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About Us

Dear Colleagues,

In March 2020 FISA North America turned twenty years old, and almost to the day, we found ourselves smack dab at the beginning of a Global Pandemic. As I write this, it’s been a year since our country and our business ground damn near to a standstill. With it came a mixture of emotions. Uncertainty. Fear. Panic. Anger, Frustration. You name it. But let’s remember above all, our business is, if nothing else, resilient. We have thrived during and in the aftermath of difficult economic circumstances in the past. The years 2008-2010 come to mind. Through resolve and readjustment, we will do so again.

As hard as we can be on ourselves, let’s not forget that our customers want us, need us and they look to us for guidance, market intelligence and support at the ground level. As they adjust and evolve to the changing needs of their customers, we must and will evolve and change right along with them.

A year into this turbulence, our entire business faces a reset, with many more questions than answers, and many more uncertainties than this brief letter can pose or answer. This remains a fluid situation for owners and operators, suppliers and fitness enthusiasts, no matter their choice of facility, or mixture of living room and garage-based workouts. Speculation is rampant. How many clubs and what type of clubs will survive and what will they look like when they do? There will be holes in the market to fill. Where? Will the consumer migration to the home setting increase, level off or recede to past levels? What impact will technology have on sanitation, club usage, marketing, sales and service delivery?

For now, conjecture dominates our conversations. I don’t have answers, but after a year’s worth of contact with our Board of Directors, our members, health club owners and operators, non-profit executives, and numerous players from outside our industry who will bring a wave of new solutions, this can be said with certainty. The upsurge of energy will be contagious. Constraints will end. Everything will be in motion. The lid will be off. The clock of history in our business will be reset and we will start over again, en masse, everyone in it together. Think of it. A whole industry’s aims no longer driven by the status quo.

Unanswerable questions will be answered. The future revealed. We’re going to look back with amazement, not just that we lived through this, in our country, in our business, in our time, but as who we were and what we became. Examples? New use of outdoor spaces, new streaming services that allow clubs to offer blended service inside and outside their clubs. It’s going to be astonishing.

One owner of multiple clubs recently told me he closed a 35K square foot facility that was losing money, relocated only the personal training component to a 3,000K square foot space just down the street and is now making a profit. You might call that thinking outside the box. I call it thinking with NO box at all. So have at it. There’s plenty of independent thinking going on out there!

All this said, our Board of Directors and our members continue to believe our best role and our value is to offer a limited number of cooperative initiatives, doing them well. Examples include:

  • Publishing the Commercial Market Trend Report, an annual data collection effort that tracks the global sale of commercial fitness equipment by product line, unit and volume sales and dealers sales activity, and more. We own comparative data since 2000.
  • We offer three appointment-based VIP events: FISA East and FISA West, and ‘Doing Business with YMCAs’. Held at world-class resorts and hotels such as La Quinta Club & Resort, Four Seasons Palm Beach Resort & Club, Turnberry Isle Collection, The Loews Coronado Resort, and Omni Rancho Las Palmas, the format includes prearranged, one-on-one meetings, social and networking activities with owners and executives of regional health club chains, independent clubs, YMCAs, JCCs and hospital-based facilities. It’s a great value for all participants, making efficient use of everyone’s time. Where else can you meet 30-40 decision-makers in one place, over 2½ days?
  • ‘Doing Business with YMCAs’ provides a similar format to connect with programming executive staff from Large and mid-tier YMCA groups.

When you browse our membership directory, you’ll see the names of companies you recognize and expect to see….those with great products, great people and insights to help commercial customers thrive. Be assured that as a supplier or as a customer, no matter your size, your product or service, your input is welcome as a part of our long-term commitment to help meet the needs of our industry.

Sincerely,

David Dinerman
Director