Adam Sedlack explains how UFC GYM is surviving – and thriving – during hard-knock times.
Tell us more about yourself and your professional background.
I’m the president and co-founder of UFC GYM, the first major worldwide brand extension of the premier MMA organization. I joined UFC GYM back in 2008 after holding various sales and managerial roles for over 14 years at 24 Hour Fitness.
How have you been helping your franchisees navigate the COVID-19 pandemic?
With locations spanning across 37 countries, UFC GYM has the unique perspective of a global mindset, observing how each country has handled the impacts of COVID-19. We have seen it all, from navigating new safety practices to enduring forced closures. We also see the immense value in what our industry has to offer society during these times and feel a sense of responsibility to save our industry from decline and have been working closely with each of our franchisees to make sure they have the proper support from our corporate team and that we are communicating with them on a consistent basis. Since the beginning of the pandemic, UFC GYM has provided it’s franchisees with virtual training offerings, marketing support and operational safety recommendations.
What are your 3 communication tips for any business owner dealing with a crisis?
- Listen with Empathy – Caring and truly being heard will establish a trust between the ranks in the field through the executives at the corporate office.
- Show and demonstrate transparency – Manufacturing the narrative never leads to a result that happens the right way. Continue to be honest with team members and trust/loyalty follow.
- Surround yourself with experts – In today’s world it is more about surrounding yourself with experts versus being the expert! The responsibility of the end decision still sits with you but by following listening and personally allowing your paradigm to be shifted will lead to the best outcome.
Why is it so important to get people back into the gym during the pandemic?
During the COVID-19 era, people are especially concerned about their health and wellness and are paying close attention to their physical and mental well-being. Society is facing isolation, illness, job loss, and economic downturn that affects the overall mental health of individuals. UFC GYM is founded on empowering the fighting spirit and ensuring our members ‘train different’. Our approach has always been to mirror the disciplines that shape a successful fighter, meaning we aim to provide the support of a unique community of like-minded individuals, technique focused training, nutritional guidance and post-workout treatments. This holistic approach we take to training not only empowers the body but also empowers the mind.
Have you celebrated any particular milestones in the past 12 months? And what’s your focus for the year ahead?
While the past year has certainly had its share of ups and downs, we’re most proud of our continued growth, having opened 35 locations across the globe – including a multi-million dollar facility in Midtown Miami in partnership with MLB superstar, Alex Rodriguez, earlier this summer. In the next six months we will open up more gyms than any six month period throughout the history of our company.
I’m also really proud of our advocacy work we’ve been doing in multiple fitness alliance groups, in an effort to restore reasonable access to safe indoor fitness throughout the U.S. Our industry has come together, and it is an electrifying feeling. Yet, our industry isn’t alone, as you’ll see many getting involved from restaurants all the way to Disneyland. We all play a part to join the conversation and help find solutions that serve everyone to the best of our ability.
Does UFC GYM offer any veteran discounts or participate in any veteran incentive programs?
Yes, we’re proud members of the International Franchising Association’s (IFA) VetFran program and offer qualifiying veterans 25% off their initial franchise fee.