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Building the Largest Fitness Franchise in the World Through the Power of Ink

July 8, 2024
It’s one thing to sign on the dotted line and start the journey of franchise ownership. It's another thing to permanently ink a symbol of that experience on your own skin. More than 4,000 people today proudly sport tattoos of the Anytime Fitness Runningman icon.

It’s one thing to sign on the dotted line and start the journey of franchise ownership. It's another thing to permanently ink a symbol of that experience on your own skin.

More than 4,000 people today proudly sport tattoos of the Anytime Fitness Runningman icon. What started as a way to show passion for the growing impact of the brand during the AF Owner Conference in 2005 is now a full-scale movement in the Anytime Fitness world. Franchise owners, staff and members alike embrace the Runningman icon as an acknowledgement of the hurdles one overcomes on challenging fitness journeys. It celebrates the bonds forged by the community of owners, members and staff at AF clubs around the world. And for franchisees, it signifies their journey as business owners and entrepreneurs with a brand they love.

The icon tattoo has become one of the strongest testaments to the strength of the Anytime Fitness culture across our network. That culture – 22years young as of May 2024 – is only growing stronger. Nearly all of our development agreements this past year were signed by existing franchisees to expand their portfolio of Anytime Fitness clubs (and in some cases, to expand to other franchise brands within our portfolio like Waxing the City and Basecamp Fitness).

But how does culture truly drive the growth and success of a brand – so much to the point that someone will literally ink the brand’s icon on their arm?

It starts with consistency in operations and experience. Back in 2002,when Chuck Runyon and Dave Mortensen launched the first Anytime Fitness club and started to grow locations through franchising, consistency was a main priority to ensure every customer interaction and club experience aligned with their core values.

Today, with more than 5,300 clubs worldwide, that commitment to consistency holds true. Of course, localization of a club experience matters, too—but whether you visit an Anytime Fitness club in Minneapolis, Tokyo, London or Madrid, you will have an Anytime Fitness experience every time.

But perhaps even more influential in the decision to tattoo your franchisor’s brand icon onto your skin for life is that you believe deeply in the franchise partnership. Owners of Anytime Fitness know the brand is investing in their growth, which creates legions of franchisees who are more motivated and engaged to go the extra mile. AF champions innovation, creative thinking and input from owners, empowering franchisees to stay ahead of the curve. The brand actively seeks out and incorporates feedback from franchisees to create an environment where new ideas are not just encouraged, but celebrated, adopted and scaled.

Maybe tattoos aren’t your thing, and that’s just fine. But it should speak volumes that a group of entrepreneurial-spirited individuals, unique in their backgrounds but united by a shared mission to foster positive transformation in their communities wear their pride for the brand so loudly that they opt for an inked Runningman on their skin.

It’s a great time to join Anytime Fitness as the $5.6 trillion global wellness industry (source: Global Wellness Institute) is in a strong growth mode. For potential business owners: Anytime Fitness is a place where your voice matters, innovation thrives, and every member is valued.

Join us in shaping a healthier, happier world – anytime, anywhere. Tattoos are optional, of course – but we do have a tattoo studio at our company HQ, just incase you change your mind.

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