New York Sports Club to Rebrand Most of Its Clubs Under One Name as It Rebuilds

As it celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, New York Sports Clubs (NYSC) plans to rename most of its brands as New York Sports Club, the company announced.

The renaming is part of the company’s effort to operate more efficiently under one voice, regain trust with members and emphasize that the company is on a new path.

NYSC has 60 clubs and studios consisting of 47 clubs under the Sports Club name, three Fhitting Room locations (including two flagship studios in New York City and one licensed location in New Jersey), three clubs in Switzerland operating under the name New York Sports Clubs, three Around the Clock Clubs in Florida and four Lucille Roberts clubs.  

The company’s Boston Sports Clubs, Philadelphia Sports Clubs, Washington Sports Clubs and Around the Clock will rebrand to New York Sports Club, paying homage to its New York roots where it already has clubs under the name New York Sports Club.

Fhitting Room, a boutique studio concept purchased by NYSC in 2022, will retain its name as the company expands the brand into its NYSC locations.

Lucille Roberts also will retain its name because of its unique product offer and targeted audience of women, NYSC CEO Bill McMenamy told Club Industry.

The migration to the NYSC name will occur digitally at first, and the full transition will be completed by the third quarter.

Just last week, the company brought all of the company’s brands together on Instagram. Some members expressed concern about the change, but many joined the NYSC Instagram community, McMenamy said.

“As you would expect, each city has tremendous pride in having their city name represented in their club word mark,” he said. “While the name is important, we feel strongly that what truly matters is delivering on our promise to provide an incredible experience within our four walls, and we will be in a better position to do so with one voice and as one community.”

The company is doing more than just rebranding some of its clubs, however. Executives are also implementing multiple changes to help restore member trust by showing that the brand has changed.

At one time, NYSC was one of the brands under Town Sports International, which filed for bankruptcy in September 2020 when it was a public company and emerged in December 2020 as a private company bought out of bankruptcy by investors, chief among them Peak Credit, which is part of investment bank Lepercq, de Neuflize & Co.

Under Town Sports International, the company also faced lawsuits from the New York Attorney General and the Washington, DC, Attorney General during the COVID-19 pandemic for allegedly continuing to charge dues when its clubs were mandated to temporarily close due to the pandemic.

To help rebuild trust, the new owners installed new leadership, at first naming Roger Harvey as CEO, and then in first quarter 2022, putting McMenamy in the CEO role. Jacob McLendon joined the company in June 2022 as vice president of group exercise/small group training and new product innovation.

When NYSC bought Fhitting Room in October 2022, Fhitting Room founder Kari Saitowitz became chief marketing and creative officer for NYSC, and Tristan Saw, who had been Fhitting Room president, became NYSC chief strategy and systems officer.

Under this leadership, the company is investing in enhancements and upgrades to all of its clubs and studios with a planned completion date in second quarter 2023.

Changes include implementing a new member management system; offering month-to-month memberships with no annual contracts to make joining and canceling easier; and rolling out new experiences, recovery lounges, small group training (starting with Boxing Academy and Functional Field), dedicated personal training space, and more group exercise formats and class times. 

Growth plans are on hold as the company focuses on these efforts.

“Today our primary focus is on creating the best fitness experience within the four walls we currently operate,” McMenamy said. “Our members will judge if we have earned the right to grow these amazing brands. Our team is passionate about our mission, changing lives through fitness, and if we deliver on our goals, we will be exploring new growth opportunities be it acquisition or new club openings.”