RSG Group focuses on the future
New ways of dealing with the corona pandemic
In 1997, RSG Group opened its very first McFIT studio in Würzburg. For that time, it had a completely new vision. Rainer Schaller, Founder and CEO of RSG Group, remembers: “The studio was open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We had resolved to open and never close again.” In the meantime, however, due to Corona’s safety regulations, all of our 300 studios throughout Europe were closed by official order. In these days, more than half of all fitness studios are open again, and the rest will resume operations in the next few weeks in accordance with legal requirements.
The RSG Group can look back on many successful business years – as German and European market leader – with the studio brands McFIT, JOHN REED and High5 and is about to enter the US market. However, the relevant developments since the pandemic and the discontinuation of the business model have led to the fact that the still owner-managed group has also repositioned itself in recent months. The aim here was to continue to support the members despite studio closures and to remain their partner in everyday life – although in a new way. After all, scientists and experts agree that sport and exercise are extremely important, especially in times of crisis. Exercise helps to keep both physical and mental balance and has a positive effect on the immune system. Studies even suggest that just one training session per week can reduce the risk of depressive moods.
What we did: Digital offers for all
With the McFIT brand, the RSG Group launched a fully functional “TV” channel within 5 days at the end of March. The 10-hour live stream ran continuously until the end of April from Monday to Friday under the motto “THE BIG PUMP” and included workouts, entertainment, interviews with well-known personalities as well as food and expert advice. The company was able to win over friends of the house such as Wladimir Klitschko, Felix Lobrecht, Nikeata Thompson, Vito Pirbazari, Kontra K, Fernanda Brandão and even Arnold Schwarzenegger. Up to 1,500,000 people watched and trained every day. All highlight workouts and interviews from the past weeks are still available in the media library on the McFIT website. In addition, RSG Group has decided to make its digital fitness platform CYBEROBICS available free of charge to all people worldwide during studio closures. This offer is valid until 31st of May 2020. The training offer and the workout variety will be permanently expanded. Currently the platform includes over 120 on-demand workouts filmed in elaborate 4K technology and over 100 live classes per week in English, German and Italian.
In addition, workouts especially for children and best agers have been added to the portfolio. The Live Classes in particular motivate people all over the world, as they can join in real time and experience a group workout feeling in their own homes. More than 1,000,000 people are currently training with CYBEROBICS, with around 300,000 every day.
No one is left behind – emergency assistance for employees
As a result of the extensive closures and the loss of the basis of business, up to 90% of the employees of the RSG Group were in short-time working in the meantime. Nevertheless, the company remains in solidarity with them. Rainer Schaller makes it clear: “I have given everyone a job guarantee. And those who are now facing existential hardship as a result of short-time work will be supported quickly and without complications by a specially established emergency assistance. We leave no one behind. That is part of the DNA of our corporate culture.” Up to now, all requests for help have been paid out 100%.
Even though the Corona pandemic is far from over, the RSG Group faces the future with cautious confidence. Digitization has been an important field for the company for years. As a result, smart solutions were quickly developed for the members during the studio closures. Other countries and regions are also gradually allowing gyms to reopen, although with restrictions. Rainer Schaller is and remains optimistic: “I am firmly convinced that rain will be followed by sunshine and that every crisis offers opportunities. We’re not stopping now either, our eyes are wide open and we’re looking ahead”. The RSG Group would like to thank the many members who have continued to support the company with their monthly contributions and continue to do so with heart. At the end of their membership they will of course be credited with the time of the closures.