic actors is Gold’s Gym.862 clients in 19 different cities (51. the fitness market in Peru has doubled its penetration rate from below 1% to 2%.000 square meters and barely 3% have over 2. Gold´s Gym. Milenium (one) and Gym Do (one).
ihrsa.569 Area: 176. Born in 1991. they opened their fourth branch (700 square meters) in 2012. Other renowned brands include Flex Club. Likewise. Club One. In the last few years. followed by Vivafit. Paramount. at present. in October 2011. Star Trac. the industry in Uruguay has evolved significantly. two of the most renowned fitness franchises arrived in Uruguay: firstly Curves. with four branches now. 65% of people aged 18-29 are sedentary. and recently turned one of the women-only clubs into a coed facility. at the end of 2009. with only 25% being physically active. Club One. more recently. new ones were built. which even opened its own store. they operate four branches. Uruguay 50 IHRSA LATIN AMERICAN REPORT | Copyright 2012 IHRSA www. with seven centers. and 76% of those under age 17 participate in regular physical activity.220 km2 Density: 19.URUGUAY Capital: Montevideo Population: 3. with two units focused on fitness and one focused exclusively on Pilates.447. In the past decade. Two of the newest and most dynamic players are Bethel Spa.56 habitants/km2 Currency: Uruguayan Peso GDP per capita: $13. Spinning and. in the neighborhood Punta Carretas. the main international equipment brands have local reps: Life Fitness. and international brands have launched in the region. and Beauty Planet. and Gimnasio Personal. Women are more sedentary than men. Perfil is another historic brand. Aerobic is one of the most renowned gym names in the market. At present. They later changed directions by opening a mixed gender gym.org . Inaugurated in 1983. Cybex and Technogym. Older clubs were renovated and expanded. they focused for many years on the female audience. This represents an opportunity on which several entrepreneurs have been able to capitalize.866 Language: Spanish Data from the Sports Ministry in Uruguay indicates that only three out of 10 Uruguayans engage in physical activity.
while some others have floundered. www. stimulating the market. and our challenge is to meet their high expectations. Bigua. For this. It is remarkable how during the past years. You Fitness Area in Montevideo Shopping was inaugurated. Still. In February 2010.is important. Carrasco Lawn Tennis. following an investment of $900. In April 2009. the role played by social and sports clubs . However. At the same time. not only has the audience attending gyms increased.nonprofit organizations . conditions for growth are favorable. but the seasonality of demand is far less marked. we must see each other as colleagues and join efforts to benefit us all. most are related to unfair competition and the lack of competent professionals. consumers are more demanding.org Copyright 2012 IHRSA | IHRSA LATIN AMERICAN REPORT 51 . ViaAqua Gym & Spa moved to Punta Carretas Shopping. as in a few other markets within the region. In Uruguay. In regards to difficulties. which has turned them into serious competition.ihrsa. We have also observed entrepreneurs from backgrounds which are not related to physical activity and fitness who have approached the sector and invested in it. director and founder of Gimnasios Aerobic Our sector is clearly improving and evolving. Uruguay Luis Moroni. which we notice when hiring. Carrasco Polo. Aerobic. Many have updated their centers by making important investments in infrastructure and services. which was used to build a 6-story high building.Two additional highlights were openings in shopping malls.000. following an investment of $4 million. we must improve relations with the medical community and have attractive offers available in order to succeed in the challenge of convincing a greater percentage of the population to become physically active. BPS and Urunday are some examples of these nonprofit clubs. Náutico.
are some of the most renowned brands. having arrived in the market only five years ago. and the lack of qualified staff. the stage is set in terms of demand. and according to a study performed by Euromonitor. This is the context in which the gym sector has evolved in recent years in this country. Also.ihrsa. consultant and trainer. hence a greater likelihood to invest in these services. and 66% claims to suffer from stress.050 km2 Density: 30. 14% has hypertension. Gimnasio 398. new gyms have appeared in the market and the training area has also developed. director for FTS In recent years. CEO and franchise master for Gold’s Gym This sector is still at an early stage. Estimates indicate that by 2020. such as high inflation levels which hamper any kind of investment. 23% smokes. we have observed how consumers who were once more interested in esthetic benefits than in wellness. and state policies set by the new sports law.6% rate. It is no easy task to find funding sources for opening new centers. The major difficulties we encounter are related to accessing funds for acquiring equipment and services.VENEZUELA Capital: Caracas Population: 28. 29.6% of Venezuelan people above the age of 15 are obese. dominated by independent operators who manage one facility as owners/managers. There is much to be done in order to consolidate. Additionally. In this context. Valle Arriba Athletic Club (VAAC). now also focus on the impact on their health and improving their physical performance for their daily life. Andrés Capriles. In 2009. Gyms still face problems which hinder industry growth.938 Area: 912.5% of Venezuelans are overweight.org . with a projected 41. Positively. becoming more professional in marketing and management is an ongoing challenge.75 habitants per km2 GDP per capita: US $10. with scarce offerings. Venezuela will be the third most obese country in the world. Yordi Arteaga. the National Risk Factor Survey (Encuesta Nacional de Factores de Riesgo) revealed that 62% of Caracans are overweight and 29% are obese. 52 IHRSA LATIN AMERICAN REPORT | Copyright 2012 IHRSA www. given that there is awareness in the audience of the importance of physical activity. Undoubtedly. The economic and political situations generate legal uncertainty and cause great price distortions. Bo Center. the limited real estate offerings. which is preparing to open its fifth branch. Medkar and MetasSport. the most significant is Gold’s Gym.810 Currency: Bolivar Language: Spanish Data from the World Health Organization shows that 62. this survey showed that 47% of the population in Caracas does not engage in any kind of physical activity.047.
and in Guatemala. 27. three of the countries with the highest obesity rates in the world .587 Area: 48. Nicaragua. which are closely related and affect the region as a whole: all of these countries are seriously affected by obesity and increasing sedentarism. and highest child mortality. Capital: Santo Domingo Population: 10. and the Dominican Republic .9 habitants/km2 GDP per capita: $2.707.517 km2 Density: 47. if this tendency continues.178 Currency: Quetzales Language: Spanish PANAMA Capital: Panama Population: 3.582.676 Currency: Costarrican Colón Language: Spanish HONDURAS Capital: Tegucigalpa Population: 7. by 2020. According to data from consulting company Euromonitor. rank second and fourth.894 km2 Density: 137. for instance.Guatemala.005.751 Area: 51.530 Currency: Dominican Peso Language: Spanish Undoubtedly. Guatemala. published in 2009 by Grupo Educativo Aden.43 habitants/km2 GDP per capita: $8.146 habitants/km2 GDP per capita: $8. amongst Latin American countries with the highest obesity rates.226 Currency: Lempira Language: Spanish GUATEMALA Capital: Ciudad de Guatemala Population: 14.will be in this region.492 km2 Density: 69. In Costa Rica. Panama and Costa Rica – the Switzerland of Central America – occupy second and fourth place.800. Contrarily. the prevalence of obesity is 26%.256 Area: 75.785 Area: 108. respectively. El Salvador and Honduras are within the poorest countries.734 km2 Density: 205.000 Area: 111. Despite this. respectively.CENTRAL AMERICA & CARIBBEAN COSTA RICA Capital: San José Population: 4.31 habitants/km2 GDP per capita: $5. with the highest illiteracy rates. A survey conducted by Unimer in Costa Rica reveals that while 75% of the population in Costa Rica claims to have space near their www.ihrsa.42 habitants/km2 GDP per capita: $3.org Copyright 2012 IHRSA | IHRSA LATIN AMERICAN REPORT 53 . Costa Rica. according to the regional report by the Central-American Human Rights Prosecutors (CCPDH).964. For example. lowest life expectancy. Guatemala and Costa Rica.090 km2 Density: 92.590 Currency: Balboa and Dollar Language: Spanish DOMINICAN REP. in the well-being ranking in Latin America. the socioeconomic reality of some countries in Central America differs greatly from that of others in the same region. there are two major issues.5% of the population over the age of 15 is obese.
and this forces us to improve and expand our offerings in order to gain their business and their loyalty. Gold’s Gym. Consequently. group biking and. homes to exercise. physiotherapy and nutrition. and World Gym – is very important. Studios have been launched offering personal training. Likewise. Fifteen years ago. This results in trainers within Costa Rica having far more training and preparation than in many other countries within the region. Planet Fitness.HONDURAS Oliver Sánchez Anderson. we only offered weight lifting and aerobics. we offer dancing. and also to expand into other cities and establish a national level chain. in Central America and the Caribbean. director of Gimnasio Country Spa In general terms. In this context. only physical education in which teachers are taught to work at schools. 60% do not do so regularly. PowerHouse Gym. obliges those who prescribe physical exercise to have a bachelor’s degree in physical education or physiotherapy. Pilates and yoga. Another study published in The Lancet magazine indicates that the Dominican Republic is the third most sedentary country in Latin America. Since the birth of PowerClub. in some countries more than others. fitness careers do not exist. which also brought along work opportunities for instructors and more options for customers. many small and mid-size fitness centers have opened in Panama. consumers have become more demanding. This is why we approach foreign companies to train our staff. These are World Gym and Gold’s Gym. the state does little to support the sector. and we are confident that it will continue to do so even more. in recent years. and lack of funding is also an issue because we need investment in order to continue growing. 54 IHRSA LATIN AMERICAN REPORT | Copyright 2012 IHRSA www. which helps us to always be prepared to face new challenges. Such is the case with local brands as well. as it is usually the owners and managers (or employees with mid-rank positions) who can afford to fund travel costs and certification. contributing to healthy competition. This is the context in which the club industry has evolved. Fitness Together. the sector has grown notoriously. founder and president of Multi Spa The past decade has seen positive change.ihrsa. two American franchises have entered the market. starting with the Health Ministry law which. for the past two years. COSTA RICA David Mears. we will have medical attention. general manager of PowerClub In the last 10 years. our biggest problem is the lack of qualified human resources. Regardless. as a large club. while Guatemala is the least sedentary. Today. the industry has managed to grow significantly over the past decade. given that people have a high level of awareness of the need for doing physical exercise. The market has also diversified and offerings have become more specialized. where the presence of American franchises – such as Curves. and why we are creating our own PowerClub University.org . we are working to set up our fourth gym in San Pedro Sula. we have limited access to training. as of December. However. In Panama. PANAMA Itzel Hasday. Additionally.
People are willing to buy more than just a club membership as long as there is value. Body Shop opened its third club (6. with 10 units and one more under construction. In Nicaragua. the high cost of electric energy. Nevertheless. Like the U. the leading companies include World Fitness Centers . employing 450 people and providing services for 15. CEO of Gold’s Gym in Central America and the Caribbean In the Dominican Republic. and poledancing studios. born in 2002. the chain with the most units is Scandinavia Gym. insecurity.with two units and a third which will open in January 2013 and Body Plex with three units.S. Haiti or Cuba. we face major issues such as: social and economic conditions in the country. In Guatemala. yoga. the population is becoming more aware of the need to exercise.200 members. it counts 13 branches operating and another two under construction. In the last two years.000 users regularly attend its five centers. However. several new gyms were launched (500-1. at the close of this report. www.ihrsa. Stefan Feketefoldi. 5.. founded in 1989.000 users. followed by a number of small gyms. we have a serious problem with childhood obesity and sedentarism. Jamaica. In Honduras. prevails. PowerClub chain.org Copyright 2012 IHRSA | IHRSA LATIN AMERICAN REPORT 55 . building another two. This sector is still untouched. born in 1986 by initiative of David Mears Bower. which has contributed to the increase in demand for fitness services. DOMINICAN REPUBLIC Ian Rondon. Currently providing services for 18. Country Spa stands out. the market was divided between two great brands. Since 2004.In Costa Rica. and obtaining adequate facilities with sufficient parking spaces and affordable rent rates. we have not been able to obtain data from the fitness sector in El Salvador. In Puerto Rico.000 square meters) in 2011 in Bella Vista.200 square meters each). In the Dominican Republic. considering the number of gyms versus the population . operating nine branches at present. This has occurred because the population is developing an awareness of fitness. Surinam. In Panama. the lack of financial tools which will facilitate investments in equipment. the main players include Gold’s Gym. founded in 1992. Trinidad & Tobago. our economy has been improving at an average annual rate of 7%. the fitness sector has evolved in recent years and is growing in different directions due to the popularity of Pilates.meaning that many opportunities lie ahead. Director of the consulting company CMS for the Caribbean Until very recently. with more professional facilities in Santo Domingo and Santiago. the most notable gym is Bally Sports. with three units operating to serve 3. the most renowned brand is Multispa.000 users. Belize. Unfortunately. At present.
07 0.5% 0.13 0.were taken into account.14 0.from the smallest to the largest fitness and sports centers .4% 2. Paraguay Bolívia Guatemala Uruguay Panama Honduras Revenue in Millions 3.1% 1.32 Colombia Chile Peru Ecuador Venezuela Paraguay Bolívia Dominic Rep.5% 0. Paraguay Guatemala Panama Uruguay Costa Rica Honduras Number of Clubs 23.826 6. 46.11 0.0% 1. all facilities .5% 1.ihrsa.4% 1.632 56 Brazil Mexico Argentina 2.0% 2.13 0. the figures published here do not correspond to official records by government entities (due to the fact that.org Venezuela Honduras 0.21 0.09 0.6 billion AVERAGE PENETRATION Colombia 2.Number of Members in Millions 7.7% Brazil Mexico Argentina Colombia Chile Peru Ecuador Costa Rica Venezuela Dominic Rep. in most cases. or are not up to date).38 0. Instead.2% $ 218 $ 152 $ 115 $ 64 $ 34 $ 34 $ 33 $ 32 $ 31 $ 22 $ 22 $ 21 $4 .197 1.74 2.07 0.0% 2.398 7. $ 5. IHRSA LATIN AMERICAN REPORT | Copyright 2012 IHRSA Honduras 0.07 0.479 $ 919 Argentina $ 2. In each case.358 Brazil Mexico Chile Paraguay Costa Rica Panama Uruguay Ecuador Peru 1.46 0.0% Guatemala www. they are estimates made by experts in each market.128 857 654 561 550 528 299 287 262 248 62 THE SECTOR IN FIGURES With the exception of Brazil.5% 2.7% $ 1.7% Bolívia TOTAL REVENUE Dominic Rep.02 Penetration Rate 5.42 0.2% 1.7 million Guatemala Panama Uruguay 1.9% 1.02 Brazil Mexico Argentina Chile Colombia Peru Ecuador Bolívia Venezuela Dominic Rep. these do not exist.300 TOTAL CLUBS TOTAL MEMBERS Costa Rica 14.687 1.
LEADER PROFILES Aerobic CEO: Luis Moroni Country: Uruguay Founded in: 1983 Branches operating: 4 Branches under construction: 0 Members: 4.500.bodytech.000 Web Site: www.anv.ciaathletica.000 Projection for 2012: $55.br (*) In addition. restaurants and as personal trainers. maintenance.200 Employees: 84 Income in 2011: $795.000 Employees: 180 Income in 2011: $6. Cia.com.000 Projection for 2012: $980.000 Web Site: n/a Megatlon CEO: Fernando Storchi Country: Argentina Founded in: 1999 Branches operating: 33(*) Branches under construction: 0 Members: 102. 1 in Guatemala.com.200.000.com.com Cecilia Center CEO: Cecilia Sotomayor Country: Paraguay Founded in: 1995 Branches operating: 3 Branches under construction: 0 Members: 3.500 (*) Income in 2011: $52.500 (*) Income in 2011: $100.com.com.countryspahn.000 Projection for 2012: $2. 2 in Costa Rica.br Gold´s Gym CEO: Andrés Capriles Country: Venezuela Founded in: 2007 Branches operating: 4 Branches under construction: 1 Members: 11.143 Employees: 705 Income in 2011: $9.000.000.000 Projection for 2012: $10.600 Income in 2011: $45.uy Gold´s Gym CEO: Fabrizio Balli Country: Peru Founded in: 1997 Branches operating: 12 Branches under construction: 0 Members: 30.000 Web Site: www.br (*) Consolidated information for Bio Ritmo and SmartFit (Brazil and Mexico). Gold´s Gym CEO: Ian Rondon Country: Dominican Republic Founded in: 1998 Branches operating: 15 (*) Branches under construction: 3 Members: 28.com.000 Employees: 500 Income in 2011: $18.500 Employees: 1. and another 700 for stores.goldsgymperu.bioritmo.co (*) Consolidated information for Colombia.700.goldsgym.500 Employees: 800 Income in 2011: n/a Projection for 2012: n/a Web Site: www. Country Spa CEO: Oliver Sánchez Country: Honduras Founded in: 1989 Branches operating: 3 Branches under construction: 0 Members: 2.900. Competition CEO: Marco Pace Country: Brazil Founded in: 1984 Branches operating: 3 Branches under construction: 0 Members: 8.ve Bio Ritmo CEO: Edgard Corona Country: Brazil Founded in: 1996 Branches operating: 65 (*) Branches under construction: 27 (*) Members: 210.000 (**) Employees: 1.000 Web Site: www.aerobic.600. etc.ar (*) 10 branches are corporate gyms. security.000.000. and Chilean Fitness Markets. 250 outsourced staff are employed for cleaning.mx Bodytech CEO: Nicolás Loaiza Country: Colombia Founded in: 1997 Branches operating: 90 (*) Branches under construction: 17 (*) Members: 90.000. 1 in Ecuador and the rest in Dominican Republic Acuatica Nelson Vargas CEO: Nelson Vargas Escalera Country: Mexico Founded in: 1978 Branches operating: 14 Branches under construction: 0 Members: 16.ihrsa.do (*) 1 branch in Puerto Rico.000 Projection for 2012: $19.000 Employees: 300 Income in 2011: $18.goldsgym.000 Employees: 1.000 Employees: 1.800 Employees: 103 Income in 2011: $2.000 Projection for 2012: $50.500 Employees: 40 Income in 2011: $800.com.600 (*) Employees: 3. Peruvian.000.org Copyright 2012 IHRSA | IHRSA LATIN AMERICAN REPORT 57 .400. (**) Projection for 2012.com.000 Web Site: www.000 Projection for 2012: $21.000.000.100.000 (**) Projection for 2012: $125.megatlon.000 (*) Web Site: www. (**) Consolidated information for the Colombian.000 Web Site: www. Peru and Chile (Sportlife).com Bodytech CEO: Luiz Urquiza Country: Brazil Founded in: 2005 Branches operating: 34 (*) Branches under construction: 28 (*) Members: 82.000 (*) Projection for 2012: $130.com.000 Web Site: www.000 Web Site: www.competition. Athletica CEO: Richard Bilton Country: Brazil Founded in: 1985 Branches operating: 16 Branches under construction: 2 Members: 32.000 (*) Web Site: www.000 Projection for 2012: $8.000 Web Site: www. www.000 Projection for 2012: $ 1.com.000.000.000.bodytech.000 Web Site: www.br (*) Consolidated information for Bodytech and Formula.500 Income in 2011: $71.800.000 (*) Projection for 2012: $110.350 (*) Income in 2011: $70.000.
600 Income in 2011: $58.000 Employees: 450 Income in 2011: n/a Projection for 2012: n/a Web Site: www.000 Web Site: www.000 Employees: 1.mx (*) 7 are corporate gyms.com.000 Projection for 2012: $5.org . Runner CEO: Peter Thomas Country: Brazil Founded in: 1983 Branches operating: 24 Branches under construction: 7 Members: 42.000 Employees: 300 Income in 2011: n/a Projection for 2012: n/a Web Site: www.com.000.000.000.mondayacademia.grupomultispa.sportcity.cl (*) 14 of these gyms are open 24 hours a day.com.000.000 Web Site: www.bo Sport City CEO: Paul Smith Country: Mexico Founded in: 1995 Branches operating: 46 (*) Branches under construction: n/d Members: 100.runner.br (*) 8 self-owned clubs.worldgym.com.200 Employees: 231 Income in 2011: $4.com Power Club CEO: Itzel Hasday Country: Panama Founded in: 2002 Branches operating: 9 Branches under construction: 2 Members: 15.700 Income in 2011: $35.000 Web Site: www.500.000 Projection for 2012: $1.sportsworld.000 Web Site: www.000.406 Income in 2011: $38.000 Web Site: www.000 Projection for 2012: n/a Web Site: www.premier.000 Projection for 2012: $55.spinningcentergym.com Paciﬁc Club CEO: Fritz Bartsch Country: Chile Founded in: 1995 Branches operating: 67 Branches under construction: 24 Members: 130. the rest are licensed.000 Projection for 2012: $19.mx O2 Club CEO: Alfredo de Goyeneche Country: Chile Founded in: 1995 Branches operating: 4 Branches under construction: 0 Members: 6.phisiqueclub.850 Employees: 176 Income in 2011: $6.700.000 Employees: n/a Income in 2011: n/a Projection for 2012: n/a Web Site: www.br Phisique Club CEO: Enrique La Motta Country: Ecuador Founded in: 2003 Branches operating: 2 Branches under construction: 1 Members: 1.000 Employees: 250 Income in 2011: n/a Projection for 2012: n/a Web Site: www.gt 58 Copyright 2012 IHRSA | IHRSA LATIN AMERICAN REPORT IHRSA LATIN AMERICAN REPORT | Copyright 2012 IHRSA www.powerclubgym.ihrsa.com Scandinavia Gym CEO: Yury Monroy Country: Guatemala Founded in: 1992 Branches operating: 13 Branches under construction: 2 Members: 18.000 Employees: n/a Income in 2011: $8.800 Employees: 80 Income in 2011: $2.000 Web Site: www.000 Employees: 1.000 Web Site: www.000 Projection for 2012: $6.000 Employees: n/a Income in 2011: $126.700.com.000 Employees: 250 Income in 2011: $1.200.000 Projection for 2012: $43.net Spinning Center Gym CEO: César Casallas Country: Colombia Founded in: 2000 Branches operating: 7 Branches under construction: 2 Members: 11.com. Super Fitness Damas CEO: Adam Bair Country: Mexico Founded in: 2002 Branches operating: 25 Branches under construction: 2 Members: 65.500.mx Multi Spa CEO: David Mears Country: Costa Rica Founded in: 1986 Branches operating: 5 Branches under construction: 0 Members: 5.sportium.000 Employees: 1.000 Projection for 2012: $2.superﬁtnessdamas.com Sports World CEO: Fabián Bifaretti Country: Mexico Founded in: 1996 Branches operating: 25 Branches under construction: 3 Members: 37.000 Web Site: www.500 Employees: 1.000 Projection for 2012: $10.ar CEO: Juan Ramón Morales Country: Guatemala Founded in: 1997 Branches operating: 3 Branches under construction: 1 Members: 8.o2club.500.paciﬁcclub.300.com.100.000 Web Site: www.500.com.400.200. World Gym Sport Club CEO: Adrián Anaya Country: Argentina Founded in: Branches operating: 26 Branches under construction: 4 Members: 80.cl Premier Fitness CEO: Ricardo Issa Country: Bolivia Founded in: 1999 Branches operating: 5 Branches under construction: 2 Members: 5.scandinaviagym.000 Employees: 240 Income in 2011: n/a Projection for 2012: n/a Web Site: www.000.com Sportium CEO: Enrique Vera Country: Mexico Founded in: 2003 Branches operating: 7 Branches under construction: 0 Members: 29.sportclub.Monday CEO: Humberto Barreira Junior Country: Brazil Founded in: 1993 Branches operating: 6 Branches under construction: 0 Members: 4.000.000.000 Employees: 601 Income in 2011: $17.000 Income in 2011: n/a Projection for 2012: n/a Web Site: www.000 Projection for 2012: $70.
org/research • E-mail: store@ihrsa.Additional IHRSA Publications nal Supplement to Club Business Internatio THE IHRSA PO GLOBAL RE2012 RT / THE STATE OF THE HEALTH CLUB INDUSTRY / THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT U. RACQUET & SPORTSCLUB ASSOCIATION TO ORDER: • Visit ihrsa.S. HEALTH CLUB EMPLOYMENT OUTLOOK ® Powered by INTERNATIONAL HEALTH.org • Call +1 617-951-0055 .
racquet & SportSclub aSSocIatIon Seaport Center.InternatIonal HealtH. 70 Fargo Street. Boston. MA 02210 USA • +1 617-951-0055 • firstname.lastname@example.org .
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