In recent years, obstacle races have gone from extreme to mainstream. Running USA estimates that the popularity of non-traditional running events in this country drew a record 4 million participants in 2013, surpassing the record 2.5 million finishers of both the half-marathon and marathon combined last year. The non-traditional events are growing exponentially and each year the number of participants has nearly doubled. (See chart 1)
Eventbrite, commissioned a study with Harris Interactive about getting involved in themed runs and obstacle challenges. They found that obstacle challenges and themed runs have spiked in the past few years and are already as popular as traditional marathons and half-marathons. While, 6% of those surveyed had participated in marathons or half-marathons previously, 5% had participated in an obstacle challenge and 7% in a themed run. Furthermore, in the past five years, according to the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), participation in adventure racing was up 211% and ranked in the Top 5 of most popular outdoor activities tried by first-timers. In 2012, the OIA predicted 2.2 million participated in adventure racing.
Unique Fitness plan is to leverage the interest and growing participation of this sport phenomenon by offering a unique indoor obstacle training facility designed to keep members engaged and interacting with each other while training and preparing for race day.
The age range of obstacle race participants is 18 – 44. It is realistic to use the estimates of obstacle course race participant demographics as a starting point for the potential customer market. Key factors to the success of Unique Fitness will be to make indoor obstacle training appealing to said market.
This will be achieved through the following means:
- Create a positive, effective, and fun experience, which leaves a lasting impression.
- Create a safe environment with properly trained staff.
- Create and establish competitive environment.
- Instruct and encourage all our members and guests.
- Ensure that the ‘challenge’ is high, in order to generate strong word of mouth marketing.
According to Eventbrite, the driving factors behind themed runs and obstacle events include supporting a cause, doing it because it’s fun, and participating with friends and family. Participants are looking to pay for experiences rather than just products.
Unique Fitness will focus on providing each member with an experience that they will want to share and come back for more. Unique Fitness is a LLC, start-up funding campaign and pre-opening enrollment is currently underway, we are looking to have funding provided in its entirety by private investor(s).
The facility start-up costs are somewhat challenging; however, once in operation, we will experience relatively unfluctuating operating expenses. First year sales of $600,000, is a conservative estimate.
Unique Fitness plans on achieving four main objectives:
- Become the primary facility for indoor obstacle course training in the Chicagoland area.
- Sales of memberships, corporate outings, and private parties are projected at $600,00 for the 1st 12 months.
- Year/Year sales growth of 6-10%.
- Pursue franchise strategy.
Our mission is to ensure that members have a positive experience and are challenged every time they Unique®. Our brand and services will help positively reshape the way people think about fitness and exercise. We strive to help you maintain a healthy balance between your goals and your life while having fun.
1.2.1 Go to Market
We believe we have created unique fitness concept in the Chicagoland area, which offers an indoor obstacle course training program. The program is based on team challenges that are designed to keep members engaged and “working up’ together in a fun, safe, and competitive atmosphere. Which establishes a positive community type environment, wherein members are able to utilize the facility for recreational use, as well as partnering up with friends or other members for daily team challenges
Our facility is engineered to adapt and implement changes as needed, allowing us to stay current with trends and keep the experience fresh for our members and guests. In addition to an emphasis on durability and product life, a substantial amount of time has been devoted to ensure obstacles are held to the utmost in quality and safety standards.
1.2.2 Value add
All exposed parts of the Ninja Warrior Course are designed with custom fit padding that allows full protection at the frame, and other ergonomic elements to ensure guest comfort and an effective exercise experience. They’re also wear resistant and hygienic.
1.3 Keys to Success
Key factors that will contribute to success:
- Build a team of leaders that will effectively execute the mission.
- Provide an atmosphere designed to enhance the social experience and motivate all levels of participants.
- Generate a positive brand image through word of mouth and effective marketing strategies.
2.0 Company Summary
Unique Fitness will be a state-of-the-art indoor obstacle course facility; our first location is a ten thousand (10,000) square foot suite, within a one hundred twenty-five thousand (125,000) square foot dedicated sports complex Building, in west, IL. (Currently being renovated.) The layout of our facility was designed to feel open allowing thus allowing Members to easily flow to/from the obstacles they want to practice.
As previously mentioned the facility has been engineered for “quick change” taking as little as ten minutes to implement changes and incorporate new obstacles to the course.
Tournaments will be hosted throughout the year and will be broadcasted live by the Illinois Center For Broadcasting, allowing participants to invite their friends and family to tune in to watch them compete live through streamed media.
2.1 Company Ownership
Unique Fitness is a LLC with the goal of creating franchise opportunities. Michael James is the primary owner/founder of the company.
Mike is a ten (10) year veteran in the fitness industry and has worked for gyms such as: LA Fitness, Fitness 19, Fitness Advantage, Cardinal Fitness, and Fitness Premier. He has excelled as an Instructor, Teacher, Leader, and Manager within the aforementioned companies.
In 2009 Mike started working for Cardinal Fitness teaching a boot camp program as the assistant Instructor. After the first month he was promoted by ownership to head up the program. Within a two (2) month period he had established a sixty, (60) participant program, with 150% increase in revenue.
In early 2010 Mike opened Tear It Up Boot Camp, a studio that offered programs for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, boot camp, cardio kickboxing, and women’s self-defense. He also partnered with a local Boy Scouts Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu program for underprivileged children.
Later in 2010, due to location and subsequent cash flow constraints, Mike decided to close the doors and pursue a new venture with Fitness 19. He was hired as the assistant general manager by the owner to eventually run a new location that
The owner planned on opening. Unfortunately due to lack of proper location availability, the owner never acquired the location that he anticipated.
Since then Mike has continued to provide in-home training for clients and is a wellness instructor for Zurich where he teaches a corporate wellness seminar to groups of 20-80 managers at a time. His unique skill set is the ability to get groups engaged and having fun, while teaching them exercise movements they can
Implement into their daily routine to stay healthy in the work environment.
Mike is currently pursuing his next venture with Unique Fitness to help positively reshape the way people think about fitness and exercise. He will be creating a new experience for the fitness community and aims to become the leader in indoor obstacle course training across the country.
2.2 Startup Summary
Start-up cost and first year operating expenses for Unique Fitness are projected to be $1,642,000 (see table for details).
The forecast includes operating capital of $500,000. This figure reflects minimum of one year with no income.
Based on research and selection process Adventure Solutions has been chosen as the preferred vendor to design and build our indoor obstacle equipment.
The key criteria in the vetting of vendors was:
- Reputation within the industry (100+ years of industry expertise)
- Obstacle change flexibility
- Engineering and quality
- Design innovation
- Product safety record
- Quality materials
- Visually pleasing and long-lasting
Table: Start up Expenses
|Protection 1 Security||$5,000|
|Supplies / Janitorial||$1,200|
|Example Categories||Totals||Timing as per plan|
Table: Startup Assets
|Other current assets||$10,000|
|Long term assets||$603,670|
3.0 Products and Services
Unique Fitness is a revolutionary fitness facility concept offering an indoor obstacle course training program that will capitalize on the newest trend in the fitness industry, targeted towards keeping members engaged and challenged.
As previously mentioned demand for obstacle and themed racing has grown exponentially consequently, the demand for places that provide training for obstacle course races and American Ninja Warrior themed obstacles has also risen.
3.1 Our Offering
- Tailored race day training
- ‘Head to Head” two lane challenge
- Challenge pits, warped walls, salmon ladders, quad steps, net gap frame and pull up racks
- Daily team challenge program (as part of gold membership)
- Technique and safety coaches
- Dedicated team time slots
- 00 HR training per team
- Team uniforms
- Corporate team building and special events
- Private parties
- Ninja challenge tournaments
- Member training lanes
- Recreational training
We are currently developing further products and services, which will energize, engage, and excite the competitive obstacle course racing community. Complementing our ability to keep members engaged and draw participants in beyond the immediate geographic region is a challenge, however, our website will be designed to inspire and motivate. A gallery to feature images of our members and tournament winners; will be established, giving us a “me too” marketing edge, this is a great way for members to open up word of mouth communications lines, and have bragging rights regarding their achievements to friends and family.
We look to increase the traffic to our domain, and subsequently our facilities, by becoming the next step in the evolution of the fitness industry with the ability to draw in and keep members challenged, positive and excited about working up together and being healthy.
4.0 Market Analysis Summary
Across the country, obstacle races have become a popular fitness event for people looking to challenge their bodies and minds. Last year 4.2 million people participated in obstacle course race events and generated $360 million in revenue.
The following 5 series make up 70% of the market share:
- Tough Mudder – 23.8%
- Warrior Dash – 20.9%
- Spartan Race – 15.8%
- Dirty Girl – 5.3%
- The Zombie Run – 4.1%
Obstacle course races bring people together who are all looking to experience the next challenge. One of the key attributes of a facility that offers indoor obstacle course training is that potential members do not need to have previous obstacle course experience in order to be a customer. This allows Unique Fitness to draw from nearly every demographic within the immediate Chicagoland area.
Note: Strategic alignment via sponsorship, marketing assistance, and tailored training with/for each of the aforementioned competitions is currently being developed.
“In only a few years, obstacle racing has succeeded in attracting participants of all fitness levels, Leading organizers are helping address inactivity and obesity rates by providing a fun, adventurous, and social outlet for physical activity. The future of the mud run business looks bright.”
Melissa Rodriguez is a personal trainer, strength and conditioning specialist.11-year certified fitness professional and 6-year industry research analyst. She received her MBA in financial management.
Capitalizing on this trend, we will offer a revolutionary program that is focused on keeping members engaged and interacting with each other. Moving forward, our member base will be a consumer who is looking for that next challenge. We will attract not only the experienced obstacle course race participants, but also the novices by offering a safe, state of-the-art course.
We are creating a new experience for members and how they interact with others.
When you create a community full of people who are positive, goal and team orientated and are looking for a continuous challenge you will create an atmosphere for success.
Unique Fitness recognizes the need for a mainstream indoor obstacle course training facility in The Chicagoland area.
The launch location is slotted within a sports complex that will be opening at 999 S. Main St, West Somewhere, IL 60118. The sports complex is roughly 125,000 square feet in size with a 24 Ft. ceiling height. Unique Fitness will be leasing 10,000 square feet suite for the obstacle facility. Location attributes are as follows:
- Optimal location within future sports complex.
- High traffic area located off main road.
- Prime visibility.
- Easy access / plenty of parking available to sustain high traffic.
- Area outside for potential obstacles.
- Additional space available for expansion.
- Approximately $5 a square foot plus $1 event tax and $1 CAM.
- Utilities will be split among tenants.
Surrounding Towns/Population (Source: City-data.com 2013)
|Income||IL Income||Median Age||IL median
|Al the baker||30,467||50.1%||49.9%||$99,437||$55,137||38.3||39.6||5.5|
|South El niño||22,201||51.3%||48.7%||$79,121||$55,137||34.7||39.6||8.3|
Traditional workout facilities and gyms within a 10mile radius of location:
- LA Fitness
- 24 Hour Total Fitness
- Fitness 19
- Snap Fitness
- Anytime Fitness
- Lifetime Fitness
- FTX Crossfit – C. S. IL – 1 miles from our launch location in West
- Cross Training Playground – LF – 29.3 miles from our launch location in West
- Urban Ninja Project – C. IL – This is actually like an event and they host them throughout the year across C. So I actually would remove this as they fall into the same category as other “OCR’s” like Spartan Race, Warrior Dash, Dirty Girl or Tough Mudder.
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Write Mike at: email@example.com