#143: Clive Ormerod, CEO of Les Mills International

Today, I’m joined by Clive Ormerod, CEO of Les Mills International, an international group fitness brand.

Les Mills has been creating fitness experiences for over 50 years, playing a key role in the development of modern-day group fitness classes. With programming that mixes music, motivation, and movement, Les Mills content is licensed by over 21K gyms and facilities across 100+ countries.

Clive and I discuss the company’s legacy in the fitness industry and the evolution of its omnichannel offering, from in-club and instructor training to digital and VR content. Plus, we talk about the power of community and building a fitter planet.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How Les Mills creates exceptional experiences IRL & digitally
  • Keys to enabling consistent company growth
  • How Les Mills leverages technology to deliver diverse fitness content
  • Clive’s thoughts on specialization and innovation

Links & Resources

Clive’s Links

Episode Transcript

This is a machine-generated transcript. Please excuse any errors.

[00:00:00] Clive:
We really believe live, in-club experience is the pinnacle. That’s what our business ultimately is looking to inspire because it’s about connection and community. We’re a human business, and we love personal, human connection. We know customers are looking for convenience, which allows them to work out around their lives.

We want to fill studios, and we want to make sure those customers can be served at home or if they’re on the road when they’re traveling. We are passionate about growing the industry as a whole.

[00:00:38] Joe:
Welcome back to the Fitt Insider podcast. I’m your host, Joe Vennare.

Today I’m joined by Les Mills CEO, Clive Ormerod. In this episode we discuss the company’s 50-year history in the fitness industry, the evolution of its omnichannel offering from in-club and instructor training, to digital and VR content. Plus, we talk about the power of community, and building a fitter planet.

Let’s get into it.

Hi, Clive, welcome to Fitt Insider. Thanks for joining us.

[00:01:00] Clive:
Pleasure. How’s it, Joe? Thanks for having me, mate.

[00:01:03] Joe:
Yeah, I’m looking forward to this conversation.

There’s a ton to talk about, from the fitness world and everything that you’ve all been up to, but maybe just to kick things off can you introduce yourself and tell us about Les Mills?

[00:01:15] Clive:
Yeah, sure. My name’s Clive Omerod. I’m the group CEO for Les Mills. We’re a global fitness company making fitness content that we choreograph to music. We work with clubs, gyms, instructors, and consumers all around the world to help motivate people, and to get them active.

[00:01:33] Joe:
Yeah, it’s really incredible. It’s awesome. It’s kind of coming full circle, in some ways, for me to have this conversation. Originally in my career my entrance into fitness was in local YMCAs and in community recreation centers. For folks that come from that world, obviously Les Mills is a huge name. The instructors, the kind of brand, and I think now, bringing that into this conversation where we’re so much focused on tech and other aspects of the wellness industry. I’m very excited to get the update on everything that’s been in the works.

But maybe as a quick background, can you talk about—it’s not new, right? Not a new business. It’s been around quite a while—where things stand today?

[00:02:22] Clive:
Absolutely. Yeah, not a new business at all. I mean, we’ve been around for over 50 years.

We’ve been looking to perfect our craft for over 50 years. And at the core of what we do, we talk about being a content business. We want to make the world’s best fitness content that inspires customers all around the world to work out. But at the core of really what we do, our mission is creating what we call a fitter planet.

And creating a footer planet stands for getting people active, which is healthy people. And then creating a footer planet, which is healthy planet. And that’s about planting trees. That’s about combating climate change and that’s about making sure that we have a planet for the future, for those that are around us today, but also into the future.

So we’re passionate about creating a place that the world that is gonna be better for the long term and central to that is inspiring and motivating people to work out. To amazing content and fitness. Choreography and making sure that our music really helps get people off the couch, into studios, working out at home.

We love our instructor business as well, which is around making sure we have a community of instructors all around the world that just love teaching people and inspiring people. And then most recently we ventured into the direct to consumer business industry as well. And we’ve been playing in that space for a while, but ultimately we think we’ve got all the tools, all the assets to create that omnichannel fitness experience.

So, yeah, like you said, we’ve been around for 50 years. We’re a family held business, which means that we are really authentic around what we want to do and how we want to do it. We’ve got heart, we’ve got passion, we’ve got soul. And it is ultimately about helping the world be a better place.

[00:04:05] Joe:
So much coming. As you think about those things and the, the kind of evolution, you mentioned, you know, creating fitness content and having that, you know, getting into the digital side and then the omnichannel. How do you think about the different components of the business? You know, I think if we take a step back.

Two years ago, pre COVID, right? It was, I feel like a lot of operators were wrestling with this. How do we maintain whatever the version their version of in studio is? And the instructors being central to that experience, but also wanting to like offer something from a digital side, recognizing that.

Again, pre COVID consumers were still kind of craving convenience and that connection outside the four walls of the studio. So is there a difference in terms of how you thought of that then and now, or was it just kind of a natural evolution and maybe got there faster?

[00:04:56] Clive:
It’s been a natural evolution for us, but I think it’s helped the industry get there faster. You. I think that’s been one of the biggest shifts, you know, we’ve been pushing omnichannel for years. We really believe that live.

In club experience as a pinnacle. That’s what our business ultimately is looking to inspire because it’s about connection and community. We, we, we’re a human business and we love personal human connection. And we know just like you said, customers are looking for convenience. Which allows them to work out around their lives.

We’re busy, we’ve all got a lot going on. So we’ve been pushing that omnichannel experience for many, many years, and COVID came along and really helped everyone’s eyes get a little bit open, more open to getting their, and that’s what we’ve really tried to capitalize on in the last 24 to 30 months. I think the thing that’s interesting for us is we’re ultimately about completing that ecosystem.

We want to drive people into studios. We want to fill studios. We want people to experience the thrill of a live fitness experience, and we want to be making sure that those customers can be served at home. Or if they’re on the road when they’re traveling and that’s what Les’s plus allows us to do. So we’re looking to complete that we think the last 24 months have helped us as a business get there faster, definitely accelerated our business as well.

Albe it came with many challenges, just like the industry experienced. And we passionate about growing the industry as a whole. We

[00:06:19] Joe:
For sure. Do you talk about, I guess, publicly how big those different sectors of the business are and if not from like a, maybe a monetary perspective, just in terms of maybe percentage makeup and how you think about what is the kind of perfect breakout and balance across all the, you know, instructor digital in person, etc.

[00:06:40] Clive:
Yeah, we do. So we, we talk about having 21,000 clubs gyms around the world that we work with. And we worked with those for over 40 years and talk about having 130,000 instructors that are certified Liz mills instructors. And we talk about having just under half a million director, consumer relationships that are active working out with us every single month.

We’ve got aspirations to grow all of those communities. You know, we’d love to see all of those communities double. Over the next 24 to 36 months. And that might feel aspirational, but we definitely believe the opportunities there. You know, as a business, we’ve always dreamed big, we’ve got big aspirations and we’ve really wanted to make sure that we help the world.

Be better through people working out and we’ve gotta do that at scale. If we are really gonna make that impact, you know, for a planet comes from doing things at scale, it doesn’t just do piece by piece person by person. We’ve gotta be able to scale at some point. And that’s really what we’re putting our focus on right now.

And that allows us to make a bigger impact all around the world and we call it performance for purpose. So if our business is strong, if our business is healthy, then we can scale faster and we can reinvest back into the category.

[00:07:48] Joe:
Yeah, absolutely. When you think about, you know, continuing to drive that growth and wanting to double that reach and impact that from a, a growth plan, right? What are some of those, whether you think of them as tactics or priorities, or even the roadmap to say, you know, it’s taken us. Maybe 50 years to get to this point and continuing to, to double growth. Right?

What are the, the, the things that are gonna get you there?

[00:08:15] Clive:
I mean, there’s a, there’s a few basic enablers, you know, at the core of it, it’s just making sure you have amazing product. And like I said earlier, we believe we’re a content business. So at a time where there is just so much choice and there is so much quantity, we believe it ultimately comes down to quality.

So you’re not gonna differentiate yourself by making yourself worse. You’re gonna differentiate yourself by choosing the best and building the best customer experience around that. So we aim, we strive to be the best in the industry, through our content and our product. And we’re gonna continue to do that.

We’re gonna continue to invest in that. So the core of it, it’s, it’s, it’s our content, which we call our product. The second is the digital experiences that we’re able to provide you as customers on our platforms. We know we’ve gotta continue to lift them. We know we’ve gotta continue to get better there.

So we are investing really hard in our technology platforms and our ability to reach more customers in a way that they want to be with really inspiring, simple user journeys and just inspirational technology features. So we’ve investing big time into our tech or roadmap around that space. And then it’s about people and capability.

And the third one is around. How do we just build the best. Team that really helps us reach, aim big, achieve. Some of those goals brings an expertise from other industries because we’re all learning. I’ve worked now across three to three to four industries, depending on how you categorize them. And that’s really helped round out my skills and bring a different perspective to what we as a business can achieve.

So those three components we think if we can invest really well in our content, we can invest really well in our technology for that reach. And we can bring great people together to create a championship winning team. We believe we got the formulated continue to accelerate our growth.

[00:10:02] Joe:
Certainly checking all the, the right boxes and laser focused on continuing to move the needle. I’d be. Is to hear how you think about, you know, from that live and in studio or in gym and the instructor perspective. Is there still a sense, I guess still assuming that there was ever one pre COVID, right.

That somehow this digital was gonna cannibalize or detract from what they were trying to do, right? Because in some ways, yes, the overarching kinda less mills brand and product offering benefits from the.

You know, omnichannel and being everywhere with the consumers, but some of those operators, and certainly some of the instructors still have to say, like, I need these people to come to my class.

Like I need them to be there with me. So is it a conversation with them? Like, Hey, this is how it benefits all of us. And is it a concern that, you know, you they’re off put by what you’re trying to do from like a digital and technology perspective?

[00:10:59] Clive:
I believe it was more of a conversation before. I think it’s less of a conversation now. I think everyone understands now that digital just helps your business. your service, your proposition become better. And for those operators that

May be sort as really competitive. We’ll now see it as complimentary. I think that’s the opportunity. So yeah, it’s, it’s a constant education. I mean, I used to work in retail. I used to work in sportswear when I worked in Nike and we definitely went through exactly the same thing. When we went from being a wholesale business, selling to big key accounts to also building out, to direct to consumer business.

And what you’ve seen when done well is that you actually grow the category as a. You bring more people in you grow the strength of the category. You help open people, eyes that might not have considered your brand beforehand. So it can be a win-win. It absolutely needs to be a win-win. And I think that’s what we believe we can bring with our omnichannel approach, which is we’ve got deep relationships with clubs.

We know for a fact that hundreds of thousands, millions of customers, consumers started their fitness journey through COVID at home. They might never have gone into a gym before. But now through getting comfortable and getting a bit more confident by using digital solutions, such as SMOs plus they now go to a gym and they use that as part of their fitness proposition.

So we’ve seen people drive both ways. We also know that from our research, 60% of people want an in gym experience, 40% want to be able to also work out at home. And of the people having an in gym experience, 80% are using fitness apps, digital fitness apps to work out at home or around their lives. So we believe clubs have to offer it.

We want to be that choice with clubs, we’ve got services and solutions from Les Mills’s plus ToLes Mills’s content, which allows you as a club owner to embed our content in your. Or to drive people to Les Mills plus, and be an affiliate partner with us. So we think we can help you provide a solution that gives your members the same experience in club and also complimented at home

[00:12:59] Joe:
Yeah, I think any, any like skepticism that there was around that it’s, it’s almost become obvious at this point, right? That it there’s. There has to be a way to do those things in a complimentary fashion, such that you are capturing that demand that otherwise, you know, whether they start online and go to the gym, whether they’re going to the gym and supplementing that with at home, there’s a version of this where it’s not one or the other.

And, and having these conversations with so many different operators and executives is just like, everybody defaults to that place now. And it’s not fighting the battle as much as is like, we just have to figure it.

[00:13:37] Clive:
Absolutely. And, and I, and I think, you know, we you’ve talked about it in one of your most recent publications, the power of community and the culture of community. And we just, we couldn’t agree more. We, we, we absolutely believe that’s core to our business. So what we are doing is we are kicking back off our big live.

We call them live fitness, rock shows. We’re doing those limos lives all around the world. We’re inviting people into our communities. A lot of those people are gonna be customers that might never have experienced a live fitness experience before. And we believe after coming to Al’s live in new Orleans or Al’s live in London, there’s gonna be thousands of customers that will consider going and doing live fitness in the club, in the gym because of that experience.

So we think we can C complete that ecosystem and bring more people into the category. Yeah.

[00:14:23] Joe:
Folks, aren’t familiar with them. Some of these, the live events are really incredible. a ton of people, a ton of energy. Like I’ve only, I’ve never experienced it firsthand, but seeing the, the videos and the content, things that you all put out, it’s

[00:14:35] Clive:
Yeah,

[00:14:35] Joe:
A, a site to behold.

[00:14:37] Clive:
I mean, we’d love to host you. If you wanted to come to new Orleans or you wanted to come over to London, let us know. But yeah, London, we’re planning to have 6,000 people over two days. You know, you can imagine body pump with 2000 people in the room or combat with three and a half thousand people.

It’s just an epic, here’s on the back of your neck experience though. I’d definitely encourage any of the listeners to get amongst it. If you haven’t experienced it yet

[00:15:00] Joe:
Yeah. You talk about the community aspect of it, but also the, you know, I think a lot of people. And it’s something. We try to drive home that there are certain fitness seeking, you know, demographics. And then there are people who are committed fitness seekers, but the vast majority of people are not going to the gym.

They’re not exercising. Right. There’s all types of things that. we have to solve to your point to make a federal planet around physical activity.

And so events like that are really. When else are you gonna be able to leave that kind of like gym intimidation or whatever, you know, the phrase is behind and just like go and have a good time and oh, by the way, you’re working out and oh, by the way, you’re around other people who are inspired by this.

[00:15:43] Clive:
Yeah, absolutely. And we just know there’s so much pen up demand from the last two and a half years, not being able to do that. So I think getting people back into live experiences where you can bring communities together and you can feel that group effect, which is what we call it. You really just have an amazing experience off the back of, it.

And I think if that can help drive people into clubs, full studios, help instructors pack out their classes, then it’s gotta be a win-win.

[00:16:10] Joe:
For sure. you mentioned some of the, the names that are familiar to me, the, body combat and the, what were they again? So I don’t mess them up,

[00:16:18] Clive:
Yeah. So body pump is, is our, is our ball bell, strength, body combat grit. You know, we’ve got, we’ve got a lot of, a lot of programs across multiple categories that we help service. So if you’re a club looking to fulfill a strength category, or body balance for yoga hit, which is our grit.

We’ve got something for you. We love cycle. We’ve got three awesome cycle programs, and we really believe we have a solution for you as a club owner, to be able to offer something that your customers will be looking for and fill your studios. And then for people at home as well, we’ve also introduced low impact recovery.

And some of those other solutions that we know customers are looking for that really helps you complement. Maybe you’ve been for a run and you want to be able to work out how you roll out your it band and just really sort of work on your recovery a little bit more. We have all of those. We have mindfulness, we have breath work meditation.

That’s all on our Les Mills plus app. So we’ve got a hundred, we’ve got 1500 workout options on Les Mills plus across multiple different programs. So we think there’s something for. We are working hard on making sure that that’s a fitness experience online or in club that really just inspires you to want to keep working out

[00:17:37] Joe:
I think with that, the, some of the, the programming and certainly the, the instructor trainings and how it’s delivered. Club, again, having been more familiar with that from like seeing it in the, in the group setting and and from the instructor training aspect of it, but evolving that, and now you’re saying like this being a content business, and especially from a digital and technology side, what has gone into the production of that, the instructors and talent that are on there and how people, you know, you’re able to deliver a diverse kind of fitness experience, recommend personalize all those things from, from the technology side.

[00:18:14] Clive:
Absolutely so much. I mean, hundreds and thousands of hours, you know, we spend hundreds of millions of dollars over the years in perfecting our content. we absolutely obsess about every single part of it, the workouts, the science that goes into making sure that we are giving you the best move to really perfect.

Your result affect your results, the choreography, and the hours and hours of training. We train, we, we test all of our classes in gym. For months before we look to film it and then release it. So we really, really perfect and craft all aspects of bringing that content together. When we then film, we film with up to 15 cameras.

On different design sets with instructors from all around the world that have trained and rehearsed for multiple hours. So there’s a lot that goes into really continuing to try and perfect our craft. And at the core of that, it’s about just making the best content. And I think if you’ve experienced our content, you know what I mean?

There’s just so many layers of detail. And then we spend hours and hours in terms of instructor training. How do you train instructors? How do you help instructors really hit the right cues? How do you help them motivate, but also give good coaching. We needed to make sure that as that end user you’re getting just the best experience, because if you can be motivated, if you can get motivated more than you’ve been before to stay working out.

And then if you can see the results, it comes from that. And that’s mental and physical result, you know, it’s no longer just. We know that many of our customers are looking for mental results. And that’s why we’ve now introduced mindfulness. Breathwork meditation to compliment some of our other mind, body solutions, such as body balance.

And we believe we’ve got something for everyone, but the craft that we put into trying to perfect that we’ve, we’ve done for over 50 years now. And I hope you can see that when you look at our content and the overall experience that you as a customer might experience, when you go to one of our classes,

[00:20:17] Joe:
Yeah, it’s really interesting what you hit on there. It’s something that is, you know, another kind of. Focal point or, maybe even, I, I want to say more than a trend and, and almost like a, flag in the ground that people are aspiring towards. And that is this kind of evolving definition of fitness and health and wellness and all these words coming together.

Right. Which ultimately is. People just want to feel good they want to, they want to feel better about themselves. They want to feel better about their energy levels and their mental health and how they look when they look in the mirror.

And for, you know, kind of fitness focused brands. It can be a challenge sometimes to think like, well, how do I appeal to them? You know, you talked about meditation and breath, work and stretching. And some of those things that are more recovery focused have. Thought further down that path of.

Like, what does it look like to appeal to these other aspects of wellbeing that like, ultimately you’re providing that service and feeling so you want to meet them where they are.

[00:21:17] Clive:
Absolutely. And I think core of what we do is we know we’ve gotta continu, continuously evolve. I mean, we’ve been evolving for over 50 years and the customer evolves, gen Z as a, as a customer group now is the biggest, fastest growing member gym member group. And we know that they are the end of.

They’re the end of the consumer group that is now coming into studios, coming into gyms. They’re the people that we now need to be making sure we make great content for and the right classes for, so we continually stay at the forefront of trends. Absolutely. And we continuously trying to push and to make sure that we are making the right programs and producing the right content to best serve those customer groups.

Innovation is in our DNA. It’s been in our DNA for many, many years. We consistently looking to innovate whether that be our equipment business, which we call smart tech, our bar bells, and the solutions that we offer within that, or most recently our venture into body combat VR. We wanted to have a play in the metaverse.

We understand that there are customers in that category that might not necessarily ever have been to a gym. And if we can inspire them to get off the couch and potentially consider going to a gym or working out with us on Les Mills, plus then that’s a massive win as well. So we launched body combat VR earlier this year, and we sent some awesome success with it.

It was really a test with entering into that space with a partnership with OTs, which are. Developers that are based out of Europe. And we think we’ve been able to put something out there. That’s, that’s reasonably, reasonably strong in comparison to what else is around it. We’re seeing it. One of the top rated fitness apps.

We sold over 50,000 units in a few months. And we’re seeing really strong demand from people that have never considered our brand or potentially even the category before and getting people into fitness. So it’s about meeting them where they are just like you said,

[00:23:14] Joe:
With that. I was, definitely wanting to kind of touch on the, the VR launch there. And. I you know, from a high level, right? you You, see all these things kind of evolution of gaming and trying to reach, maybe either a younger consumer or somebody who, you know, is not the in gym, typical kind of, persona of somebody who’s a gym goer.

And just trying to again, be where people are, how do you go from like, Hey, we see this thing and we recognize that we might even want to test it to then getting something out there in the world. What was that experience?

[00:23:46] Clive:
You choose to take some calculated swings. You know, you, you see some trends, you understand you’re gonna need to invest in it. You do it in the, in the smartest way. You possibly can you wrap some of your best people around it. We’ve got two of our best trainers part of that program. We know that content is what we do now.

We’ve been making an amazingly. Immersive fitness experience called the trip for many years now. And if you haven’t experienced the trip, I’d encourage you to get outta there and do it. But you’re cycling through these unreal, amazing worlds where you’re just immersed in the content with great music and just graphics on screen that take you to another place.

So we knew where we wanted the bar to be in terms of the graphics and that application using the Unreal Engine. And we worked with some providers that were able to meet that and service that, and it took us over 12 months. So yeah, it’s a calculated swing that you choose to invest in. And some of those calculated swings don’t come off and some do.

And we think this is a really interesting one for us, but it’s definitely something we are still learning in. So body combat is our focus on it. Now we put it out as a, you purchase it once you download it, but we are now gonna offer other upsell mechanism. To give people additional content. And then who knows where it will go.

If the demand continues to be as strong as it is, and it continues to rate as one of the best fitness apps on the app store, then we’ll potentially look to continuously evolve that.

[00:25:12] Joe:
And then even with the VR component of it, another thing that, you know, I’m also thinking about. Especially when having conversations from an executive side is like they wanting to do all these things, but then also making sure that it’s an integrated experience, right? So that when you’re in the club, when you’re digital, maybe even in the metaverse is a consumer experiencing this part of like one login and one account, or is it at this point maybe more siloed are siloed.

[00:25:39] Clive:
It’s, it’s definitely the aspiration is to have one. Complete fitness experience and ultimately for us, that’s what omnichannel means. You know, you might go to a club, you might do a body pump class in club on a Tuesday morning, and then you might choose to do a body pump at home through Les Mills. Plus later in the week.

Supplemented by Liz Mill’s core. And ultimately if a club can choose to have us help them provide that comprehensive ecosystem, then it can be one integrated experience because you get the same experience as you do in club. Albeit it might be live. At home have with the same trainers or instructors on stage.

So that’s definitely the aspiration, but it does come down to being able to agree and work on those solutions with club partners, with instructors and making sure that technology continues to allow us to enable that. So we’re not a hundred percent there yet. Definitely not, but that is the aspiration.

And that is we, what we believe helps us really continue to better serve customers and give them an experience that really just feels seamless.

[00:26:43] Joe:
Yeah is, and I think the other component that you mentioned was the. Smart tech, the smart equipment and that being around some of the barbells and certainly what you’re selling into clubs. And then the instructors are using. Is there also, I think I remember one point maybe it was a, a bike that there was some press around. Is there a, a direct to consumer kind of smart tech segment and how is that, you know, kind of performing and looking.

[00:27:06] Clive:
Yeah, we’re working on a direct to consumer equipment solution. At the moment. We know our limos plus members are looking for different solutions for them at home where space might be a premium or they don’t have the, the area to store it. So we’re working hard on home solutions now.

So watch the space, you’ll see something later in the. We did launch a bike in partnership with stages, which is for the gym floor and it’s our content on a stage’s bike. And it’s been really well received. We seen some fantastic bookings off the back of it, and it just helps you get outta the studio onto the gym floor, but also still get that group fitness experience on a.

And that’s going, been going extremely well for us. I mean, smart tech is something that we’ve had around or have had around now for many years. And ultimately that was about reinventing equipment that was around bringing innovation to equipment. So we are looking to continuously push the bar in that space, but we know that when you do a pump class with our smart tech, the experience is just better.

The bar feels better. The weights fit better, the bench and how it all comes together is definitely considered as one system of working out. So that’s what we are looking to try and do. And we believe that helps make the omnichannel experience even stronger.

[00:28:22] Joe:
You know, as all this. Evolves in how less mills has approached it, right. In, in being everywhere and innovating on content and innovating on instructors and providing an omnichannel solution for, for gyms and users. So it’s pretty clear what your strategy is and continuing to even push that into the metaverse for the broader industry.

Do you think it’s, you know, inevitable or even necessary? Some of these maybe direct to consumer brands, push into physical locations, brick and mortar experiences, community, and vice versa. Or do you think it’s, Hey, it’s, enough to specialize and we can be that provider maybe in digital, and then people will just go maybe elsewhere for that in person community experience. it, it’s kind of this like, Do we try to be everything to everyone or do we, we specialize in this one thing and, and hope that we can, you know, achieve that mark for them where we, we specialize.

[00:29:19] Clive:
Ultimately as a, as a business owner, or if you’re a team running a business, you gotta apply to your strengths. And I think there’s been some time over the last few months where people have ultimately had opportunities to go into new areas or into new categories. And they’ve seen some success there and then potentially consumer behaviors changed or has gone back to maybe what was before.

And things have become a little bit harder. I think it’s inevitable that there’s gonna be some players that will absolutely look to play into different areas, whether it be bricks and mortar, whether it be retail. But I think you’re also gonna see real focus and specialization, I think as well at the same time, you’re gonna see consolidation within the industry.

There’s been so many new players come to come to the category and while there might have been demand for that over the last 30 months, that demand might. So I think you’re gonna see consolidation. Absolutely. But I do think you’ll see players that continue to offer an omnichannel experience just like our strategy does.

And at the same time, a few that will just specialize in what they’re great at. And we encourage all of them. Now, ultimately at the end of the day, we want the category to be healthy, to have a really good story wrapped around. To be great for customers for Jim goes, but also for shareholders, we want there to be great news stories coming out of businesses that have really invested in fitness and done well from it.

So, you know, ultimately a rising tide’s gonna lift all boats and if we can help be a part of that, and if other businesses can help be a part of that, then we are right behind them.

[00:30:52] Joe:
Yeah, absolutely. And maybe just a couple more questions as we near the end of the conversation, to the point of, you know, potential consolidation. Do you look at less mills as an acquirer? Do you aspire to be, it seems like maybe. It’s taken the approach of building a lot more things in house and focusing on team and, you know, evolving and innovating over time. Or is it an aspiration to say like, Hey, let’s go out and see what we can combine to improve the overall experience.

[00:31:17] Clive:
It’s absolutely an aspiration at some point, but our focus right now is on making sure our business is as strong and as healthy as it can be. So we are very focused on our current game plan, which is our strategy. We believe the focus on that for the next 24 to 36 months is where we need to be putting our time.

But aspiration wise, we absolutely are looking to be as big and as. Dominant globally as we can be so that we can inspire more customers and get more people working out. And if that means going through a partnership or moving towards a liquidity event or getting external investment, then it’s gonna be something we consider.

But just not right now, it’s not our focus today, but our aspirations are big. And at some point that means we’ll continue to lift up, look up. And make sure that we are considering all opportunities in front of us. Now, our business is strong. We’ve been able to come out of the last 30 months with the strongest balance sheet we’ve ever had.

We really well capitalize. We’ve got some big ambitious plans that are gonna take and need investment that we’re investing in now. And right now we believe we’ve got a really strong plan to help us get there. And ultimately, if you can just execute your plan, well, if you can do a good job of what you’re trying to do and ultimately.

Better serve customers. Then people come knocking. People want to come and talk and opportunities present themselves. So we are just focused on doing the best job we possibly can today.

[00:32:42] Joe:
Down and staying focused and continuing to build and execute. and maybe with that, and, to the extent that you can, foreshadow or tease a little bit of what we can expect, I think more recently the, certainly the evolution of digital pushing into VR and the metaverse have been a few things, kind of big public announcements.

Are there things on the roadmap that we should look out for, or even things that you’re excited about as you continue to execute that plan?

[00:33:08] Clive:
Yeah, there’s always things on the roadmap. You know, you have to be consistently innovating and pushing. There’s nothing I can announce today, but we’ve got some really exciting components in the business that are gonna help us also future proof and go in a different direction or compliment components of our business that maybe we are not necessarily strong in today.

So nothing I can announce today, but definitely watch a space. There is absolutely things coming. But innovation around our programs, our classes really being able to appeal to gen Z and making sure that we are appealing to that next wave of Jim goes and fitness enthusiast coming into the category is where we’ve gotta be making sure that we have strong partnerships to do that.

Now we believe partnerships play a big part in our business. If we can scale scale with others. Bring two people, like-minded partners together to do some amazing things. We’re a hundred percent up for that as well. So yeah, watch the space. You’re gonna see some exciting things from us in the coming months.

[00:34:07] Joe:
Yeah, we will definitely do that. I hope listeners do as well.

If they were to follow along and watch for updates, where would you point them? Where’s the best place to learn more?

[00:34:17] Clive:
Ultimately you can go into our clubs. We’re in 21,000 clubs around the world, and you can see and service our experiences there. Follow us on all our social channels. We’re active on all channels. Instagram, TikTok, you name it we’re there. We’ve got a strong presence. You can experience us there.

I’d also ask you to come along and experience one of our live events. We’re coming to key cities all around the world over the next 12 months. If you’re in London, if you’re in New Orleans, if you want to travel, get out and experience something reasonably exciting and something that’s definitely gonna get the hairs on the back of your next sticking up.

Come to one of our live events over the next 12 months. I think you’re gonna fall in love with fitness. If we can help more people fall in love with fitness, we’re definitely on that path to creating that for the planet.

[00:35:00] Joe:
Yeah, likewise, that’s a fantastic mission, and something that we’re obviously super passionate about.

I appreciate you taking a few minutes today to share that with us, and definitely encourage people to check it out.

[00:35:10] Clive:
Yeah. Thank you, Joe. We’re loving what you’re doing and the communities you’re building, so thanks for having us be a part of that.