Lewis: Love For Fitness Franchise More Than Skin Deep

Denver Post:

People love Anytime Fitness so much they tattoo its logo onto their skins.

“Commitment to the brand is unparalleled,” boasts Chuck Runyon, CEO and co-founder of the fast-growing health club franchiser in Hastings, Minn.

Three tattoo artists worked the company’s September annual franchisee meeting in Braselton, Ga., inking one enthusiastic attendee after the next.

“It was nonstop,” Runyon said “We could have kept on going all night, but we had to stop.”

So far, nearly 300 employees, franchise owners and even some customers are permanently emblazoned with the chain’s corporate logo, a squiggly, purple, stick figure they call Running Man.

Anytime Fitness has been a running success, opening more than 1,300 franchise locations since 2002, including 280 last year. But given the historic track record of the health club industry, what are the odds of any health club chain lasting longer than a tattoo?

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