Future of Work

Fitter Business Models

  • Mortiz Kreppel
  • October 14, 2020

Moritz Kreppel is the Co-Founder of Urban Sports Club, a fitness model that lets people keep up with their favorite exercise and wellness routines.

Why are exercise and sports so important to people?

You get fitter, build up your immune system, and do something good for yourself. But, people want to try something new, which is where Urban Sports Club comes in. We turned the average person's desire to be fit and healthy into a product that gives you access to wellness activities anytime, anywhere. It’s great source of stress relief too, especially if you’ve been staring at a screen the whole day. A bit of exercise at lunchtime or a hearty workout in the evening is perfect for winding down and replenishing your energy levels.

Exercise needs to be easy—whether you’re at home, in the office, with friends, or visiting a new city. 

What are main focus areas in the fitness sector?

The focus is on faster, higher, further, although it should be flexible, fair, simple. These days, people don't want to be stuck in a contract for years. It’s all about having access to different kinds of sports without spending lots of money. For many people, one gym is not enough. They would prefer to have the freedom to choose how to reach their fitness goals and advance their health. Exercise needs to be easy—whether you’re at home, in the office, with friends, or visiting a new city. 

How did you come up with this business model?

My co-founder, Benjamin Roth, and I have been friends for a long time. We were both working as consultants when we met, and bonded over the fact that we were traveling all over the country without easy access to sports clubs, due to inflexible contracts and such. We developed a diversified model where for a monthly flat rate, you have access to more than 50 types of sports in thousands of gyms. We worked out a business plan and went to hundreds of Berlin gyms, sports clubs, and yoga studios, pitching our idea. We bootstrapped and kept growing, working day and night. A few months later we made our first part-time hire, moved into a bigger office, and the rest is history.

Would this model have been less successful 10 years ago?

I think our concept would have worked back then, but it would have been more complicated. We have a smartphone app for easy check-in to sports clubs. This technological advancement obviously makes it easier to create a digital ticket of sorts. It could have worked without an app as well, but payment would have been much more clunky and time-consuming, and you wouldn’t have had such a good overview of everything that we offer.

Why does fitness need to adapt to people, and not the other way around?

The whole world is changing quickly. People are now more mobile and interconnected. They switch jobs more often and move to new cities. The industry, has to cater to the changing demands of the customers. If I don’t do that, somebody else will, and the customer will go to them. In general, people crave flexibility and companies have to adapt to this.

What kinds of people use Urban Sports Club?

We offer over 50 sports with over 2000 partners all over Germany and France. This means that there’s something for everyone when it comes to wellness activities. You could do yoga today, weight training tomorrow, and finish your week at the swimming pool. Put simply, Urban Sports Club is perfect for anyone who craves flexibility in their workout routine. 

What does Urban Sports Club do for its employees to encourage wellness at work?

Occupational health management is becoming more and more important. Our motto is workout life balance. Our employees get a free premium membership package. After a stressful day—which is sometimes the case with us—you can treat yourself to a free massage or spa treatment. In our Berlin office, we have workout equipment, and we collaborate with sports nutrition manufacturers and other startups from the catering sector to offer healthy food and drinks to our employees. Once a month we have a team event, where we do exercise together then go for dinner and drinks. That's the perfect workout life balance, if you ask me.

A big thank you to Rosamund Mather for interviewing Moritz.