IHRSA Newsroom

Get the latest news about the health and fitness industry, consumer research and trend information, IHRSA advocacy, and the role that it plays in providing a solution to the crisis of physical inactivity.

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ClubConnect to Power Staff Education for American Family Fitness 

(March 29, 2017) San Diego, CAClubConnect, the fastest growing club software platform in the fitness industry, is proud to announce that American Family Fitness has joined its platform today. ClubConnect is the leading health club-focused platform that powers the education for the world’s top health clubs. The platform includes certification verification, a fitness-specific LMS, 200 CEC courses, over 10,000 professional award-winning articles, a proprietary education score for each staff member, customized dashboards, a program-design tool, and much more.  

Today American Family Fitness joins other top health clubs around the world in making staff education a top priority. American Family Fitness and its 9 club locations are now part of a large group of prestigious health clubs, including LifeTime Fitness, Gold’s Gym, and Anytime Fitness, by partnering with ClubConnect to power their staff education. The ClubConnect platform currently delivers education to over 4,500 health clubs around the world.  

“This is an investment in our team and our members,” said Bobby Hall, Regional Fitness Director at American Family Fitness. “We know our Training clients are accustomed to receiving a high level of service, so it falls to us to continuously define just how great that service is. ClubConnect also provides a unique opportunity to be the hub of company education throughout all of our departments. This endless flow of growth and development has created excitement throughout all departments of American Family Fitness by tethering them to an aligned focus. Everyone gets to learn and share in the same space and we feel that is a huge advantage.” 

Jason Davis, President of ClubConnect (an Inspire360 company), said “ I am very pleased to partner with American Family Fitness. I am thrilled that they have made a commitment to club education by signing onto ClubConnect and excited to get started on powering their staff education. Their staff now has access to the best tools and resources in the fitness industry.”

About Inspire360

Inspire360 is dedicated to providing inspired software that is fanatically focused on helping health clubs and organizations in the fitness and wellness industry achieve remarkable things. Originally developed under IDEA Health & Fitness Association, the company builds on decades of experience in the health and fitness industry to deliver world-class software to educate fitness professionals and enhance profits for health clubs. Its two flagship products, ClubConnect and CoursePlus, are used by some of the most respected names in fitness, like the American College of Sports Medicine, EXOS, Lifetime Fitness, and Gold's Gym. For more information, visit www.clubconnect.com.


Transaction Services Group appoints Vice President Sales for Debitsuccess USA

Transaction Services Group (TSG), a New Zealand based leading global payment solutions provider, has announced that Mary Parray will join the company as Vice President of Sales for Debitsuccess – USA

Ian Jones, TSG Chief Executive Officer – America, says the move signals an exciting period of growth for the company.

“North America is a critical market for TSG’s focused growth strategy.  Mary brings strong commercial experience and industry knowledge to our Debitsuccess USA offering,” says Mr. Jones.  “Her proven local track record builds on our capability and will stand us in good stead to further develop the business.  We are excited to invest in the right people to further fuel growth.”

As Vice President Sales of Debitsuccess USA, Parray will work with Jones to accelerate growth and maximise opportunities.

With offices in Denver, Connecticut and Seattle, Parray brings extensive health and fitness industry experience, including more than eight years with Twin Oaks and ABC Financial.  In her new role, Parray’s knowledge will be maximized to help health and fitness businesses across North America. optimize club management, payments and collections.

“I’m very excited to be joining Debitsuccess USA” says Ms. Parray.  “The team has put together a strong strategy to penetrate the market and I look forward to leading the sales development and success in North America.”

TSG is a leading global payment solutions provider comprising Debitsuccess in North America and New Zealand, Debitsuccess and FFA Paysmart in Australasia and United Kingdom based DFC and Harlands Group. 

Debitsuccess specializes in collecting any day any frequency recurring payments from customers through its full service payment platform, which includes billing, customer service, following up of delinquent members, and the highest level of international data security – level 1 Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).

Operating internationally for more than 20 years, Debitsuccess has been working with organizations in industries from fitness and SAAS to insurance and education.  With its award-winning retention call center, the business creates payment solutions for customers across the world.

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise is providing guidance to assist the establishment of the business in the US.  For more information about Debitsuccess, visit www.debitsuccess.us


Nearly 12,000 in Los Angeles for IHRSA’s Annual Convention & Trade Show

BOSTON, MA - March 23, 2017 - Almost 12,000 fitness industry professionals from over 80 countries were in Los Angeles, March 8-11 for IHRSA 2017, the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association’s 36th Annual International Convention & Trade Showwhether to experience the latest equipment and technology during the two-day Trade Show and early morning workouts, attend educational sessions given by industry experts, and/or attend networking and social events like the Opening Reception, sponsored by STRONG by Zumba, The ILC Summit, sponsored by ABC Financial or 12th Annual Bash for Augie’s Quest.

See the IHRSA 2017 Highlights Video.

IHRSA 2017 by the Numbers

  • Convening for IHRSA 2017 were nearly 12,000 industry professionals (health club operators, suppliers, and fitness industry professionals) including over 7,400 Convention & Trade Show attendees.

  • Attendees traveled to IHRSA 2017 from 80 countries and all 50 states.

  • The exhibit hall, with 376 exhibitors was alive with activity during the two-day Trade Show and early morning workouts.

  • Attendees chose from more than 150 educational sessions, networking opportunities, exercise classes, workshops and small-group tutorials

  • Social posts with the #IHRSA2017 hashtag achieved more than 10M impressions and reached more than 1.4M people.

The Movement to #PassPHIT

A major focus at IHRSA 2017 was a ‘virtual fly-in’ to support PHIT, legislation that would make access to physical activity more affordable for U.S. taxpayers. If passed, the Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act, the fitness industry’s top legislative priority, would save Americans 20-30% on annual fitness expenses by allowing the use of pre-tax savings accounts to pay for qualified fitness expenses, including health club memberships.

During IHRSA 2017, the Virtual #PassPHIT Fly-in encouraged attendees to contact their member of Congress to support the bill. Due to the combined efforts of industry professionals in attendance:

  • The #PassPHIT Campaign made 2.4 million impressions via social media.

  • 618 email messages, tweets, and Facebook posts were sent to over 300 members of Congress. These messages contributed to the larger movement to pass this legislation. As of March 23, IHRSA members have sent 3,196 messages (3,116 emails) to members of Congress from about 969 unique senders, asking for passage of PHIT.

  • Attendees participated in a Facebook Live broadcast demonstrating the importance of what PHIT would mean for this industry and American health club consumers. The livestream reached 4,469 people and has been viewed more than 1.4K times to date.

Education Highlights

Each day of the four-day event was highlighted by an inspiring keynote presentation. To kick off IHRSA 2017, Seth Mattison spoke about the interaction of workplace trends, generational dynamics, and leadership strategies in his Wednesday morning keynote: The Relationship Revolution: Building Better Connections in the Digital Age, sponsored by MYZONE.

On Thursday morning, after the #PassPHIT Rally, Martin Lindstrom, author, change agent, and brand futurist, presented: Forget Big Data, Small Data Defines the Future, sponsored by Technogym SpA. His presentation as well as the #PassPHIT rally was broadcast via Facebook Live.

On Friday, attendees were prompted to think out of the box by entrepreneur Johnny ‘Cupcakes’ Earle, founder of the Johnny Cupcakes t-shirt brand. His session on Viral Business: Inspiring Customer Loyalty was sponsored by Matrix Fitness.

And on the final day of the Convention, Soraya Darabi, co-founder of Zady, gave attendees unique insight into how they could successfully create their own customized engagement plan that would keep members coming back for more. Her presentation: Creating & Maintaining Engagement was sponsored by Daxko / CSI Software.

Additional Convention highlights included:

In addition to the various receptions and networking events, keynotes, and leadership events, more than 150 educational, exercise, and networking sessions were offered, many simultaneously translated into Chinese (sponsored by ChinaFit), French, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

2017 Award Recipients

Three industry leaders were recognized during IHRSA 2017 for their commitment to the industry and serving their local communities. The Outstanding Community Service Award was presented to FITNESS SF of Corte Madera, California; The Julie Main Scholarship was presented to Ellen Latham, MS, co-founder and partner of Orangetheory Fitness; and the The Associate Member of the Year was presented to TRX. Criteria, past award winners and applications for next year’s awards are available at ihrsa.org/awards.

IHRSA 2017 Multi-Media

  • Audio MP3 recordings of nearly 70 IHRSA convention sessions will be available for sale in April at ihrsa.org/store. Video recordings of those same sessions will be added soon after.

  • Official show images are available for a limited time at thephotogroup.com, password IHRSA17PRESS.

  • The IHRSA Live team provided thorough coverage of the Convention through the IHRSA blog and social media accounts, including live-streaming video on Facebook Live. The event hashtag—#IHRSA2017—trended several times on Twitter throughout the Convention.  

  • For IHRSA Live video interviews from IHRSA 2017 Exhibitors, Rising Stars, ILC members and club operators.

IHRSA 2017 Sponsors

IHRSA gratefully acknowledges all of the sponsors that helped to make IHRSA 2017 possible: 5-Hour Energy, ABC Financial, Airex AG, Aktiv Solutions, American Council on Exercise (ACE), Anytime Fitness, LLC, ASF Payment Solutions, Augie’s Quest, Balanced Body, bootybarre, ChinaFit, Cigna, Clif Bar Company, Daxko / CSI Software, Debitsuccess, Digilock, eCard Transactions, eGym GmbH, Financo, Fitness Brasil, Fitness Business Canada, Fitness Industry Council of Canada, Genavix, GoalPost Solutions, LLC, Healthy Learning, Hyperwear, Intenza Fitness, InTouch Technology, Iron Grip Barbell Company, JumpSport Fitness, Inc., Jonas Fitness, Inc., JumpSport, Inc., Keiser Corporation, Leisure Industry Week (LIW), Listen360, Management Around Sports, Master Lock Company, LLC, Matrix Fitness, Mercado Fitness, MERRITHEW, MINDBODY, Inc., Motionsoft, MYE Entertainment, MYZONE, Netpulse, NuStep, Inc., Ojmar US, Parisi Speed School, Perfect Gym Solutions S.A., PFP Media, Polar, Power Plate, Power Systems, Inc., Precor Incorporated, RealRyder International, LLC, SportsArt, Styku, Suples Ltd.,Technogym SpA, Total Gym, TRUE Fitness, TRX, TuffStuff Fitness International, Twin Oaks Software, VFP, ZIVA and STRONG by Zumba.


The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) is a not-for-profit trade association representing health and fitness facilities, gyms, spas, racquet and sports clubs, and suppliers worldwide. IHRSA and its members are dedicated to making the world healthier through regular exercise and activity promotion. Preparations are already underway for IHRSA 2018 in San Diego, California, March 21-24, 2018, while the next event on the IHRSA calendar is The IHRSA Institute, which provides executive-level education for club fitness professionals, August 1-4, 2017 at UNC in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. For additional events, see ihrsa.org/meetings.


Snodgrass Partners Joins Tennis Industry Association As a Corporate Partner

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (March 23, 2017) — To help tennis providers manage and grow their businesses, including in the important areas of staffing, recruitment, management and leadership, the Tennis Industry Association (TIA) has formed its newest corporate partnership with Snodgrass Partners Inc., an executive search and management consulting firm based in Overland Park, Kan.

As part of its Sports Recruiting and Consulting practice, Snodgrass Partners matches tennis clubs, golf courses and resorts with professionals, operations directors and other management roles. The firm also provides consulting on topics such as property improvements and raising capital. According to Founder and CEO Steve Snodgrass, his firm’s partnership with TIA is a natural fit and will add value for members regardless of the size of operation.

“As a past developer/owner of a racquet club, I know firsthand the challenges of hiring and retaining the very best management team for a club’s day-to-day operations,” Snodgrass says. “Our firm has decades of experience in attracting qualified candidates within a broad range of verticals. In our role as a TIA Corporate Partner, we will ensure the ‘right match’ for new hires using our vast network of personal contacts in conjunction with our proven methods for identifying and vetting best-fit talent. All of our searches are completed quickly, with discretion and backed by a one-year guarantee.”

Snodgrass himself is a former NCAA Division 1 tennis player and coach with more than 20 years of experience as a C-level executive recruiter. His company’s team of recruiters and consultants is led by former USTA Managing Director of Player Development and top NCAA administrator Tom Jacobs, and the recruiting staff includes former NCAA players, men’s and women’s coaches, USPTA/PTR professionals and a network of partners such as famed performance physiologist Dr. Mark Kovacs.

“We’re pleased to have Snodgrass Partners support the tennis industry as a valued TIA Corporate Partner,” says TIA Executive Director Jolyn de Boer. “We’re confident that TIA members, tennis businesses and providers of all types will find that Snodgrass Partners and its experienced consultants can help provide tailored solutions to their recruitment, leadership development and consulting needs.”

Snodgrass Partners will be present in the Resource Center at the fourth annual Tennis Owners & Managers (TOM) Conference, which the TIA is presenting March 27-29 in Orlando, Fla.

For more information, contact TIA Business Manager Brian O’Donnell at (843) 473-4504 or brian@tennisindustry.org. To learn more about Snodgrass Partners, contact Donna Pirotte at Donna@SnodgrassPartners.com or (913) 219-4144.

About Snodgrass Partners Inc.
Snodgrass Partners (www.SnodgrassPartners.com) is a specialized Executive Search, Sports Recruiting and Management Consulting firm founded in 2001. Since its inception, Snodgrass Partners has conducted hundreds of successful Executive Search assignments for regional, national and international organizations of all sizes and from a variety of vertical markets. The firm also offers comprehensive management consulting services and alternative solutions for acquiring the best people possible including Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO).

About the TIA
The Tennis Industry Association, the not-for-profit trade association for tennis, is THE unifying force in the tennis industry whose mission is to promote the growth and economic vitality of the business of tennis by working closely with its industry partners and in support of the USTA in their development of initiatives to increase tennis participation. Core TIA activities include producing more than 70 U.S. and global research reports annually on participation and consumer/trade research, managing the largest relational database, along with hosting annual TIA Tennis Forum, Leadership meetings and the TOM Conference at major tournaments and events. Visit TennisIndustry.org or call 866-686-3036.


Innovation & Technology Advisory Council Convenes at IHRSA 2017

Disseminating Industry Best Practices Tops Agenda

Boston, MA, March 22, 2017 - IHRSA convened the inaugural meeting of the Innovation & Technology Advisory Council on March 10 during IHRSA 2017, IHRSA’s Annual International Convention & Trade Show in Los Angeles, California.

IHRSA Chair Rasmus Ingerslev announced the formation of the council in September 2016 as a means to reach out to the technology community, within and outside of the fitness industry, to help identify important technology-related issues and trends.  

“The goal is to gather the smartest minds in and around our industry in order to ensure that all IHRSA members are ‘in the know’ in regards to how technology will impact our industry,” said Ingerslev. “One issue that all council members agreed upon during the meeting is that there seems to be a wide gap of knowledge amongst club operators in the industry. Therefore, one of the immediate goals of the council will be to help IHRSA provide information and education to club operators to aid them in making sound innovation and technology decisions.”

The advisory council contains a diverse group of individuals representing club, supplier, and technology companies. They include:

• Jeff Bartee, Principal Product Manager for Network Fitness, Precor

• Greg Cibura, CTO, Fitness Formula Clubs

• Jeffrey Cooper, Senior Manager Business Development, Samsung

• Samir Desai, CIO, Equinox

• Dan Laughlin, Digital Solutions Manager - North America Technogym

• Mike Leveque, COO, MyZone

• Leon Rudge, Director Digital Experience ISBU, Life Fitness

• Todd Thorson, CTO, Midtown Health

• Al Noshirvani, Executive Chairman, Motionsoft

• Mike Rucker, VP Technology, Active Wellness

• Andy Smith, CEO, The Daily Burn

• Jamie Ward, CEO and Co-Founder, PayAsUGym

• Adam Zeitsiff, CIO, Gold’s Gym

“We are thrilled with the response we have received from those volunteering to serve and share their immense knowledge,” said Joe Moore, IHRSA’s president and CEO.

In addition to Ingerslev, IHRSA board members attending the initial meeting included incoming Board Chair Derek Gallup of New Evolution Ventures, Missy Moss of Nike Fitness Centers, Ray O’Connor of Wisconsin Athletic Clubs, as well as IHRSA Board-elect members Bryan O'Rourke of Gold’s Gym Houston and Integerus, and Carrie Kepple of Les Mills, New Zealand. Participating for IHRSA was Jay Ablondi, EVP of Global Products, Tom Durkin, vice president of technology & web publishing, and Marianne Aiello, digital content manager.

Objectives of the council include: 

  • Aligning the industry with vetted technology-oriented companies, organizations, and key influencers to leverage information and experience.

  • Capturing and interpreting the articulated and unarticulated needs of the industry’s current and future customers relating to technology and innovation.

  • Educating IHRSA members on the current innovation and technology landscape to aid them in making sound innovation and technology decisions.

  • Establishing IHRSA as a credible source of knowledge on the future of technology in—and relating to—the health and fitness industry.

  • Helping IHRSA and IHRSA members improve, expand, and enhance their current products and service offerings.

  • Exploring visionary strategic partnership opportunities for IHRSA.

IHRSA will facilitate the work of the Innovation and Technology Advisory Council members. View IHRSA’s existing technology and innovation articles.


The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) is a not-for-profit trade association representing commercial health & fitness facilities, gyms, spas, sports clubs and suppliers worldwide. IHRSA’s mission is to grow, protect and promote the health and fitness industry and to provide its members with benefits that will help them be more successful.  

IHRSA members represent health and fitness facilities, gyms, spas, sports clubs, and suppliers worldwide. IHRSA and its members are dedicated to making the world healthier through regular exercise and activity promotion.