Sports and exercising have been such an important part of life for me that I made it my profession. Give or take, my 10 years experiencing the Sports and Fitness industry in Brazil gave me the chance to start my now ongoing Masters in Sport Business.
I was born in Brazil, a country of four different time zones, an ethnically and culturally diverse land, the world's fifth largest in size with the sixth largest population (currently about 212 million), that hasn’t been spared from the challenges brought by the pandemic.
From the breathtaking beauty of desert lagoons oases in the northeast to one of the new 7 Wonders of the World, the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio, the “Giant of the South” has suffered with all covid-19 socio-economic impacts. The country was emerging from its worst ever recession in 2016, small GDP expansion though, until what is now to be considered the world's worst economic contraction since World War II, therefore adding some more scalding water to what already was “hot and steamy” enough for the Brazilian economy.
As it couldn’t be any different, the Gym business and fitness industry in Brazil have also been facing major downturns. Before Covid-19, according to the IHRSA Global Report (2019), Brazil had around 34,509 gyms business (the second largest market in the world in number of gyms), a 2 billion dollars worth industry behind the United States and Canada when considering the American continent. When it comes to Latin America, Brazil occupies the first position in the ranking in all categories.
Regarding the number of customers, Brazil had reached 9.6 million gym members, such an impressive mark that was hit hard by the outbreak. The effects of the containment measures on the Gym business in Brazil are still uncertain. One thing is sure, the online products and services such as Live-streaming workout classes have been booming after Covid-19 restrictions in Brazil. Sales and customer retention seminars have become the norm (the online ones), along with cost saving strategies that clearly became more crucial than ever. Studios, low-cost gyms and high-end fitness clubs, everyone has had their share of challenges regardless.
But do not lose your hope. Every cloud has a silver lining, hasn’t it?
What can be troublesome, can also be trailblazing. You know what’s the biggest risk facing Gym operators and business leaders, especially when you’ve got nothing to lose? Not taking enough risk, no innovation, getting stuck in a business model that has nothing to do with the 21st century. This is THE TIME for innovation.
In many sectors, the crisis has forced companies to speed up the digital transformation. Should the same happen with the fitness market? No doubt. Gyms must adjust their business model indeed. The Fitness industry is still very dependent on face-to-face classes, but the pandemic has forced the industry to think about digital solutions. Wanna learn more how digital solutions can assist your Gym business?
In several countries the population has been recommended to abide by the quarantine. We have witnessed gym attendance drop to zero and lots of cancellations. We know how reducing operation costs and layoff have been painfully necessary.
Looking ahead, the risks facing Brazil right at the moment remain on the downside amid uncertainties regarding not only the pandemic but mainly the country’s ongoing political crisis. On the other hand, we all know that difficulties can also bring out the best in us. If well managed, gym operators and other decision makers can turn this “cyclone into a point of sale” opportunity.
Nevertheless, as daunting as it may look, let’s cope with one issue at time. Furthermore, this is not at all a one-person task, thus I’m convinced that we must share the responsibility of working hard toward a better scenario for everyone. We at Indoor Informatics have been doing what we do the best: creating I.T solutions that deliver sustainable development, cost saving and customer retention strategies at affordable prices way before this whole situation started. Our motivation here remains the same: to facilitate Gym owners' work, making gym members and employees’ lives easier and safer to go back to the gym.
We have no doubt that the fitness industry in Brazil will come up stronger than ever, as relevant as ever, hence playing an important role promoting people’s health and as well as in the country’s economic recovery.
Stay tuned for more updates. We’ll be interviewing great Fitness entrepreneurs from Brazil who generously shared their points with us.
Written by Marcos Vinicius, Sales Manager at Indoor Informatics.
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