European Business: Urban Sports Club enables customers to enjoy a variety of sporting activities. Were normal recreational sports no longer sufficient?
Moritz Kreppel: It’s not so much a question of whether grassroots sports are enough for us – Benjamin plays football, we both swim and run – but more that our members value what our partners offer and the 50+ types of sports available at Urban Sports Club. The variety of courses such as HIIT, antigravity yoga or boxing, in combination with free training, is good reason for many to come to us. In addition, membership is valid in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Denmark, Finland and Norway
Benjamin Roth: Business and private members can, for example, attend their regular yoga or Pilates classes on Mondays in Berlin or Freiburg, work out in the gym on Tuesday on their business trip to Milan, and sail in Lisbon at weekends. It’s all about discovering new things, integrating sports seamlessly into everyday life and, above all, having fun while exercising.
Moritz Kreppel: With our product, we address individual needs, our members’ moods and the season. With Urban Sports Club, you can try stand-up paddling or wakeboarding in summer and skiing in winter. Our analysis shows that Leipzig, for example, was the hotspot for canoeing and kayaking last year. Within Germany, dance is most popular in Munich, and Frankfurt is number one for relaxation courses. We see that the majority of our members regularly visit three partner locations. They often combine yoga with climbing, and fitness training with volleyball or swimming.
We see that the majority of our members regularly visit three partner locations. They often combine yoga with climbing, and fitness training with volleyball or swimming. Moritz Kreppel
European Business: Your partner clubs are located mainly in big cities. What makes a city interesting for you?
Benjamin Roth: Every city is interesting for us. Strategically, it makes the most sense to begin in a new country with metropolises such as Madrid or Barcelona because supply and demand is higher, and the concept of a sport and fitness flat-rate is established. Our city partners benefit hugely from new members who join them through a platform like Urban Sports Club. But even in rural areas, there are, on the one hand, partners who are happy about inflow and marketing, and on the other, members who want to visit more than just a studio with flexible terms and fair prices. In particular, through the merger with Interfit, we have been able to secure many partners in smaller cities in Germany.
European Business: Club sports score points with the concept of community building. How successful is Urban Sports Club at this?
Moritz Kreppel: Due to our increasing membership numbers, we also have a rapidly growing Urban Sports Club community, which arranges get-togethers to do sports both directly and via digital channels. We regularly organize community events with partners, both at their premises and elsewhere, which are very well received. In addition, we have cooperations with Europe-wide event series such as Wanderlust 108. Members can attend at no extra cost, as they do with our partners. We consider the community of Urban Sports Club to be both regional and Europe-wide. In the app, we are planning to implement functions that can be used to make training appointments.
Our Urban Sports League has been around for almost as long as the Urban Sports Club itself. We are the biggest company football league in Germany. Benjamin Roth
European Business: You also offer company sports, including football, which is not found in a normal portfolio. How does it work? And how important are company sports to you?
Benjamin Roth: Very important. Our Urban Sports League has been around for almost as long as the Urban Sports Club itself. Currently, we have around 80 corporate football teams competing weekly in Berlin, Munich, Cologne and Hamburg. We are the biggest company football league in Germany. This year, we have also introduced the first beach volleyball league with around 30 company teams who compete in tournaments.
Moritz Kreppel: Employees enjoy the sport, the exercise, and the opportunity to network. Companies benefit from teambuilding, the promotion of health, and employer branding. This is a win-win situation for everyone. To reward companies that are particularly dedicated to the health and fitness of their employees, we have just launched our first WorkOUT Life Balance award. All companies, regardless of size and whether they are a customer of the Urban Sports Club, can apply. It is about emphasizing the importance of occupational health care and recognizing commitment.
European Business: Are there any sports that you do not want to or are not allowed to include in the offer?
Benjamin Roth: Interesting question. I do not see any restrictions in terms of ‘allowed’. In terms of ‘would like to’, in a new city we always concentrate initially on sports with easy access - so not too niche to begin with. This follows in the second step. The only areas that we have not included so far are things like laser tag and paintball, but these are not sports in the true sense. We want to offer diversity so that everyone can find something that suits them and discover something new. That’s why we have included all the basics such as fitness and yoga, and more unusual sports such as wakeboarding, padel-tennis and archery.
Interview: Aurelia Leppen | Photos: Urban Sports GmbH