LA Fitness made its second major acquisition deal of the year and third in 12 months when it announced it had entered into an agreement to purchase the assets of Urban Active, which had 36 clubs, most of which were in Ohio and Kentucky. The deal was finalized in October. The two parties had been negotiating for months and almost consummated a deal in 2011. The addition of the Urban Active clubs, most of which had been Gold's Gyms under the direction of franchisee Royce Pulliam, brought LA Fitness' club total to 551.
Two Gold's Gyms franchisees broke away from the brand in September as Sebastyen and Zsolt Jackovics rebranded their four San Francisco Bay Area Gold's Gyms to Fitness SF. The move came two years after Robert Rowling, the CEO of TRT Holdings, the parent company of Gold's Gym International, made a $2 million contribution to a political group that supported candidates who hold anti-gay positions.
Life Time Fitness had a difficult day on Sept. 11. That was the day one of its former trainers at a Life Time in Illinois was arrested on sexual abuse charges. Robert Theodore was accused of having inappropriate sexual contact with a minor boy whom he had been training in track and field, and some of the alleged abuse took place at the Life Time club. Also on Sept. 11, a teenager died after he collapsed while playing basketball at a Detroit-area Life Time club.
Bally made a major change on its executive team, hiring Town Sports International (TSI) founder and former Crunch CEO Marc Tascher as its CEO. Tascher replaced Mike Sheehan, who had come to Bally from 24 Hour Fitness in 2008. Tascher is responsible for overseeing all of Bally's operations, including its strategy, direction, growth and long-term planning.
Technogym opened its new Italian headquarters in Cesena, Italy. The opening was attended by Italian President Giorgio Napolitano and Nerio Alessandri, founder of Technogym. President Bill Clinton spoke at the inaugural Wellness Congress, which was put on the same day by Technogym. Earlier in the year, Technogym had served as a sponsor of the London Olympics.
The U.S. Army, which was scheduled to implement a new physical fitness test, announced in September that it was putting those plans on hold. Army officials said the test failed to measure functional fitness that would prepare soldiers in combat. Last year, the Army began piloting two new tests, the Army Physical Readiness Test (APRT) and the Army Combat Readiness Test (ACRT) to help soldiers be more prepared for combat. Later in the year, a report detailed the dramatic rise of discharges of active-duty airmen in the Air Force for not meeting physical training standards.