July 15, 2010 // Franchising.com // BOSTON, MA - Koko FitClub, LLC, the technology company reinventing the fitness franchise business, adds Cape Cod to their growing list of area development agreements for Massachusetts. The first location in this multi-unit agreement for the Cape will open late summer at the Bell Tower Mall, 1600 Falmouth Road (Route 28), in the Barnstable village of Centerville. And with the build out of their first location underway, owners Tim and Ashley Calise are already scouting for their second Cape Cod location.
The Calises are former college athletes, busy new parents and now Koko FitClub's first "member owners." They were hooked on the concept at the corporate owned club in Pembroke, MA. New to the area, they Googled "personal trainers" and hit upon Koko FitClub. What they found there isn't personal training. It's better. The spa-like atmosphere combined with technology guided training is just what they were looking for. Says Tim, "Even though I'm a former athlete, I walk into a gym and I'm overwhelmed with the choices and deciding what to do. That's not the feeling I'm looking for. I want a getaway. Koko gives me 30 to 45 minutes for myself and the knowledge that I'm getting the most out of my workout in that time. Koko Smartraining technology tracks everything and quantifies that investment I'm making in myself. "
With a new baby and the discovery of Koko, Tim and Ashley began to think about the quality of family and community life that being Koko FitClub owners could give them. Ashley, who will be running the operations on a day-to-day basis, explains "Now that we have the baby, it has become more important for us to do something as a family to improve society." She continues, "We are very focused on assisting people of all ages and fitness levels in achieving their health objectives as our personal social mission. Americans are busier and more stressed than ever and it is affecting their health. Through Koko, we offer a way to heal both the mind and body, doing our part to help reverse society's troubling health trends." Tim agrees. As Koko FitClub owners "We can help you improve [your health] no matter who you are. You're not alone."
Social responsibility aside, Tim, a financial executive and self-described "entrepreneur at heart", wasn't looking for a business, but a business found him. As someone who evaluates businesses for a living, he sees buying Koko FitClubs as an opportunity. "There is a hole in the Cape market- busy working professionals who know they should be active but have no time and no current solution- it's a convenience market. We think the concept of a 30 minute, efficient, effective workout will resonate with the community." He also really likes the company. "Koko FitClub has such high standards that, at the end of the day, our business philosophies align incredibly well. Koko is our partner."
Koko FitClub President and Co-Founder Mary Obana says, "Tim and Ashley are going to be great owners. They truly understand and can communicate the unique value Koko offers to their community, because no one 'gets it' better than our members. They don't think people are looking for a better way to work out, they know it. They've lived it." Obana describes the addition of the Calises to the Koko family as validating. "Tim is a sophisticated investor, and from his perspective as a Koko FitClub member, he sees business potential. There are millions of people out there who want and need Koko, so he is looking at this opportunity in a big way- taking an enterprise view." She concludes, "It's huge that Koko passed the test in Tim's mind, because it's clear to me when it comes to business, if everyone else is playing checkers, Tim is playing chess."
Koko FitClub is for the millions of people who want all the benefits of exercise but don't have the time or energy to figure out a plan that works. The company's genesis in 2003, according to President and Co-Founder Mary Obana, was the realization that, "Traditional gyms don't work for the vast majority of the population. They don't have the time, and they don't know what to do." Seven years and $10,000,000 worth of research and development later, there is a solution. The Koko Smartraining SystemTM. Says, Obana, "It's revolutionary fitness technology that actually gets people fit. Think of it as a computerized personal trainer ready to coach you through a custom designed fitness program, geared to your needs, all on your schedule."
The Koko Smartraining System technology precisely analyzes each Koko FitClub member's unique fitness level, then designs a customized training plan based on individual goals and ability. The Koko Smartraining System uses that information to guide users through personalized, highly-effective workouts on proprietary strength and cardio equipment, packing all the benefits of a 60-90 minute personal training session into just 30 minutes or less, and at a fraction of the cost. World-class trainer, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, and Koko FitClub Chief Fitness Officer, Michael Wood, says, "Human personal trainers simply can't begin to manage all the variables or track progress with the precision we can through Smartraining technology."
With Koko FitClub, Obana and husband/Co-Founder Mike Lannon have taken the same approach to running franchises as they have to exercise. While Koko Smartraining technology offers a consistent, high-quality member experience, it also uniquely enables a relatively low-cost, easy-to-operate business model for franchisees, allowing a Koko FitClub to be staffed by one person and to be open nearly 24 hours a day. And, Lannon points out that The Koko FitClub franchise, with the exclusive rights to the patented Koko Smartraining System, is in an enviable position. "We offer breakthrough technological innovation that tackles head-on the biggest issue in this country: an aging, overweight population."
The ideal candidates for a Koko FitClub franchise have a strong desire to help their communities and are drawn to entrepreneurialism as a way to control their personal and financial future. According to Obana, "We are looking for people who want to be at the forefront of a game-changing new concept in fitness, health and technology. And every franchisee that opens the doors to a Koko FitClub reinforces our belief that people are craving a better way to improve their health and change their lives."
Koko FitClub is the exclusive fitness franchisor to offer the patented Smartraining System technology, recognized as the most dynamic automated strength and cardio personal training system in fitness, and winner of the coveted Nova7 award for innovation in the fitness industry. Developed by Mike Lannon and Mary Obana with assistance from the Founding Director of the MIT Center for Sport Innovation, Smartraining technology enables Koko FitClub to provide consumers with unlimited personal training at a remarkably low cost and provides franchisees with an end-to-end system to run the operation.