Dr. Regina Henkel
Author:
Dr. Regina Henkel

Fitness giant has with its clothing brand Nike, Adidas and Under Armour in its sights

CEO Killick Datta and Beachbody: "The gym is the new pub"

Beachbody, the netflix of fitness, launches a clothing brand. CEO Killick Datta explains in an interview how he intends to establish the newcomer in the growth market. The first collection will soon be available.

Fitness training is part of every sport and is finding more and more fans worldwide.
Fitness training is part of every sport and is finding more and more fans worldwide.

The fitness market is growing worldwide and more and more people are flocking to the fitness studios. According to the German Sports Studio Association (DSSV), in spring 2017 for the first time more than 10 million people trained in a fitness studio in Germany. The target is 12 million by 2020.

The leaders of the fitness trend are the USA: The responsible association IHRSA reports more than 57 million members there. It has long become apparent that more and more brands are peering at the booming fitness market. So far, the big sports brands dominate the business, but the attractiveness of the market attracts new competitors. One of them is Beachbody from the USA, whose clothing line is currently entering international markets.

Beachbody LLC is one of the largest fitness providers in the country.  As a kind of netflix for fitness the company has attracted a large fitness community. Subscribers can stream workouts, even individually and with prominent VIP fitness coaches like Tony Horton. In addition it offers nutrition plans, superfood and training equipment. is one of the largest fitness providers in the country.  As a kind of netflix for fitness the company has attracted a large fitness community. Subscribers can stream workouts, even individually and with prominent VIP fitness coaches like Tony Horton. In addition it offers nutrition plans, superfood and training equipment. Beachbody had a turnover of $1.3 billion. Now the clothing brand Beachbody is to be set up.

"Fitness training is part of every sport"

In 2016 Beachbody granted a license to Global Brand Partners (GBP) from Singapore to develop a clothing and shoe collection for fitness. The first collection will be launched in summer 2018. Ispo.com spoke to Killick Datta, President and CEO of GBP, about the booming fitness market.

ISPO.com: Mr. Datta, why do you want to establish a new fitness brand?

Killick Datta: The fitness market is huge, many times bigger than the markets of other sports such as skiing, tennis or even football. After all, all athletes go to the gym and not just those who do yoga classes, bodybuilding or classical workout, for example. Fitness training is part of every sport. And that's exactly what we specialize in: Our products were developed especially for the requirements in the studio and are based on the experience of an international team of designers, product developers and, of course, fitness coaches.

"Today it's cool to go to the gym"

What makes fitness attractive? How has fitness changed compared to the past?

Fitness is growing worldwide, more and more people are going to the gym. At the same time, fitness has evolved enormously. Fitness used to  be more feminine, and strength training was just for bodybuilders. Those days are over. Today, fitness has become a lifestyle, has diversified enormously and covers very different areas and target groups. Today it's cool to go to the gym, where the kids meet. The Gym is the new pub!

Beachbody exists since 1998 and sells besides courses and sports nutrition also equipment for training. Why didn’t they start a clothing line yet?

The founders of Beachbody wanted to start a clothing line for a long time, but had just not found the time and the right partner yet. In 2016, we took over the license for apparel and footwear with our company Global Brand Partners. My partner and I have known the business for years and have already successfully launched several brands. My partner Peter Koral is the founder and former CEO of 7 for All Mankind. In recent years I have successfully placed numerous shoe licenses, e.g. for Diesel, Pony and Nautica.

He already succeeded with licensing brands like Diesel Footwear: Killick Datta, CEO of Global Brand Partners.
He already succeeded with licensing brands like Diesel Footwear: Killick Datta, CEO of Global Brand Partners.

„Our goal is to be among the top 5 in the fitness industry“

Diesel Footwear was so successful because you combined fashion and sport there, 7 for All Mankind is a premium denim brand. Which retailer do you want to reach?

We are serious, our focus is on sport. For example, we do not present ourselves at fashion fairs, but only at sports fairs. Many retailers are afraid of new brands, but we are not a "fake" or pop-up brand, we believe in what we do. Our retailers, which now include Nordstrom in the USA and JD Sports in England, for example, did not buy us because we are the first to do fitness, but because they see the potential.

What is your goal with Beachbody?

Our goal is to be among the top 5 in the fitness industry in each country over the next five years.

"Our job is to establish the Beachbody collections"

Besides which brands?

Adidas, Nike, Under Armour and Puma. With Diesel Footwear I managed to do this a few years ago. Of course you can't plan for success, but you can make sure you have a good product.

How exactly does the cooperation with Beachbody in the USA look like?

We worked with Beachbody trainers to get to the heart of the matter. We use the latest materials, such as Nilit yarns, use compression and seamless technologies in clothing and have worked with a renowned sports institute in England on footwear for sole technology.

Beachbody itself has meanwhile developed into a digital company. 350,000 coaches train according to Beachbody programs. How do you use the large Beachbody community?

First of all, we are license holder of Beachbody and can draw on the experience of the athletes and coaches for our product development. Of course, our brand name appeals to all consumers who already know and use Beachbody. But our products are not distributed via the official Beachbody website. Our partner is the retailer, to which of course Beachbody itself can belong, too. Our job is to establish the Beachbody collections in the sports business.

Working on wearables and the development of smart yarns

What role does digitization play for you?

The world is connected more closely than ever before and the power of the consumer has grown enormously. In the past, a customer could only buy what his local retailer offered him. Today he knows what's ‘in’ right now all over the world. I don't believe that the retail stores are dying, but they have to embrace technology and develop a strategy. Perhaps the retailer makes 85 percent of his turnover with the big brands you find everywhere, but he needs the small, new brands to distinguish himself from others. We are also working on wearables and the development of smart yarns.

In which countries do you start distribution?

In Germany, we work together with the Bernd Hummel GmbH as a sales partner, who already develops and sells brands such as KangaROOS and flip*flop. He will be responsible for the entire DACH region. The first products are to be launched on the market by summer 2018. We also started sales in England, Benelux, Sweden, Italy, France, Spain and Portugal. Eastern Europe, Asia and the USA will also start soon, and we have established our own subsidiary in the USA for this purpose.

Dr. Regina Henkel
Author:
Dr. Regina Henkel
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