Chicago Bulls player Joakim Noah opened the first two of several planned Crunch Fitness gyms in the Chicago area last week.
Noah is the majority owner of Crunch Aurora and Crunch Mount Prospect, according to a media release from Crunch Franchise. Fitness industry veteran David Harman, who has managed clubs for 25 years and has 14 Crunch locations under his belt as a franchisee, appointed Tom Ostrander to oversee the two locations and the additional planned Crunch locations. The announcement did not disclose how many locations are planned or when they will open, but in 2015, the company announced that Noah would be opening five locations.
"We are looking forward to bringing the Crunch brand back into the Chicago market and having Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls on board alongside one of our top franchisees," Ben Midgley, CEO, Crunch Franchise, said in a statement. "Crunch caters to everyone from beginners to fitness enthusiasts, and with David Harman's expertise and Joakim Noah's importance in the community, they are the perfect team to bring Crunch's 'No Judgments' philosophy to Chicago."
Noah is a client of sports management firm BDA Sports Management. In 2014, Crunch Franchise launched a partnership with BDA in the Los Angeles area with BDA client and Sacramento Kings player Darren Collison, and BDA client and Phoenix Suns player Chase Budinger. The partnership will develop and operate franchise ownership opportunities with NBA athletes across the world. As a result of the partnership, several Crunch locations are in operation with more plans for development, according to the media release, but the release did not offer specific numbers.
Crunch Fitness, New York, is co-owned by New Evolution Ventures and private equity firm Angelo, Gordon & Co. New Evolution Ventures was co-founded in 2008 by 24 Hour Fitness founder and Kings co-owner Mark Mastrov. Crunch Fitness has 150 gyms worldwide and 120 franchised locations in the United States, Puerto Rico and Australia.