3 Reasons Why: Steve Perrins
This month’s behind the scenes look at the people of FitnessOnDemand jumps the pond to talk with UK-based Steve Perrins.
Q: Steve, you’ve been in the UK fitness industry for “a while” now, is that right?
Yes! If you call a while, since the late 1980s. I started my career and interest in fitness in the military where I was a PT instructor before becoming a helicopter pilot. But I’ve been in the private fitness sector for years – running my own sports apparel and fitness business, as a consultant to fitness companies and brands and also traveling as a sales director for Cybex. I met a ton of interesting people and learned a lot from military to government, to manufacturing and accessories and mostly how diverse the UK and global fitness industry really is.
Q: What does your new role with FOD include?
I’ve joined the global FitnessOnDemand team as UK Lead to strategically grow our presence in the UK. Every fitness market has some similarities and some unique conditions, so it’s important to have local expertise and availability for customers – a team that understands what local clients and customers are experiencing and what fitness solutions they need to grow their businesses. In the UK, the gym model is the reverse of what we see in the US: large low-cost club operators bringing fitness to the masses and smaller more exclusive boutiques. They all need access to on-demand fitness content and offerings of course, but it’s important to understand the context and how their users interact with their clubs.
Q: What’s the opportunity for growth like for FOD in the UK?
Enormous. Like the US and other parts of the world, clubs quickly realized on-demand and streaming digital content was a big part of the puzzle last year. What’s really interesting though, is that on the tail end of the pandemic, digital is now playing a big role in physical club premises. It’s not just for at home workouts when you can’t get to the gym – although that member convenience is proving a big ask from everyone. It’s also a tool to augment live classes in the fitness facility, to help with busy studio scheduling issues and providing classes when clubs can’t invest in an instructor for a type of class or time of day. And of course mobile access anywhere in the gym is very popular too, with members choosing a workout on their own timetable and in a corner of the club they choose. Beyond all of that though, hospitality and corporate fitness is growing very quickly. Like you see in the states, companies want to offer their members fitness perks wherever they work, and as people begin to travel more, hotels are integrating mobile fitness into their premium offerings. 2022 will be a very big year.