Gold’s Adds BTS Group Ex Classes

IRVING, TX -- Gold’s Gym International (GGI) is sponsoring Body Training Systems (BTS) group exercise programs for its franchisees.

Gold’s Gym owners now have a choice among BTS, Les Mills International or classes of their own choosing, says Joel Tallman, senior vice president of franchising and global operations for GGI, Irving, TX.

“We have 50 Gold’s Gyms with Body Training Systems now coming into this relationship,” Tallman says. “From what we’re hearing coming off our convention [last month in Las Vegas], having the Gold’s Gym-branded programming is very intriguing to some of the existing operators to add that to their programming.”

Gold’s Gym franchisees have always had a choice in how they run their group fitness programming, Tallman says. In the past, GGI paid for the first three programs for royalty franchisees that chose Les Mills, but GGI did not pay for BTS programming. Now, GGI will pay for the first three programs from either Les Mills or BTS for a franchisee with a royalty franchise agreement, Tallman adds.

Last week, Les Mills announced a partnership with 24 Hour Fitness in which 24 Hour clubs will now offer the Les Mills’ BodyPump barbell class. 24 Hour CEO Carl Liebert hailed the partnership as the largest for Les Mills BodyPump in the United States. After a trial last fall, a limited number of Town Sports International clubs license Les Mills programs, too.

The new Les Mills’ partnerships created a dilemma for GGI, Tallman says.

“[We’re] paying for a program, and my competitor has it across the street,” he says.

Still, Les Mills, which is based in Auckland, New Zealand, says that more than 360 Gold’s Gyms in the United States offer Les Mills programs, a figure that Tallman could not confirm. Gold’s franchisees also have access to Gold’s co-branded marketing materials, Les Mills adds.

“Les Mills has been honored with multiple Gold’s Gym awards based on surveys of the franchisees themselves, including Vendor of the Year (Non Equipment) in 2009,” Les Mills International Chief Executive Phillip Mills said in a statement. “We remain fully committed to our reputation for providing the ultimate group fitness experience to Gold’s Gym owners, instructors and members.”

Sara Kooperman, CEO of Les Mills Midwest and SCW Fitness Education, Northbrook, IL, also maintains a commitment to Gold’s.

“The Gold’s support helped put us on the map,” Kooperman says. “We really appreciate them. You don’t forget where you came from.”

Tallman says the BTS classes are ready to be implemented immediately to those franchisees that do not have the programming. GGI will roll out the core products from BTS only under Gold’s-branded products, Tallman adds.

As for the costs, Gold’s franchisees will not pay GGI for BTS programs. If a franchisee decides to add more than three programs, they will pay a negotiated rate to BTS or another group exercise company, Tallman says. Although the decision about charging members extra fees for group exercise programs is left to franchisees, most of Gold’s franchisees do not do so, Tallman adds.

BTS is under the direction of Rich Boggs, founder, president and CEO of the Marietta, GA-based company.

“Gold’s Gym-branded exercise classes can be a tremendous asset to gym owners wanting to take it a step further to distinguish themselves in a highly competitive marketplace,” Boggs said in a statement. “We look forward to working with Gold’s Gym to provide quality group exercise programming and customized management support.”

Gold’s Hires Wendy McMullen as National Corporate Sales Director

IRVING, TX -- Wendy McMullen is the new national corporate sales director for Gold’s Gym.

McMullen will be responsible for generating new national corporate wellness accounts for Gold’s and will work directly with GGI, the Gold’s Gym Franchisee Association and the National Franchise Council. McMullen has held sales leadership roles with Hyatt and Omni Hotels.

“Wendy brings a wealth of national sales experience and will play a critical role in turning our national corporate wellness program into a powerhouse that will generate revenue for both franchise and corporate-owned Gold’s Gym locations,” Jim Snow, president of GGI, said in a statement. “The national corporate wellness arena represents an enormous opportunity for the Gold’s Gym brand, and we are thrilled to have her join the team to help us grow to the next level.”

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