A curious situation is developing in Ukraine: the interest of Ukrainians in sports is growing, but there are no large networks. If before 2014 in Kiev there were several large-scale networks of fitness centers, today there is actually one. Most have several clubs with much more modest equipment. Separately, of course, premium clubs should be singled out, which are developing not due to scaling, but to the completeness and level of services.
Before quarantine closed us all home, this niche was quite promising: a shift in focus on our health, a desire to stay fit, a passion for marathons, swims and a triathlon – all this worked to develop sports infrastructure and related markets: clothing and sports food, organization of events, but fitness clubs probably won the most.
Today all clubs are closed – the sport has moved to online. In YouTube, Instagram, Zoom, a lot of paid and free videos from both the clubs themselves, and personal trainers and even bloggers. Is it convenient? Absolutely yes. Moreover – today it is practically the only opportunity to remain “in sports”. But it is obvious that after quarantine all the “parishioners” of the clubs will return back, and quite possibly newcomers will join their ranks.
Online training existed before, but despite this, people went to clubs. Many homes have minimal sports equipment or, as a last resort, a rug, but is it productive? How many excuses can you find in order not to engage? Dozens. But with a subscription to a sports club it is more difficult. But still, the main thing that distinguishes occupation at home and in the club is the variety of infrastructure and of course the pool, which, by the way, is the most expensive from a financial, engineering and operational point of view.
Every day, quarantine sports centers consider all the big losses. How many of them will survive this quarantine crisis? It is already obvious that we will see changes in this market. Not immediately, but gradually the fitness centers will decrease in area and become closer to people. At the dawn of its development, fitness clubs opened in residential complexes, today it is difficult to imagine new business centers without a sports component. Agree, it is very convenient when there is the necessary infrastructure near the house or work. The world is increasingly pushing us toward the IFC format, which implements my favorite principle of “work and relax, where you live, and vice versa.”
Andriy Ryzhykov, CEO and managing partner of the development company DC Evolution