Why fitness brands matter - Core H&F

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Running a fitness facility can be a complicated endeavour. There are countless subjective decisions to be made every day, whether you’re opening, redesigning, or expanding your business. It can be difficult to make the right choices for your facility in every category, from flooring to hiring. By the time you’re ready to pick out equipment, a treadmill is a treadmill. A stepper looks like any other stepper. You may be over budget, in need of a vacation, or just ready to get this place moving. Your members won’t know the difference anyway. Any brand will be fine.

But that isn’t true. Members do know the difference, and they have opinions! The belief that a treadmill is a treadmill is only true if nothing else matters beyond pricing and specs – the ‘table-stakes’. There are additional elements of value, however, that make a difference to both business owners and members. Brands add functional value to a facility, driving economic and performance value. In a study of gym members by Life Decisions AAU in February 2018, StairMaster, known for its gruelling stepper and complete line of HIIT products, was rated the #1 Name in Cardio. Members attributed StairMaster with reliability, quick results, reputability, and high quality products. When compared with other top-name fitness brands, StairMaster had been used more than 15% more than its competitors, with more than 60% having ever used a StairMaster product – 40% within the last three months. Members know the value of a good brand, and it matters to them which brands their facility has.

Supplying members with a brand they know and trust makes doing business easier. The right brands bring relationships, deliver information, and create connection. Buyers must consider the productivity, ease of access, and the relationship that a brand offers, as these qualities interface with members more often than one may realize. Star Trac, with its OpenHub Console, offers members the ability to connect with any app, any way they choose, and makes accessing their workout data simple and convenient. In a study of nearly 7,000 gym members, Star Trac was rated the top brand for tracking, and #1 known among cardio enthusiasts. When your members trust that you’re providing them with the best brands on the market, doing business becomes easier.

Beyond the business level, fitness facilities create individual value. Members are often on a fitness journey, not simply putting in minimal effort for minimal results. The fitness industry is growing exponentially, with former beginners now ready to take on a career and network with other fitness professionals. They want to grow, develop, and have fun. They want to use aesthetically pleasing products that make them feel good about themselves and reduce their anxiety. Schwinn Indoor Cycling, with its 2018 release of the new AC and SC Power bikes and world class Education Program, epitomizes these values. Members know the Schwinn name 43% more than any other indoor cycling brand – 71% overall.  Nearly half of all gym members have used Schwinn branded products, double half of its nearest competitor. Schwinn’s close knit community, stylish bike designs, and reputable instructor certification training make it the #1 brand that members are proud to use, the top brand for high quality, reliable products, and the brand that makes products most fun to use. This kind of member experience cannot be duplicated. Schwinn’s market dominance is undeniable, and members know that when they ride a Schwinn Indoor Cycling bike, they are part of something special.

Brands have inspirational value. They create emotion, elicit nostalgia, and offer hope. Just as facility owners have vision for their business, members have vision for their future. Whether training for a powerlifting competition to be the strongest they’ve ever been, or working to replace fat with muscle in order to lose enough weight to become healthy and see their children grow up, the inspirational value that fitness brands add cannot be ignored. Nautilus, the First Name in Strength, allows members to reach these goals and countless others. Nautilus continues to be the most well-known brand in strength and the #3 brand in overall consumer awareness, behind only StairMaster and Schwinn. Nearly 50% of those who regularly strength train have used Nautilus, further contributing to the Nautilus dynasty.

Members searching for more from their fitness facility don’t care about specs. They care about innovation, commitment, reputational assurance, and vision, and they need facility owners to care about these things in order to make their fitness experience valuable. In order to add value to the bottom line of the business, it’s necessary to rise above table-stakes and invest in brands that will create value in your members’ lives.

Forum and Assembly 2019 to take place in Italy

The hosts of the 22nd ENAS Forum and Assembly have been announced, and we will be going to the University of Trento.

The Forum and Assembly will take place from 5-8 November 2019 with the Pre-Forum on from 3-5 November.

Pictured below is the Rector of the University of Trento, Paolo Collini, signing the Forum Agreement with ENAS to confirm their hosting.

The University of Trento are represented on the ENAS Executive Committee by Elisabetta Nones, who works as head of the Sport Strategies Office in the university.

She oversees the planning of the sport initiatives within the framework of the ‘Sport for all’ project which was started in 2017.

Elisabetta said: “The University of Trento is thrilled to host the 2019 edition of the ENAS Forum & Assembly. The team of the UniTrento Sport project together with other strategic divisions of the University will do its best to welcome all international participants to the beautiful Trentino and Dolomites region.”

“We hope to be able to guarantee a great networking environment in a friendly atmosphere and to collect relevant good practices to give new life to our Sport4Skills project.”

More information on the 2019 Forum will be released to ENAS members in the new year.

Forum Speakers Announced

ENAS and our hosts in Nijmegen are delighted to announce the first confirmed speakers for the 21st ENAS Forum and Assembly in November.

Brothers Patrick and Milan Van Der Meulen will be the keynote speakers for the first session of the Forum.

They became inspired by An Inconvenient Truth when they were very young. The Dutch brothers are part of an international and dynamic group of world changers who shape the debate about climate problems. Milan was appointed Climate Reality Leader in 2015 after training from the former Vice President of the United States, Al Gore.

They co-founded www.enie.nl, which focuses on integrating many forms of renewable energy into creative hybrid systems. The session will focus on three important questions: Should we change? Can we change? Are we going to change?

Register now, get inspired and join us to become lean, mean and green in 2018!

For all the information on the Forum and Assembly, click here.

New Partnership for Core H & F

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ENAS sponsors Core Health and Fitness have announced a new partnership between Schwinn indoor cycling and 4iiii.

“4iiii is a Canadian based tech company with a rich history in sport technology development and we have found a great partner in Schwinn” commented Bailey McKnight, Channel Development Leader for 4iiii innovations.

Founded in 2010, 4iiii Innovations has grown to be an industry leader in power meter development in a growing number of cycling disciplines. Founders Kip Fyfe and Victoria Brilz have deep roots in innovative sports monitoring that date back to 2000 when they started Dynastream Innovations Inc. Dynastream brought the world’s first speed and distance monitors and the widely adopted ANT+ communication protocol to the wearable market and was sold to Garmin in 2006. The vision to enable athletes to be smarter, faster and safer lead the duo to build the world’s most accurate, lightweight and durable powermeter used by the world’s best cyclists that is also refined enough to become standard equipment on bikes.

The 4iiii story is one that resonates with Schwinn, the brand behind the first production bike designed specifically for indoor cycling. Schwinn has positioned itself on the cutting edge of the indoor cycling industry through new innovations and partnerships that help bring the best technologies in both indoor and outdoor cycling to Schwinn bikes.

“Measurement has been game changing for the indoor cycling category, so being able to partner with the visionaries behind ANT+ technology is a logical and exciting step for the Schwinn brand,” added Jeff Dilts, Vice President of Product Management & Innovation for Core Health and Fitness.

“While powermeters have seen increased acceptance in the past 10 years, we’re just beginning to see it reach the mainstream,” said Eric Gerstenbuhler, Managing Director of 4iiii Sport. “What sets 4iiii apart is the patented 3D strain gauge technology that we use to measure the bending, elongation and twisting deformation.This allows for measurement of every force being applied to the crank arm by a rider thus giving the most accurate data possible from bike to bike.”

Schwinn offers education and certification for cycling instructors with power so it makes sense that with a growing industry, Schwinn, in its commitment to quality and authenticity, would settle for nothing less than partnering with the company with the most accurate power meter on the market.

“Measurement has been a big story for Schwinn since we introduced it to the indoor cycling space in 2009,” concluded Dilts. “This new partnership with a road tested, highly accurate and legitimate company like 4iiii who provides power measurement for the most elite cyclists in the world is very exciting!”

Visit Core Health and Fitness or 4iiii to learn more about them.

ACE Project Update

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The Active Campus Europe project team held their latest meeting between 15 and 17 May at Autonomous University Barcelona.

The project group have been working on delivering a “common intervention” – a similar styled activity programme, aimed specifically at inactive students, with the aim of encouraging and supporting them to build more activity into their lives, and ideally to achieve the WHO guidelines of 5 x 30 minutes per week of moderate exercise.

Participants are given extra encouragement and support, and incentives to keep them engaged in the programme, and to hopefully continue exercising at the end of the intervention.

#ThrowbackThursday to the 4th ACE meeting last week in SAF UAB Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.#ActiveBreak#MoveMoreFeelBetter#BeActive

Geplaatst door Active Campus Europe op donderdag 24 mei 2018


The meeting involved all members sharing information on the current progress of the delivery of their interventions, and agreeing the way forward on how we’ll look to share the good practice with other institutions, in the future.

Active Campus Europe participants are reaching the end of their second Common Intervention of the “Move More, Feel Better” programme. Due to the different university calendars, Universities from the UK were first to start, followed by Irish, Spanish, Portuguese, Finnish, and Dutch. German universities started during mid-April and will continue their programmes until the end of June.

Participants of ACE project have online access to an application see scheduled activities on their campus and register any sports they do individually, so-called “flexi-sessions”. Until now there are over 150 members, who subscribed and tracked over 250 flexi-sessions. The application helps with the evaluation of the performance of students as well as the final results of the ACE project.

ENAS Members support Marseille Declaration

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In April of this year, ENAS partnered with Universal Fitness Innovation and Transformation (UFIT) for a three day event in Tralee, Ireland around the topic of inclusion.

The idea of the staff training was to encourage professionals in the fitness industry to ensure that their class schedules, facilities and other activities were doing all that they could to include people with disabilities.

At the end of the three days, the participants were afforded the opportunity to sign the Marseille Declaration: a document that encourages all those who serve, operate and shape the fitness sector to enabling the participation of people with disabilities.

Since then, ENAS has encouraged our members to take the time to study and sign the Marseille Declaration and make facilities more inclusive.

Last week, Paolo Collini, rector of the University of Trento in Italy, signed the Marseille Declaration.

He was then followed by Fernando Remiao, pro-rector of the University of Porto in Portugal followed suit by signing the declaraion.

We encourage any other ENAS members who want more information on the Marseille Declaration or who would like to sign it and pledge their support to inclusion to get in touch by emailing margo@enas-sport.net.

Cuppen honoured by Dutch Royals

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Rob Cuppen, Director of Radboud Sports Centre and former Treasurer of ENAS, has been awarded a Royal Honour for his services to Sport.

He has been made a Knight in the Order of Orange-Nassau which recognises special merits for society.

Rob has been in his position as Director of the University Sports Centre since 2002 where he has overseen major growth.

Radboud Sports Centre is now one of the most modern facilities in the Netherlands and has a membership of over 19,000.










He has also devoted himself as an organiser and volunteer to a variety of different sports-based programs such as Stichting Watersport Nijmegen and Nijmegen Seven Hills Walk.

All of ENAS wish to congratulate Rob on a very well deserved recognition of his services to sport.

Rectors' Conference

It is with great honour that the University of Coimbra invites you and your University to attend the Rectors’ Conference entitled “Organization and Management Model of University Sport”.

As a part of the 4th European Universities Games to be held in Coimbra, Portugal between July 15th and July 28th, the Rectors’ Conference will take place at the University of Coimbra Campus from July 14th to July 15th.

We would like to encourage European Universities’ leaders to participate in the Rectors’ Conference, in order to exchange ideas, experiences and examples of best practices.

Expressions of interest can be sent to rectors@eug2018.com and the official registration is open until June 1, 2018 and available here.

More information about the European Universities Games 2018 and the Rectors’ Conference can be found on the official website. 

We look forward to seeing you at the Rectors’ Conference and the European Universities Games Coimbra 2018.”

European Commission funding for "STICK" project

The Sport and Academic Talent Integration through Exchange Programmes in Hockey (STICK) project aims to design a sports and academic exchange programme in hopes of helping elite and high performance athletes to participate in Erasmus without jeopardizing their sports career.

It is funded by the European Commission through its Erasmus+ SPORT action.

The project was originally proposed by the Atlètic Terrassa Club and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and was selected in the 2017 call of the SPORT action as part of the Erasmus+ programme. It was one of 160 selected from 370 proposals, with an excellent score of 87/100.

The project will be conducted by a total of 10 institutions from 5 European countries where field hockey is a prominent sport, with one hockey club and university per country. These are: Atlètic Terrassa Hockey Club, coordinator and promotor of the project, and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona on behalf of Catalonia; Belgium, with the participation of KHC Dragons and the University of Antwerp; the Netherlands, with Rotterdam HC and the Erasmus University Rotterdam; England, with Beeston HC and Nottingham Trent University; and finally Ireland, with Pembroke Wanderers and the Dublin City University.

Currently, European university students must develop not only academic knowledge, but also the skills and competences needed to succeed in a highly globalised labour market. Today, language and intercultural skills and competences are basic and they are the reason why the European Commission gives support to mobility programmes which facilitate enrolling in studies abroad.

Amateur elite athletes are not immune to this reality. They must dedicate themselves to two careers and perform at maximum levels in both: academically and athletically. If they want to remain at the top level they must work hard at their training and in competitions. At the same time, they must excel academically given that their professional future will not depend on the sports they play, but on their studies and professional aptitudes.

Too often, students are forced to give up the experience of studying abroad, due to their rigorous training programme. Others decide to focus more on their studies and stop training in order to be able to live an international year abroad. Yet others choose to train abroad, but leave their studies aside because there is no university in the vicinity offering an Erasmus programme compatible with their home university. Moreover, many clubs and federations lose talented athletes who compete at high levels.

Those behind the STICK project see there is a need for universities and clubs to work together to make it possible for elite athletes not to have to choose between an academic career and their athletic training and be able to combine both things.

The two year project is initially focused on field hockey as a pilot sport, but the final objective is to make this academic-athletic mobility model applicable to all sports. In the long term, the European Commission is expected to implement this specific mobility scheme for elite and high performance athletes into future programmes.

Eurobarometer 2018

The results of the Eurobarometer 2018 survey, requested by the EU Commission, Directorate General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture have been published.

With a new EU Work Plan in force since July 2017, this survey gives an indication of how the new policies have impacted in the opening stages of its integration.

Throughout the survey, they highlight the frequency with which people in different age groups work out before further categorizing it under the headings of location, intensity and reasons why.

It also allows readers the opportunity to view the information relevant specific to any one of the 28 participating EU countries.

The full survey results and information can be found here.

The survey was conducted by TNS Political and Social Network on behalf of the EU Commission.

Download (PDF, 259KB)