George Foreman III’s Boston-based gym is about to enter the ring with big name fitness chains like Soul Cycle, Planet Fitness, and Equinox.
Foreman and his co-founder, Anthony Rich, have received a new investment from Boston-based VC and branding firm, Breakaway, to expand their gym and boxing operating system EveryBodyFights (formerly known as The Club By George Foreman III), according to a statement.
“Since day one, and even prior to that, we always wanted to franchise, it was always our goal,” Foreman told Boston.com. “So when we built the first gym, we wanted to build it like a franchise, thinking of the colors, fonts, tag lines, all of that, which has been a work in process, but it has always been our plan. Every decision we made was to prepare us to be a national brand, and to think for millions of people, not just one gym in Boston.”
Foreman—son of boxing world champion George Foreman and the only one of his five sons to go into boxing— received a $1 million investment from Breakaway, according to Yahoo Finance.
Foreman said he plans to open a Manhattan and a second one in Boston by the end of the year, and an additional three or four locations in both Manhattan location and Boston in the next two to three years. For the Boston locations, Foreman said EveryBodyFights is “aggressively pursuing” locations in the Financial District, Back Bay, Chestnut Hill, and Somerville.
EveryBodyFights will also be franchising its boxing operating system by the end of the summer, according to Foreman. He said the goal is for the company to own gym locations and operating systems on the East Coast, and to franchise in other major cities like Austin, Texas, or Los Angeles with “proven, successful franchise operators.” He said the brand aims to sell eight to 10 franchises over the next eight months.
EveryBodyFights original location opened in 2014 in South Boston. A second franchise opened in Watertown in February. The gym offers weights, pilates, yoga, cycling, and a patented, boxing inspired interval class called BOXFIIT™, according to its website. The gym’s four main classes operate as their own boutique studios within the space. With the new expansion, the operating system will also make it possible for interested other gyms to incorporate these certified boutique studios within their own facilities—an option Foreman said would not have been possible without having Boston as a testing ground.
“Boston has given us a great platform to shape and grow our business because it’s a tier one fitness city that’s always open to new things,” Foreman said. “The people here people have a fighting attitude, so we were lucky to open in a feisty and fighting city that is also an international city with some of the smartest people. It forces us to stay ahead of the trends and make sure there’s nothing new that we aren’t doing. Boston keeps us sharp.”
Foreman said his father will sit on the gym’s board, but also is his biggest mentor for boxing and business.
“A lot of people don’t know that when I boxed, he was my trainer and put down his business career for five years,” he said. “Now he gets on phone and talks with me for hours and tells me how to film my videos, how to train people, how I should be engaging with people at the gym. I built this without his direct [financial] support, but in terms of being a father and a mentor, he couldn’t be more involved.”