This year was my fourth Gold’s Gym convention in a row. Its always energizing to see the franchisees, executives and vendor partners who attend the event because so many wonderful people are a part of this legendary brand. The opening event included CEO Jim Snow, followed by the head of the Gold’s Franchise Association Mike Epstein, and finally Gold's VP of Fitness Tim Keightley. I appreciate all of these leaders for different reasons and attending the opening remarks is a great way to learn details about where this iconic brand is heading.
Gold’s has been around for nearly 5 decades and this convention’s theme, which CEO Snow shared, was about “Building Stronger Connections”; connecting with members, communities, vendors and each other. Jim emphasized 3 golden nuggets. First , participating in the Gold’s vendor program saves franchisees money; second, better customer satisfaction results in higher profits; and third new marketing tools and Gold’s new web site will enable higher lead flows that will enhance revenues.
Jim shared the brand’s goal of becoming the number one franchisor in the health club industry. Using an annual survey of franchisees he showed how the satisfaction level with the brand had improved significantly with franchisees in the last year. The CEO also set forth its growth plans, which has brought the brand to 675 locations today. Gold’s has been active in acquisitions and more aggressive in its plans for the express club model as well as international expansion.
Mike Epstein, a leader in the Gold’s Gym Franchise Association, spoke of the importance of community and addressed the commitment of Gold’s Franchisees to its members and communities. We love the GGFA and their team of folks including of course Ginger Collins. The franchisees are the heart of the organization and Mike had an inspirational video that displayed his Gold’s Paramus work with Sandy relief and Mike and his partner Art and their team was named Best Tour de Cure Team for 2013 at the Convention! See the video below, my partner Robert Dyer loves the Bruce Springsteen song We Take Care Of Our Own, and so do I.
Finally, Tim Keightley, always a profound and warm speaker, shared the inspirational stories of Gold’s members and their families . This moving and emotional introduction of members and their stories as shared by Tim brought more than a few tears to my eye. What a great and motivating presentation that was.
It was another great Gold's show and I've got to give a shout out and thanks to the many many friends we have with the Gold's brand. What a privilege to be there and here's to an even better 2014 show.
About the author:
Bryan O’Rourke is a health club industry expert, technologist, financier, shareholder and executive in several fitness companies. He works for Fitmarc, which delivers Les Mills programs to over 700 facilities in the US and heads up the firms Integerus and Fitsomo. He advises successful global brands, serves as a member of the GGFA Think Tank and is CEO of the Fitness Industry Technology Council (To join FIT-C visit www.fit-c.org ). Recently Bryan was named to the ACE industry advisory panel. To learn more contact Bryan here today.