After 10-years in regional management roles for the likes of DW Fitness First and Fusion Lifestyle, what has persuaded you to make the move from ‘operator’ to ‘supplier’ by joining Hussle?
“As an operator, I’ve been close to the debate around services like Hussle for a number of years. In fact, during one of my previous roles I played a significant part in piloting a similar service and it’s an area I’ve always been interested in.”
“The reason for making the career move now was really triggered by two things.”
“Firstly, I have always admired how customer-centric the Hussle model is. The vision of the business is to engage more people in health and fitness by providing customers with increased choice and flexibility in how they engage with fitness. It’s a move towards the customer and that can only be a good thing.”
“The second reason for the timing of my move was the launch of Hussle’s new Membership Conversion Service, which was just an ‘ah ha’ moment for me as soon as I heard about it.”
“Whilst it is easy to admire customer-centric models they aren’t always positive towards incumbent operators. The Membership Conversion Service however, is a modern new joiner marketing channel and it just made perfect sense to jump on board and help bring this to market. It’s such a positive step by Hussle and I’m so excited to be involved.”
Have you always been passionate about health and fitness?
“Yes completely. Having played Ice Hockey for Great Britain and then subsequently made a career out of helping people become the best versions of themselves by prioritising their health and fitness, I can’t remember a time where I wasn’t completely immersed in this sector.”
“It’s a sector that is largely built on passion, and although that is a massive strength of the sector, I have come to recognise that it can lead to people sticking to ‘what they have always done’ which can stifle innovation.”
“I think one of the real positives to come out of the incredibly challenging period we have all just lived through is to see real innovation coming into the fitness industry. When you combine a passion for what you do with energy and innovation then the sky is the limit for the sector I love.”
How has Covid-19 and the repeated lockdowns affected you?
“It has been a difficult period for so many people and I wasn’t immune to that. It’s been a real challenge and incredibly frustrating. That being said, it’s probably the first time in my career where I have been given the opportunity to pause, take a step back and reflect on ‘me’ and what I want out of life professionally and personally.”
“I’ve used the time to get fitter, embrace self-education opportunities and courses, and generally invest in myself a little. Lots of things I probably knew I wanted to do but never got round to and Covid basically forced the issue.”
Any learnings you’ve made through this difficult time that you’d like to share?
“Don’t get emotional about things you have no control over. Life is a journey based on the choices you make. Never lose sight of what brings balance to your life professionally and personally.”
What do you think the future holds for health clubs and gyms? Do you think more people will look to exercise as a result of Covid?
“The benefits of exercise and a healthy lifestyle have been well documented over the last 12-months. So, I think overall we have a lot to look forward to as a sector.”
“But we shouldn’t take it for granted that gyms and health clubs will continue to be the foundation of a post-pandemic healthy lifestyle. To be relevant you need to embrace the changes that customers want from their wellness routines and there is a lot of competition for their attention.”
“In my view, gym operators can’t afford to simply try and ‘get back to how things were’ and in-stead they need to think about how they can build back better.”
“It’s time to let go of pre-pandemic ways of working and be open to change. We need to place the needs of the customer at the heart of our decision-making and allow for greater personalisation of services which help customer engage with gyms and health clubs as part of their own holistic wellness plan.”
“This is what the future looks like for gyms and health clubs and it’s massively exciting.”
How do you see Hussle fitting into this vision?
“With my operator hat on I see things very simply. Gym memberships and revenue are down across the sector. Marketing budget and resource has been cut. Competition has intensified and operating costs have increased. Which means finding a marketing partner that is well aligned to customer trends is an extremely valuable collaboration and I think Hussle is perfectly placed to help.”
“By covering the cost of advertising, and then segmenting customers based on their needs through the ‘Pass Builder’ service on the website, Hussle takes all the risk out of marketing for operators. As a result, operators either get new members joining their club directly, or they generate revenue from customers that want a more flexible relationship during a certain period of their life.”
“It’s just so simple and I’m looking forward to the many conversations ahead of me around how we can help operators grow their business.”
Thanks for your time Alex and welcome to the team!
If you would like to speak to Alex and learn more about the services that Hussle provides you can contact him on: