The average net sales for an LA Boxing facility that has been open for more than one year was $442,879 in 2011, according to the company’s FDD. Jacobs says that the earnings claim can serve as a sales tool.

“It also helps our franchise owners manage their expectations,” Jacobs adds. “What can they really make? How much will this really cost? That’s what they want to know, and an earnings claim helps them manage that.”

Title Boxing Club, which is owned by former professional boxer Danny Campbell, businessman Tom Lyons and the Title Boxing equipment company, had one company-owned facility in 2008, then three in 2009 before franchising in 2010. As of last month, it had 195 franchises sold, 30 of those open. In that first year of franchising, the company had revenue of $92,000, but it jumped to $515,000 in 2011. Revenue for 2012 should be even higher as the company recorded $325,000 in revenue for the first quarter, according to Rick Washburn, CFO for Title Boxing Club.

A WOMAN’S WORLD

Some people credit the popularity of MMA for the growth in these types of workouts. Takedown Entertainment, an MMA promotional company, estimates that the MMA industry is worth more than $3 billion, with annual pay-per-view revenues making up about $500 million of that total. The first UFC on FOX event in November 2011 drew 5.7 million viewers, and a February event drew 4.6 million viewers, ranking first in the adult 18-49 market that night, according to MMA Weekly.

Although Dana White, president of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), which is the main force behind MMA events today, has said that 18- to 34-year-old males are the main core of the MMA audience, he also said last summer that women now make up 45 percent of the fan base.

Even though White’s numbers are difficult to verify, the boxing franchise companies estimate that 60 percent to 70 percent of their members are female. That estimate may seem incongruous, considering that boxing and MMA can be intimidating to many people. However, these facilities have overcome that partly by doing something simple: installing big windows in their clubs.

“When you walk by a shopping center and see someone on a treadmill or bike, you don’t look up anymore,” Jacobs says. “But you see a real boxing ring—and you more often than not see a woman in there working out—that causes people to stop, put their hands over their eyes and look in. They will walk in, gingerly at first, and that’s engagement. Then we combine that with our TV ads, print ads, social media. We know about the nervousness. We expect it. That is overcome by making it easy for them to come in. That’s a challenge, but a good challenge.”

Campbell says the popularity of these workouts for the middle- to uppermiddle- class suburban women that his company targets (although men are members, too) stem mostly from the fact that the hour-long workouts are quick and can burn up to 1,000 calories.

“Not only do you get physically fit, but you get mentally fit, you get stress relief,” Campbell says. “You feel empowered.” And women tend to invite their friends to come with them, making it a group social event, as opposed to men who come by themselves, Campbell says.

“Men are not as social as women. They are withdrawn,” Campbell says. “Men might not be intimidated by the fact that they are coming to hit a bag, but if they do not do it well, they might be embarrassed. Women don’t care. They come in and say, ‘Show me how to hit a bag.’”