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About those newly-proposed UFC-branded fitness gyms…

By Zach Arnold | February 3, 2009

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I saw this press release talking about how 24 Hour Fitness and NBC’s The Biggest Loser TV show will continue their business partnership. Makes sense.

Then, I stumbled into this interview by CNBC’s Darren Rovell with New York Yankees SS Derek Jeter, talking about how there are now 24 Hour Fitness Gyms being branded with his name:

I’m really excited. There’s one open now in New York City now and there’s going to be a second one that’s opening up and it has been really successful so far. I mean, I think when you talk about 24-hour fitness gyms, in New York City, 24 hours a day, the city that never sleeps, that seems like a perfect match.

Jeter actually owns the fitness clubs (3 in Manhattan and 1 in New Jersey). The bigger question for those of you who follow the business side of things: How effective is this kind of branding on a business project like this? In other words, if Derek Jeter will be able to pull this off with four facilities, shouldn’t UFC be able to pull off this concept successfully?

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 4 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

4 Responses to “About those newly-proposed UFC-branded fitness gyms…”

  1. John Castignollo says:

    It depends. Should the place turn into a fight club for meatheads who try to be tough guys people will be turned off and steer clear. What happens when someone gets mauled at one of these places and sues? It will be headline news and people won’t step foot in the place. And it also tarnishes the UFC brand and reinforces the human cockfighting argument.

    But if they put the UFC logo on some treadmills then they should be fine. đŸ™‚

  2. catch says:

    I think if they stick with fighters with sizable and fanatical local fanbases like GSP and BJ Penn they have a decent shot.

  3. D.Capitated says:

    Jeter targeted upscale locations in Manhattan and happens to be among the most marketable athletes in the US, if not the world. What’s interesting is that all the 2008 talk from last February talks about 4 gyms being open and he’s now talking about how he has one gym open with plans for a second.

    As for the UFC, Jeter, or for that matter, “The Biggest Loser,” have far more crossover potential than a sport held in a cage where men batter each other with an assortment of strikes and holds.

  4. Garp says:

    24 Hour Fitness is already branded with Lance Armstrong in Central Texas. Not sure if he owns the gyms. Didn’t think so.
    The other interesting aspect to this story is how Gold’s Gym has recently been trying to “soften” its image so it can market itself to more females.
    Seems a “UFC” gym would throw even the possibility of that (unless they eventually opened the doors to a women’s division but even if not) becoming a possibility. Are Gold’s Gym and other established gym chains leaving money on the table by not marketing more to guys? Is that the opportunity the UFC’s collaborators see in this venture?


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