UBX franchise, the boxing and strength training concept, to launch in Media City, Salford
Empowered Brands, the fitness franchise investor and owner of énergie Fitness, the UK low-cost gym, has announced the launch of its new innovative boxing and strength training concept from Australia, UBX.
The UK’s first UBX site in Media City, Salford, is being opened by two local franchisees, Ben Waldron and James Worrall.
Coming amidst post-Covid network sales of £33m across its énergie Fitness portfolio of over 80 clubs with 114,000 members across the UK and Ireland, Empowered Brands’ ambition is to open 250 UBX clubs within six to eight years.
UBX was co-founded in 2016 by four-time world champion Australian boxer Danny Green, and fitness and tech entrepreneur Tim West. UBX currently has over 90 clubs across Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, and says it is the world’s fastest growing boxing and strength training concept.
The brand explains that its concept is based on a unique blend of non-contact group boxing and strength training, backed by science, delivered by world class coaches, and with convenience, enjoyment and results at its core.
Inclusive for all and with new workouts daily, there are no class timetables or bookings required, as its ultra-flexible model uses intelligent programming to make waitlists, late charges and inconvenience a thing of the past for its members.
UBX adds that as an elite training experience, club members can simply arrive when they want to, choose a round, and will always have coaches available to guide them from start to finish for an easy-to-learn, full-body workout in under 45 minutes.
The brand’s mission is to take boxing from an individual pursuit and transform it into a team culture.
John Jempson, managing director of UBX Boxing + Strength, UK & Ireland and chief financial officer at Empowered Brands, explains: “Convenience, variety and trainer support are among the top three priorities when it comes to selecting a fitness activity, and UBX delivers on them like no other concept.
“UBX is an environment where results are just an additional benefit to pure enjoyment – through the combination of team-based training and coach interaction. Our clubs will be communities, where anyone can learn new skills, working with each other towards a collective goal and going away with a sense of achievement following every session.”
The opening of the first UBX franchised site comes at a time when Empowered Brands says there is a clear demand from consumers for fitness opportunities as it has seen membership levels across its énergie Fitness portfolio having recovered to 114 per cent of pre-Covid levels.
Jempson continues: “We’ve opened 22 énergie Fitness clubs since March 2020 across the UK, Ireland and Spain. With movement towards flexible work schedules and an increased demand for social connection, not to mention a boom in interest for skills-based classes and boutique fitness across the industry, we’re expecting impressive results across our UBX franchises. Convenience wise, the model is completely unrivalled too, which means exceptional retention.”
Keen to emphasise the unique opportunity to potential franchisees of UBX’s flexible model, Jempson is expecting it will be a driving force in helping Empowered Brands open no fewer than 22 clubs across both UBX and énergie Fitness this year, and 30 to 40 clubs a year through the next six to eight years.
Jempson explains: “The UBX model is unique because such a small space is required as compared to other fitness franchise investments, only around 1,500 sq. ft. a club, but possible member capacity is high.
“Start-up capital required is low too, in the region of £130k – £200k factoring an initial personal investment from franchisees starting from £40,000, but it’s a high returning financial model, easy to operate and highly scalable.
“We support franchisees with funding, systems, technology, marketing, operations and infrastructure too – with over 20 years’ experience in the industry, we think this level of support and sophistication underlies why we are one of the most disruptive brands across health, fitness and well-being.”
Pietro Nicholls, chairman of Empowered Brands, said: “The predictability of UBX’s franchise model makes it an attractive prospect to franchisees. When you consider investing in one’s health and well-being is an essential consumer spending item too, we are extremely excited to commence the roll out of UBX clubs across the UK.”
Each new UBX club will be expected to require a minimum of three to five members of staff, which the brand sees as generating in the region of 1,250 new jobs across the UK leisure sector.
Empowered Brands headquartered in Milton Keynes, is backed by RM Funds, an alternative investment management firm.