NEW YORK -- New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter has become the latest in a line of celebrity athletes to lend his name to 24 Hour Fitness clubs.
Three Derek Jeter-styled clubs will open in New York, the first one slated for June in New York’s Madison Square Park, according to published reports. The other two clubs are scheduled to open in SoHo in August and in the Citicorp building this fall, 24 Hour CEO Carl Liebert told The New York Observer.
Not only is Jeter lending his name to the clubs, he is an equity partner.
“You want to align your brand with another brand that has similar characteristics,” Liebert tells The Observer. “When I think of Derek and his professional baseball, I think of a guy who’s passionate about his occupation. He’s a professional from day one. The second piece is, he leads a healthy lifestyle. He’s fit, even when it’s the off-season. It’s so exciting that Derek wanted us to come to New York. This isn’t just an endorsement deal. He’s an owner. He’s invested, which means he cares, which means these clubs are a part of him. And that’s what makes these clubs really come to life.”
This is 24 Hour’s first venture into New York City. The Jeter deal is separate from the agreement 24 Hour signed last year with the New York Yankees, which plans to open three baseball-themed clubs in New York. 24 Hour also has a presence at the team’s spring training facility in Tampa, FL, and at Yankee Stadium and will have a presence in the new Yankee Stadium scheduled to open next year.
Jeter joins Andre Agassi, Shaquille O’Neal and Lance Armstrong as athletes who have partnered with 24 Hour for its signature clubs.
Jeter says he has been involved in the design of his clubs, right down to picking out tiles in the bathroom. The project has taken a couple of years to develop, says Jeter, who adds that his clubs are for everyone, not just baseball fans. The clubs are not expected to have many photos of Jeter or Yankees memorabilia.
“I want to put my own style into this gym, or more importantly, the style of New Yorkers,” Jeter tells The Observer. “I want it to be classy. I want it to be sophisticated. I didn’t want it to be like every other gym.”
The premiere club in Madison Square Park will have 28,000 square feet and will include a pro shop, a Starbucks and XM Satellite Radio. The cost of a membership will be “mid-tier,” Liebert tells the New York Post, and will be competitive with chains such as New York Sports Clubs.