While many industries in Australia have been affected by the global economic downturn, the health and fitness industry has been growing steadily the last few years. According to the 2015 Suncorp Bank Cost of Being Fit Report, Australians spend $8.5 billion on fitness each year and there is little sign of them reining it in. Industry revenue is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 9.5 per cent through to 2017.
Technogym is one of the world’s largest sellers of high-end gym equipment by sales and has no plans of slowing down when it comes to making its mark on the Australian market.
Technogym, The Wellness Company, was founded in Italy in 1983 by Nerio Alessandri, and has been built to the point of bringing in US$581.2 million globally in revenue in 2015, up 10 percent from 2014.
“Wellness was born in Rome 2,000 years ago, and embodies a complete lifestyle, involving body, mind and spirit. Fitness means looking good; wellness means feeling good. Fitness is a commodity, while wellness is a premium offering. It’s an emotional, inspirational and aspirational approach,” explains Technogym Australia Country Manager, Claudio Bertozzi.
Technogym sees fitness as functional, but wellness as something more, something that adds an important layer to fitness. “Now in Australia, if you go to the gym, whether it is a high end or low end club, everything looks the same. Technogym provides a solution that is different, including seamless design and interface, connectivity and branding that is emotional and educational,” says Mr Bertozzi.
Technogym has a goal of replicating its global success in Australia, by not only focusing on the function of Technogym products, but also the emotional connection with customers – the wellness elements the company holds dear.
“The traditional fitness market has become oversaturated after almost 20 years of growth where the gym look and member experience have not been critical factors. In response, the majority of operators are looking for strong differentiation points. Technogym aims to be the alternative for those innovators who want to differentiate their business. By leveraging our wellness design expertise and technology competitive gap, we want to transform the industry,” says Mr Bertozzi.
Technogym has pioneered digital fitness and has been heavily involved in it for more than 20 years.
“By leveraging digital in programming and personalisation, we, together as an industry, can attract a huge new potential market – moving from a 15 per cent penetration rate towards a 40 per cent target. Five years from now, no one will be able to avoid digital. One of our principle targets is Millennials, who live digitally based lives. Clubs that don’t prepare for this digital transformation will be out of the market,” says Mr Bertozzi.
Technogym strongly believes in the concept of the ecosystem – a seamless interaction of connected equipment, digital platforms, apps and other devices – and is committed to providing solutions to offer end-users new and engaging experiences that involve both products and content, and operators the opportunity to evolve their business model by boosting attraction, retention, and ROI.
Virtual reality programming is another growing trend that Technogym is investing in by offering new content and interactive options within the ecosystem. For example, the Group Cycle Connect program includes a strong virtual reality content package. And in the cardio area, the company has launched an innovative RACE app for the new Excite line, so users can compete with other users in a virtual arena, or challenge themselves on some of the world’s most famous marathon circuits.
In addition to having its products in fitness facilities across Australia, Technogym sees a growth opportunity in the orthopaedic and rehabilitation space. It is partly the reason why the company has chosen to expand and refurbish its national head office and showroom in Bella Vista’s Norwest Business Park.
“There is an emerging health and medical cluster in the area which includes The Hills Private Hospital, ResMed and ARV. We want to continue to tap into this market as it grows and provide opportunities to support the aging population,” says Mr Bertozzi.
Another growth opportunity for Technogym is corporate customers tapping into the trend among businesses to encourage employees to embrace an active lifestyle – both to limit the cost of absenteeism and improve productivity. In Australia, Technogym’s Corporate Wellness Partners and Master Trainer Todd Brodie are working with corporates such as the Commonwealth Bank, Qantas and Newscorp to implement these wellness programs.
Technogym has more than 2,200 employees worldwide, with 30 employees based in Australia. It recently sent 50 trainers and 1,200 pieces of equipment to the Rio Olympics.
Technogym’s level of innovation, proven track record in elite sports training, and the fact that its high-quality equipment satisfies the needs of all sports disciplines, meant that it was the ideal partner of the 2016 Olympic Games. Technogym has also served as the official supplier to six previous Olympic Games, including Sydney in 2000.