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Leading Aussie fitness brand to launch in UK and Ireland next year

Written by Andy Swales on Thursday, 23 December 2021. Posted in Franchise

UBX Training and Empowered Brands unveil exciting £50m franchise partnership initiative.

Leading Aussie fitness brand to launch in UK and Ireland next year

UBX Training and Empowered Brands unveil exciting £50m franchise partnership initiative.

One of the Southern Hemisphere’s leading fitness franchises will be launching in the UK and Ireland during 2022. UBX Training, a fast-growing chain with outlets in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, has joined forces with Empowered Brands, in a well-publicised £50m deal.

Empowered Brands, which was founded in 2010 and has offices in London and Edinburgh, will provide financial assistance to help franchisees fund their start-ups. Empowered Brands, an investment and franchise business, manages capital on behalf of investors and will partner UBX for next year’s launch.

UBX Training is the world’s fastest-growing boxing fitness chain, and was co-founded by four-time world champion Danny Green and tech entrepreneur Tim West. The 48-year-old Green held titles at three different weights – light-heavy, cruiser and super-middle – before taking the plunge into the world of business.

UBX began trading in Australia five years ago and now have 92 clubs across three countries. The company’s focus is to make boxing and group fitness more accessible to the general public. Training is non-contact, while focusing on a mixture of ‘bag-work’, ‘pad-work’ and ‘strength-building’ across 12 rounds.

Each workout removes the intimidation often associated with a pure, contact boxing experience and is suitable for individuals of any gender, age and ability. There are no daily timetables in place, with a new round starting every three minutes, which means participants can arrive whenever they choose and join the action at any given point.

UBX also operate an online offering, which was launched in March 2020. Over the past 18 months, the development of this product has proved popular and includes advice on nutrition, education and mind set.

According to a joint press release published by UBX and Empowered Brands, this collaboration is expected to create 250 training sites across the UK and Ireland, along with 750 new jobs. The two partners are confident they could develop as many as 500 sites over the next 15 years.

Empowered Brands has focused exclusively on the health, fitness and wellness sector. As a franchise operator, its flagship brand is énergie Fitness which has more than 100 clubs and 116,000 members across the UK and Ireland. énergie’s network revenue currently stands at £33m per annum.

Empowered Brands will invest £50m in the roll out, of which £30m will be made available for the financing of loans.

An investment of approximately £200k will be required to purchase a single UBX Training franchising unit.

John Jempson, the chief financial officer for Empowered Brands, said: “UBX Training is an innovative, entrepreneur-led concept and we are excited to work with their team.  Demand for accessible health and fitness is stronger than ever and we are delighted to bring UBX to the UK and Ireland.

“As part of our investment, we are setting aside a sum to directly fund start-up costs for franchisees. The fitness sector has remained resilient post-lockdown, although access to traditional forms of lending remains impacted, so we will be looking to fill this gap. This commitment supports the health and fitness sector as it continues to rebuild and thrive post-pandemic. This investment reflects our strong confidence in the UBX concept and brand. 

“We foresee strong interest from three key groups: These are personal trainers, who are looking to take that first step into bricks and mortar, as well as existing fitness businesses that are keen to diversify their portfolios. I also believe we could attract ‘corporate refugees’ who might be seeking their next career move.

UBX units are small and, with our support, represent a low cost entry into the fitness market. We are confident the concept will grow at pace over here, building on the success of our existing brands. Since starting out 11 years ago, Empowered Brands has transacted in excess of £50 billion of assets.”

And Tim West of UBX Training added: “We are delighted to be working with Empowered Brands as we enter the next phase of our growth. Since its foundation in 2016, the brand has gone from strength to strength, and has continued to grow despite lockdowns. The UK and Ireland are logical and exciting next steps, and both nations have a long and proud boxing history. We see this as a huge opportunity to modernise and elevate boxing through our innovative training model.

“We are well-positioned to capitalise on the wider interest in health and fitness, post-pandemic. Covid-19 shone a light on the importance of regular exercise for both physical and mental well-being, while Empowered Brands understand our vision and have a deep understanding of the UK and Irish markets. They are a perfect partner for us.” 

The UK headquarters for this UBX-Empowered Brands joint-initiative will be in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire. To enquire about franchising opportunities please click here.

About the Author

Andy Swales

A dedicated journalist for three decades, Andy has spent much of this time working for ITN, Sky Sports and Today’s Golfer magazine, after starting out years back at the Hackney Gazette. Since leaving Sky Sports in 2018, has spread his wings into other areas and loves writing about property and the nations rising stars in the SME business world and franchise community.

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