- Interactive fitness company Fiit has unveiled a three-pronged approach to tap into new audiences at home and abroad post COVID-19
- In the first step of plans to consolidate its foothold beyond the UK, Fiit has partnered with US telecoms giant Comcast to reach millions of households across the US
- The 2017-founded brand has announced deals with hotel groups and a 24/7 gym operator in an effort to become the world’s most convenient fitness experience
- “Innovation is key to defining what the future of fitness looks like, and the last 18-months have proven how those with the ability to adapt quickly can become game-changers,” Fiit CEO Daniel Shellard told Welltodo.
LONDON, United Kingdom — Fitness tech company Fiit is targeting aggressive global expansion on multiple fronts as it launches on Comcast in the United States, unveils a series of hotel partnerships in the UK and opens its first in-gym experience with 24/7 operator The Gym Group.
The past few months have been especially busy for Fiit Having won over thousands of new fans in the UK during the COVID-19 pandemic, with consumers increasingly – and permanently – shifting their workout habits online, the company has now set its sights on cracking America.
In the first step of its plans to consolidate its foothold beyond the UK, Fiit has partnered with US telecoms giant Comcast to reach millions of households across the US via its interactive fitness TV app on Comcast Xfinity X1 and Xfinity Flex. Users can now stream interactive and on-demand fitness classes, ranging from HIIT to Pilates, straight from their TV.
The announcement comes at a time when one-third of US adults are now known to use digital platforms as part of their weekly exercise routines, and follows similar arrangements with Sky Q, Amazon Fire TV and Samsung Smart TVs that have enabled the company to reach over 20 million households in the UK.
Speaking to Welltodo, CEO and Co-Founder Daniel Shellard revealed America has long been in the company’s sights, and although success isn’t guaranteed for UK businesses that make the leap, he’s hopeful this Comcast deal could accelerate the nation’s adoption of digital fitness solutions – and propel the business to new heights.
“The US is a thriving and growing market and has always been a crucial part of Fiit’s growth strategy,” Shellard told Welltodo. “Yet, whilst there are several opportunities for UK businesses, this does not mean there is a streamlined route to success.”
In preparation for the US launch, fans of the interactive fitness app, which can be accessed on mobile devices as well as via its TV app, will have noticed a new roster of American trainers has been introduced on the platform, including four-time Ninja Warrior contestant Angela Gargano.
“It’s important businesses do not view the US as a single entity – each state is independent of the other with differing legal, social and economic climates. As such, ensuring you have a targeted approach is critical,” Shellard continued.
“As a hugely dynamic country, it attracts some of the most innovative and successful companies from all over the world, and the US market is faster to adopt new technologies and trends than any other country.”
Speaking on the Comcast deal, Shellard added: “As the digital fitness market continues to evolve, we’re delighted to be the first platform globally to be in a position to launch the world’s-first interactive fitness TV app.”
The Gym Group
While the US launch has been a major focus for the London-born tech company, Fiit has also pursued several other initiatives that demonstrate it isn’t solely banking on the trend towards home workouts.
Last month Fiit rolled out a corporate wellness package tailored specifically for hybrid working habits called Fiit for Work. One month earlier, in August, the 2017-founded company announced it was extending its partnership with 24/7 fitness operator The Gym Group to launch the UK’s first in-gym interactive digital fitness studios.
The partnership marked the first time Fiit would be readily accessible within a traditional bricks and mortar gym operator, with Fiit Studios and Fiit Pods initially rolled out at three of The Gym Group’s London and Manchester locations.
News of the exclusive launch came at a time when Fiit reported findings from its own survey that suggested 53% of those using digital fitness platforms would be more inclined to continue using them if they could be used in some capacity at gyms.
The 2021 Les Mills Global Fitness Report has similarly tipped “omnichannel fitness” to prevail, with 80% of gym members planning to continue using digital workouts post-pandemic.
Barney Harrison, Chief Commercial Officer at The Gym Group, commented: “Our purpose as an organisation is to break down the barriers to fitness for all. The introduction of Fiit studio classes and Fiit pods helps us to bring expert instruction, added motivation and an immersive fitness experience to our members around the clock.”
Read More: Gyms & Studios Set For Roaring Recovery, New Les Mills Report Finds
Shangri-La At The Shard
In July, Fiit also unveiled a series of hotel partnerships, demonstrating the company’s broader ambitions to tap into the burgeoning sectors of wellness hospitality and tourism.
Following the lead of interactive fitness brands Mirror and Tonal, Fiit revealed it had partnered with the Shangri-La Hotel, housed in The Shard in London, as well as with lifestyle aparthotel brand Locke, which owns eight self-contained apartments across the UK, Ireland and Germany.
Guests will be offered a one-month complimentary membership to Fiit, so they can use the platform for the duration of their stay and after they leave. Shangri-La will also host private group classes for guests with live leaderboards which, they say, will provide all the camaraderie and motivation of in-person fitness classes.
“Our mission is to make fitness a habit for everybody,” said Shellard. “Launching into hotels is a natural step for us, enabling guests to choose how, when and where they work out.”
To date, Fiit has amassed a strong nationwide following in the UK, with members completing over 7.2 million classes on the app, and raised a total of £9 million over two funding rounds. Its last latest raise came in March 2019 from a Series A round.
While there are no suggestions the company will be taking on more funding imminently, their global ambitions and aggressive expansion plans suggest investors on both sides of the Atlantic will be watching their rapid growth with increasing interest.
“We have no intention of slowing down,” Shellard added, hinting at further plans for expansion to the rest of the world within the next two years. “Innovation is key to defining what the future of fitness looks like, and the last 18-months has proven how those with the ability to adapt quickly can become game-changers.”