Latest
issue
GET HCM
magazine
Sign up for the FREE digital edition of HCM magazine and also get the HCM ezine and breaking news email alerts.
Not right now, thanksclose this window I've already subscribed!
Technogym
Technogym
Technogym
Follow Health Club Management on Twitter Like Health Club Management on Facebook Join the discussion with Health Club Management on LinkedIn Follow Health Club Management on Instagram
FITNESS, HEALTH, WELLNESS

features

Interview: Dan Summerson

The MD of Everlast Gyms is steering the business through a process of unification, rebranding and ‘elevation’, rolling out a hybrid model that he believes will take it to UK number one status. He speaks to Kate Cracknell

Published in Health Club Management 2022 issue 6
Dan Summerson / photo: Dan Summerson/Everlast Gyms
Dan Summerson / photo: Dan Summerson/Everlast Gyms
Ultimately, we want to become the number one fitness business in the UK and if the options came available, we’d consider going overseas

We know that we’re going to be opening new sites. We know we’re going to be rebranding and relaunching lots of clubs. How many people can say they’re doing that day in, day out?” asks Dan Summerson, managing director of Everlast Gyms. “It’s a challenge, but it’s one that excites me more every day, and we’re building a team that feels the same.”

At the heart of this challenge is what Everlast owner, Frasers Group, calls its ‘elevation’ strategy: a modernisation and premiumisation of the offering that’s evident across the Group’s estate, not just within the gym division.

Under Summerson’s leadership, there’s a clear vision of what that means in a gym context and it draws on his experience of working in both big box fitness – for the likes of Fitness First – and in the boutique sector, including at TRIB3 and BXF.

“We’ve set out to make our gyms feel like a hybrid, taking what we consider to be the outstanding elements from the boutique environment and from the big box environment and bringing them together,” Summerson explains.

Keeping it simple
“One of the main things that works really well for the big box market is how they operate the pricing structure. In line with this, our clubs typically charge £20–30 a month (US$24-36, €23-34), all-inclusive,” says Summerson. “We want to keep it simple, rather than complicating the offering with added extras.

“For that price, members get a valuable product they can see and feel and touch; elevation isn’t just about decorating and making the club look nicer. There’s a really great fitness product, a really great bar and a really great secondary spend product, with smoothie bars, retail and supplements. The Everlast clothing and supplement brands have also been elevated, so it made sense to bring everything together inside our gyms.

“We also have a really good class product. Rather than the typical multi-use studio where you have 40 or 50 different workouts and loads of different instructors all doing different things, we’ve gone for fewer signature programmes with their own brands,” he says. “Cranked is indoor cycling, Hustle is our HIIT class, Haymaker is boxing, Backbone is a strength class, and then we have a mind-body workout called Breathe. We set all the timings, the music and the lighting to keep standards high.”

He continues: “What we’ve taken from the boutique market are some of the design features and class environments that give us that premium feel. We’re giving everyone the opportunity to train in a premium environment, but at a really affordable price.”

“As part of this, we focus on not having any wasted space,” he says. “Ours are big box facilities, but we’ve designed the new offering in such a way that everything has its own place, its own zone.

“We still have cardio, free weight, pin-loaded and functional areas on the gym floor, as in most big box gyms, but even first-time gym-goers can easily identify those zones thanks to our lighting, flooring and kit layout. Then we have our class zones, which we’ve designed to be usable throughout the day, even when classes aren’t on.”

There’s a nod to the Everlast brand heritage, too: “There’s a mural of Mohammed Ali as soon as you come in and hit the stairs, and we have boxing gloves up the stairs too,” he says.

“Then, when you get to the gym floor, the first thing you see isn’t a load of cardio. It’s our boxing class, with a really cool zone that we’ve created in steel and bronze – a zone that’s usable outside of class times as a boxing bag and resistance training zone.

“We’re going to put certain key features in every site we do, and this boxing zone will be one of them. When you see these features, you’ll know you’re in an Everlast Gym.”

A comprehensive rebrand
All of which brings us to the brand name. When Summerson joined Frasers Group in 2021, he was presented with a diverse portfolio of club brands – the result of growing predominantly by acquisition. (See ‘Uniting the Estate’)

“There were Everlast Fitness Clubs, former DW clubs and Sports Direct Fitness clubs,” he says. “My task was to pull them together as one brand.”

That brand was Everlast Gyms – a “more modern” take on Everlast Fitness Clubs. with Ashley having acquired the rights to the Everlast name for a reported US$168m in 2007 (£139m, €160m).

The Everlast brand has a long pedigree, having been founded in the Bronx, New York City in 1910, initially as a swimsuit brand and then eventually as a boxing brand (see ‘Everlast, the story so far’).

“There was a lot of discussion around how quickly we should bring all our locations under one brand,” says Summerson, “but for the majority of our estate, we decided to do it straight away.” It meant clubs were branded Everlast Gyms before they’d been elevated but, as he explains, “we felt it was right to get some traction and consistency across the estate – our clubs, our website and our social media”.

At the time of conducting this interview, one club was already operating the new Everlast Gyms model: a new property in Denton, Manchester. Opened in late December 2021 to test the concept, equally importantly it gave the teams – especially those coming from the older-style clubs – a chance to understand the new approach, says Summerson. “It’s been a massive learning curve for them, but now we’ve been able to show them the new look and feel and new ways of operating, I think they’re super, super excited about it.”

Two more fully-fledged Everlast Gyms will have opened their doors by the time this interview is published: the inaugural club, unveiled with its new look and feel at head office in Shirebrook on 18 June and a second new site in Preston, which opened on 24 June.

“It’s early doors,” confirms Summerson. “The DW purchase was made in lockdown in 2020, and since then we’ve been pulling together our strategy and look for the future.”

More rebrands will follow, with an emphasis on upgrading the 40 clubs that have been retained and are still operating from the DW estate.

“We’ll update the remaining Sports Direct Fitness clubs eventually too and at some point we’ll also tackle the clubs originally opened as Everlast Fitness Clubs, even though those are already quite new,” says Summerson.

“We’re keen to have everything under one umbrella and all looking the same. But it won’t happen overnight: it’s a massive roll-out and I’d say it’s a three-year project to get everything up to our new Everlast Gym standards,” says Summerson.

“Even that’s a tough ask,” he continues, “We’re under no illusions – if we can do it in three years, that will be great. If it takes a bit longer, then that’s the way it will have to be.”

Strong forecasts
In the meantime, business performance has been roaring back, says Summerson: “In FY22 – the full year to 30 April 2022 – we built up our membership base really well. We’re now in a comfortable position, with most of our members having come back and are poised to keep growing. Our forecasts for FY23 are strong.”

That includes growth beyond the current estate, with a focus that’s very much on new brick and mortar locations. “We’re fully aware we’re undertaking a big project with the elevation of our current sites, but if growth opportunities come up we feel are worth taking on, then we’ll definitely take them,” say Summerson.

“We have the team behind us now to do it organically, too. I’m not saying we’d never make another acquisition – that’s for the people above me in the business to decide in any case – but I think we can and will grow organically as well.”

He adds: “What I’m seeing is big box gyms recovering – better than the boutiques, in fact – with people wanting to come in for the community and the environment. We’ll offer more interactive digital experiences in-club, but not online home workouts. Honestly, I think Apple has cleaned up there. In any case, we want people to come and use our spaces.”

Although Everlast is part of Frasers Group, there is, says Summerson, “no talk at the minute” about Everlast Gyms opening up inside department stores. “It’s more about how we can sit alongside to some of the Group’s other operations,” he says, “Taking advantage of the footfall going into Sports Direct stores, for example.”

Summerson concludes: “Ultimately, we want to become number one fitness business in the UK. I also believe that if the options came available, we’d consider going overseas.”

UK #1 is a lofty ambition, I venture. How would he define that? “I wouldn’t say it’s defined just by number of clubs, because you could have a load of clubs that aren’t up to a great standard,” he says. “For me it’s about product, design and standards.

“Of course, you have to be a certain size to be well known. You need a certain number of clubs. But I want us to get those three key elements consistently right. I want our members to walk away from each workout thinking we have an outstanding offer.”

Everlast, the story so far

Everlast is an American brand of sports equipment, specialising in boxing, MMA and fitness, with worldwide distribution of equipment, clothing, sports nutrition products and footwear.

The brand was founded in the Bronx, New York City, in 1910 by 17-year-old Jacob Golomb, the son of a tailor and a keen swimmer.

Golomb started out as a manufacturer of swimwear, guaranteeing his suits would last longer than a year. He named them Everlast.

The company began manufacturing boxing products in 1917 after a 22-year-old Jack Dempsey asked them to supply him with headgear that would “last for more than 15 rounds”.

Everlast went on to build its boxing credentials, sponsoring Joe Frazier, Marvin Hagler, Larry Holmes, Sugar Ray Leonard and Muhammad Ali.

The company now also produces a number of MMA and boxing podcasts. Everlast is currently based in Manhattan and was acquired by Frasers Group in 2007.

Everlast first moved into boxing wear in 1917 / photo: EVERLAST / Hove & Co Photography
Uniting the estate
Everlast has an expanding portfolio and is growing by acquisition and new build development
photo: EVERLAST / Hove & Co Photography

In 2020, when DW Sports went into administration, Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group acquired DW’s fitness assets – at that point 73 clubs – for £37m. Some were permanently closed; the remainder were immediately rebranded Everlast Fitness Clubs.

These clubs were then brought into a gym division, operating under the umbrella of Sports Direct, that also included a number of former LA fitness clubs – acquired in 2014 and by now operating as Sports Direct Fitness – and a few newer gyms that had opened organically under the Everlast Fitness Clubs banner.

By the time Summerson joined the Group in 2021, the estate totalled 69 clubs: 40 former DW gyms, 18 Sports Direct Fitness/LA fitness locations, nine organic Everlast Fitness Clubs, and two yet-to-open new sites in Denton and Preston.

Summerson’s task, as he explains, was to “make them all feel like one brand”, spurring a decision to move quickly towards one unified brand name: Everlast Gyms.

By the end of May 2022, when this interview was conducted, the portfolio consisted of 57 Everlast Gyms – including all 40 former DW clubs – plus 12 still branded Sports Direct Fitness, for now at least.

Across all 69 sites, the umbrella brand is now Everlast Gyms, led by Summerson.

More: www.everlastgyms.com

Founded in the Bronx, Everlast has sponsored boxing greats such as Muhammad Ali / photo: EVERLAST / Hove & Co Photography
Founded in the Bronx, Everlast has sponsored boxing greats such as Muhammad Ali / photo: EVERLAST / Hove & Co Photography
The boxing ring is front and centre in the Everlast gym design / photo: everlast gyms
The boxing ring is front and centre in the Everlast gym design / photo: everlast gyms
The Everlast clubs are designed as ‘big box meets boutique’ / photo: EVERLAST / Hove & Co Photography
The Everlast clubs are designed as ‘big box meets boutique’ / photo: EVERLAST / Hove & Co Photography
Rebranding the entire estate will take around three years / photo: EVERLAST / Hove & Co Photography
Rebranding the entire estate will take around three years / photo: EVERLAST / Hove & Co Photography
Signature programmes have their own brand feel – such as ‘Backbone’ strength classes / photo: everlast gyms
Signature programmes have their own brand feel – such as ‘Backbone’ strength classes / photo: everlast gyms
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2022/416527_436433.jpg
The MD of Everlast Gyms is steering the business through a process of rebranding, with a hybrid model intended to take it to UK number one status
HCM magazine
Our experts believe love is the best foundation on which to build a business. Kath Hudson finds out why
HCM magazine
Delivering personally-designed workouts can create a placebo effect that yields better results, find researchers
HCM magazine
Fuel the debate about issues across the industry and share your ideas and experiences. We’d love to hear from you: [email protected]
HCM magazine
Consumer expectations are rising all the time, but nowhere more than in relation to digital. UK Active’s Dave Gerrish explains how the industry is shaping up
HCM magazine
HCM People

Chibs Okereke

Stress and burnout coach, Mettle
Almost 40 per cent of men have never spoken to anyone about their mental health. There's a lot of suffering in silence
HCM promotional features
Sponsored
On opening night, our attendees pushed their limits during a team- centred workout
HCM promotional features
Sponsored
Ridgeway has created a series of luxury spaces for the new Third Space in Wimbledon, designing, making and installing furniture in key areas of the club
HCM promotional features
Sponsored profile: Technogym
The GM of The Club & Spa Bristol tells us about the cutting edge club refresh that showcases the Technogym Artis Line
HCM promotional features
Promotion
Using research that revealed three key pillars for cardio exercisers, Life Fitness has created its greatest-ever console: the Discover SE4
HCM promotional features
Promotion
Small group training is popular for its energy, but must evolve to retain popularity, says the director of training at Matrix Fitness
HCM promotional features
Sponsored
Creating successful training environments requires a deep knowledge of functional design. Gregory Bradley, sales director at BLK BOX Fitness talks us through the company’s approach
HCM promotional features
Latest News
The first bricks and mortar Kinrgy studio opens today (1 March) in West Hollywood. Founded ...
Latest News
Orangetheory and Self Esteem Brands have revealed plans to merge 'as equals' creating a new ...
Latest News
In the same week as tennis legend, Andre Agassi, was appointed to the board of ...
Latest News
According to a pilot study by Yale School of Medicine, exercise can not only slow ...
Latest News
Self Esteem Brands (SEB), owner of Anytime Fitness, has released year-end results which show year-on-year ...
Latest News
Basic-Fit has introduced a new approach to tackle gymtimidation and create an inclusive environment in ...
Latest News
Speaking exclusively in the current issue of HCM magazine, Third Space CEO, Colin Waggett, says ...
Latest News
Australian exercise and active health trade body, AUSactive, has partnered with the national Royal Life ...
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Longevity and recovery specialist Jonathan Leary to headline PerformX 2024
PerformX Live, the premier business of fitness event, has announced Dr Jonathan Leary, founder and CEO of Remedy Place, as the headliner for its 2024 event.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Elevate registrations soar: a record-breaking start to Elevate 2024
Elevate, the premier event in the physical activity, fitness, sports therapy and performance sector, is thrilled to announce that registrations for its 2024 conference are now live – and the response has been nothing short of exceptional.
Company profiles
Company profile: Elevate
The UK's largest annual trade event dedicated to physical activity, health, and performance...
Company profiles
Company profile: Panatta Srl
Panatta is a historic fitness brand offering one of the widest ranges of products on ...
Supplier Showcases
Supplier showcase - Fisikal: Fast reactions
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Featured press releases
Precor UK press release: Precor launches new functional strength training line powered by BeaverFit
Precor, trusted fitness solution provider to more than 14,000 global facilities, has selected BeaverFit, the world’s largest supplier of fitness equipment to U.S. and NATO militaries, to design and manufacture their new functional training line.
Featured press releases
The Health & Fitness Institute press release: THFI Launches Wellness Coaching Qualification Aimed at NHS Relief and Economic Boost
Recent data from UK Active has revealed that a shocking 25% of the UK’s population is classed as ‘inactive,’ averaging less than 30 minutes of exercise a week.
Directory
Lockers
Crown Sports Lockers: Lockers
Cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Cryotherapy
salt therapy products
Saltability: salt therapy products
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Snowroom
TechnoAlpin SpA: Snowroom
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Property & Tenders
Loughton, IG10
Knight Frank
Property & Tenders
Grantham, Leicestershire
Belvoir Castle
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
11-14 Apr 2024
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
22-24 Apr 2024
Galgorm Resort, York,
Diary dates
30 May - 02 Jun 2024
Rimini Exhibition Center, Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
08-08 Jun 2024
Worldwide, Various,
Diary dates
11-13 Jun 2024
Raffles City Convention Centre, Singapore, Singapore
Diary dates
12-13 Jun 2024
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
22-25 Oct 2024
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
04-07 Nov 2024
In person, St Andrews, United Kingdom
Diary dates

features

Interview: Dan Summerson

The MD of Everlast Gyms is steering the business through a process of unification, rebranding and ‘elevation’, rolling out a hybrid model that he believes will take it to UK number one status. He speaks to Kate Cracknell

Published in Health Club Management 2022 issue 6
Dan Summerson / photo: Dan Summerson/Everlast Gyms
Dan Summerson / photo: Dan Summerson/Everlast Gyms
Ultimately, we want to become the number one fitness business in the UK and if the options came available, we’d consider going overseas

We know that we’re going to be opening new sites. We know we’re going to be rebranding and relaunching lots of clubs. How many people can say they’re doing that day in, day out?” asks Dan Summerson, managing director of Everlast Gyms. “It’s a challenge, but it’s one that excites me more every day, and we’re building a team that feels the same.”

At the heart of this challenge is what Everlast owner, Frasers Group, calls its ‘elevation’ strategy: a modernisation and premiumisation of the offering that’s evident across the Group’s estate, not just within the gym division.

Under Summerson’s leadership, there’s a clear vision of what that means in a gym context and it draws on his experience of working in both big box fitness – for the likes of Fitness First – and in the boutique sector, including at TRIB3 and BXF.

“We’ve set out to make our gyms feel like a hybrid, taking what we consider to be the outstanding elements from the boutique environment and from the big box environment and bringing them together,” Summerson explains.

Keeping it simple
“One of the main things that works really well for the big box market is how they operate the pricing structure. In line with this, our clubs typically charge £20–30 a month (US$24-36, €23-34), all-inclusive,” says Summerson. “We want to keep it simple, rather than complicating the offering with added extras.

“For that price, members get a valuable product they can see and feel and touch; elevation isn’t just about decorating and making the club look nicer. There’s a really great fitness product, a really great bar and a really great secondary spend product, with smoothie bars, retail and supplements. The Everlast clothing and supplement brands have also been elevated, so it made sense to bring everything together inside our gyms.

“We also have a really good class product. Rather than the typical multi-use studio where you have 40 or 50 different workouts and loads of different instructors all doing different things, we’ve gone for fewer signature programmes with their own brands,” he says. “Cranked is indoor cycling, Hustle is our HIIT class, Haymaker is boxing, Backbone is a strength class, and then we have a mind-body workout called Breathe. We set all the timings, the music and the lighting to keep standards high.”

He continues: “What we’ve taken from the boutique market are some of the design features and class environments that give us that premium feel. We’re giving everyone the opportunity to train in a premium environment, but at a really affordable price.”

“As part of this, we focus on not having any wasted space,” he says. “Ours are big box facilities, but we’ve designed the new offering in such a way that everything has its own place, its own zone.

“We still have cardio, free weight, pin-loaded and functional areas on the gym floor, as in most big box gyms, but even first-time gym-goers can easily identify those zones thanks to our lighting, flooring and kit layout. Then we have our class zones, which we’ve designed to be usable throughout the day, even when classes aren’t on.”

There’s a nod to the Everlast brand heritage, too: “There’s a mural of Mohammed Ali as soon as you come in and hit the stairs, and we have boxing gloves up the stairs too,” he says.

“Then, when you get to the gym floor, the first thing you see isn’t a load of cardio. It’s our boxing class, with a really cool zone that we’ve created in steel and bronze – a zone that’s usable outside of class times as a boxing bag and resistance training zone.

“We’re going to put certain key features in every site we do, and this boxing zone will be one of them. When you see these features, you’ll know you’re in an Everlast Gym.”

A comprehensive rebrand
All of which brings us to the brand name. When Summerson joined Frasers Group in 2021, he was presented with a diverse portfolio of club brands – the result of growing predominantly by acquisition. (See ‘Uniting the Estate’)

“There were Everlast Fitness Clubs, former DW clubs and Sports Direct Fitness clubs,” he says. “My task was to pull them together as one brand.”

That brand was Everlast Gyms – a “more modern” take on Everlast Fitness Clubs. with Ashley having acquired the rights to the Everlast name for a reported US$168m in 2007 (£139m, €160m).

The Everlast brand has a long pedigree, having been founded in the Bronx, New York City in 1910, initially as a swimsuit brand and then eventually as a boxing brand (see ‘Everlast, the story so far’).

“There was a lot of discussion around how quickly we should bring all our locations under one brand,” says Summerson, “but for the majority of our estate, we decided to do it straight away.” It meant clubs were branded Everlast Gyms before they’d been elevated but, as he explains, “we felt it was right to get some traction and consistency across the estate – our clubs, our website and our social media”.

At the time of conducting this interview, one club was already operating the new Everlast Gyms model: a new property in Denton, Manchester. Opened in late December 2021 to test the concept, equally importantly it gave the teams – especially those coming from the older-style clubs – a chance to understand the new approach, says Summerson. “It’s been a massive learning curve for them, but now we’ve been able to show them the new look and feel and new ways of operating, I think they’re super, super excited about it.”

Two more fully-fledged Everlast Gyms will have opened their doors by the time this interview is published: the inaugural club, unveiled with its new look and feel at head office in Shirebrook on 18 June and a second new site in Preston, which opened on 24 June.

“It’s early doors,” confirms Summerson. “The DW purchase was made in lockdown in 2020, and since then we’ve been pulling together our strategy and look for the future.”

More rebrands will follow, with an emphasis on upgrading the 40 clubs that have been retained and are still operating from the DW estate.

“We’ll update the remaining Sports Direct Fitness clubs eventually too and at some point we’ll also tackle the clubs originally opened as Everlast Fitness Clubs, even though those are already quite new,” says Summerson.

“We’re keen to have everything under one umbrella and all looking the same. But it won’t happen overnight: it’s a massive roll-out and I’d say it’s a three-year project to get everything up to our new Everlast Gym standards,” says Summerson.

“Even that’s a tough ask,” he continues, “We’re under no illusions – if we can do it in three years, that will be great. If it takes a bit longer, then that’s the way it will have to be.”

Strong forecasts
In the meantime, business performance has been roaring back, says Summerson: “In FY22 – the full year to 30 April 2022 – we built up our membership base really well. We’re now in a comfortable position, with most of our members having come back and are poised to keep growing. Our forecasts for FY23 are strong.”

That includes growth beyond the current estate, with a focus that’s very much on new brick and mortar locations. “We’re fully aware we’re undertaking a big project with the elevation of our current sites, but if growth opportunities come up we feel are worth taking on, then we’ll definitely take them,” say Summerson.

“We have the team behind us now to do it organically, too. I’m not saying we’d never make another acquisition – that’s for the people above me in the business to decide in any case – but I think we can and will grow organically as well.”

He adds: “What I’m seeing is big box gyms recovering – better than the boutiques, in fact – with people wanting to come in for the community and the environment. We’ll offer more interactive digital experiences in-club, but not online home workouts. Honestly, I think Apple has cleaned up there. In any case, we want people to come and use our spaces.”

Although Everlast is part of Frasers Group, there is, says Summerson, “no talk at the minute” about Everlast Gyms opening up inside department stores. “It’s more about how we can sit alongside to some of the Group’s other operations,” he says, “Taking advantage of the footfall going into Sports Direct stores, for example.”

Summerson concludes: “Ultimately, we want to become number one fitness business in the UK. I also believe that if the options came available, we’d consider going overseas.”

UK #1 is a lofty ambition, I venture. How would he define that? “I wouldn’t say it’s defined just by number of clubs, because you could have a load of clubs that aren’t up to a great standard,” he says. “For me it’s about product, design and standards.

“Of course, you have to be a certain size to be well known. You need a certain number of clubs. But I want us to get those three key elements consistently right. I want our members to walk away from each workout thinking we have an outstanding offer.”

Everlast, the story so far

Everlast is an American brand of sports equipment, specialising in boxing, MMA and fitness, with worldwide distribution of equipment, clothing, sports nutrition products and footwear.

The brand was founded in the Bronx, New York City, in 1910 by 17-year-old Jacob Golomb, the son of a tailor and a keen swimmer.

Golomb started out as a manufacturer of swimwear, guaranteeing his suits would last longer than a year. He named them Everlast.

The company began manufacturing boxing products in 1917 after a 22-year-old Jack Dempsey asked them to supply him with headgear that would “last for more than 15 rounds”.

Everlast went on to build its boxing credentials, sponsoring Joe Frazier, Marvin Hagler, Larry Holmes, Sugar Ray Leonard and Muhammad Ali.

The company now also produces a number of MMA and boxing podcasts. Everlast is currently based in Manhattan and was acquired by Frasers Group in 2007.

Everlast first moved into boxing wear in 1917 / photo: EVERLAST / Hove & Co Photography
Uniting the estate
Everlast has an expanding portfolio and is growing by acquisition and new build development
photo: EVERLAST / Hove & Co Photography

In 2020, when DW Sports went into administration, Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group acquired DW’s fitness assets – at that point 73 clubs – for £37m. Some were permanently closed; the remainder were immediately rebranded Everlast Fitness Clubs.

These clubs were then brought into a gym division, operating under the umbrella of Sports Direct, that also included a number of former LA fitness clubs – acquired in 2014 and by now operating as Sports Direct Fitness – and a few newer gyms that had opened organically under the Everlast Fitness Clubs banner.

By the time Summerson joined the Group in 2021, the estate totalled 69 clubs: 40 former DW gyms, 18 Sports Direct Fitness/LA fitness locations, nine organic Everlast Fitness Clubs, and two yet-to-open new sites in Denton and Preston.

Summerson’s task, as he explains, was to “make them all feel like one brand”, spurring a decision to move quickly towards one unified brand name: Everlast Gyms.

By the end of May 2022, when this interview was conducted, the portfolio consisted of 57 Everlast Gyms – including all 40 former DW clubs – plus 12 still branded Sports Direct Fitness, for now at least.

Across all 69 sites, the umbrella brand is now Everlast Gyms, led by Summerson.

More: www.everlastgyms.com

Founded in the Bronx, Everlast has sponsored boxing greats such as Muhammad Ali / photo: EVERLAST / Hove & Co Photography
Founded in the Bronx, Everlast has sponsored boxing greats such as Muhammad Ali / photo: EVERLAST / Hove & Co Photography
The boxing ring is front and centre in the Everlast gym design / photo: everlast gyms
The boxing ring is front and centre in the Everlast gym design / photo: everlast gyms
The Everlast clubs are designed as ‘big box meets boutique’ / photo: EVERLAST / Hove & Co Photography
The Everlast clubs are designed as ‘big box meets boutique’ / photo: EVERLAST / Hove & Co Photography
Rebranding the entire estate will take around three years / photo: EVERLAST / Hove & Co Photography
Rebranding the entire estate will take around three years / photo: EVERLAST / Hove & Co Photography
Signature programmes have their own brand feel – such as ‘Backbone’ strength classes / photo: everlast gyms
Signature programmes have their own brand feel – such as ‘Backbone’ strength classes / photo: everlast gyms
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2022/416527_436433.jpg
The MD of Everlast Gyms is steering the business through a process of rebranding, with a hybrid model intended to take it to UK number one status
Latest News
The first bricks and mortar Kinrgy studio opens today (1 March) in West Hollywood. Founded ...
Latest News
Orangetheory and Self Esteem Brands have revealed plans to merge 'as equals' creating a new ...
Latest News
In the same week as tennis legend, Andre Agassi, was appointed to the board of ...
Latest News
According to a pilot study by Yale School of Medicine, exercise can not only slow ...
Latest News
Self Esteem Brands (SEB), owner of Anytime Fitness, has released year-end results which show year-on-year ...
Latest News
Basic-Fit has introduced a new approach to tackle gymtimidation and create an inclusive environment in ...
Latest News
Speaking exclusively in the current issue of HCM magazine, Third Space CEO, Colin Waggett, says ...
Latest News
Australian exercise and active health trade body, AUSactive, has partnered with the national Royal Life ...
Latest News
Kerzner International has ushered in a new era of wellness-centric hospitality and unveiled its highly-anticipated ...
Latest News
Following a successful pilot, The Gym Group is rolling out a programme, delivered by The ...
Latest News
As Planet Fitness announces strong year-end results there are reports the company is planning a ...
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Longevity and recovery specialist Jonathan Leary to headline PerformX 2024
PerformX Live, the premier business of fitness event, has announced Dr Jonathan Leary, founder and CEO of Remedy Place, as the headliner for its 2024 event.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Elevate registrations soar: a record-breaking start to Elevate 2024
Elevate, the premier event in the physical activity, fitness, sports therapy and performance sector, is thrilled to announce that registrations for its 2024 conference are now live – and the response has been nothing short of exceptional.
Company profiles
Company profile: Elevate
The UK's largest annual trade event dedicated to physical activity, health, and performance...
Company profiles
Company profile: Panatta Srl
Panatta is a historic fitness brand offering one of the widest ranges of products on ...
Supplier Showcases
Supplier showcase - Fisikal: Fast reactions
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Featured press releases
Precor UK press release: Precor launches new functional strength training line powered by BeaverFit
Precor, trusted fitness solution provider to more than 14,000 global facilities, has selected BeaverFit, the world’s largest supplier of fitness equipment to U.S. and NATO militaries, to design and manufacture their new functional training line.
Featured press releases
The Health & Fitness Institute press release: THFI Launches Wellness Coaching Qualification Aimed at NHS Relief and Economic Boost
Recent data from UK Active has revealed that a shocking 25% of the UK’s population is classed as ‘inactive,’ averaging less than 30 minutes of exercise a week.
Directory
Lockers
Crown Sports Lockers: Lockers
Cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Cryotherapy
salt therapy products
Saltability: salt therapy products
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Snowroom
TechnoAlpin SpA: Snowroom
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Property & Tenders
Loughton, IG10
Knight Frank
Property & Tenders
Grantham, Leicestershire
Belvoir Castle
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
11-14 Apr 2024
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
22-24 Apr 2024
Galgorm Resort, York,
Diary dates
30 May - 02 Jun 2024
Rimini Exhibition Center, Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
08-08 Jun 2024
Worldwide, Various,
Diary dates
11-13 Jun 2024
Raffles City Convention Centre, Singapore, Singapore
Diary dates
12-13 Jun 2024
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
22-25 Oct 2024
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
04-07 Nov 2024
In person, St Andrews, United Kingdom
Diary dates
Search news, features & products:
Find a supplier:
Technogym
Technogym
Partner sites