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Victory MMA and Fitness: The Country’s First Mixed Martial Arts Franchise (Exclusive Q&A with Joe Mannino, CEO)

by Franchise Chatter on March 2, 2012

in Fitness Franchises, Franchise Chatter Forum, Q & A Interview

Franchise Chatter Membership Information

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Victory MMA and Fitness, the first real Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) franchise in the United States, is a cutting-edge training and fitness operation centered on group exercise classes in boxing, kickboxing, Jiu Jitsu, weightlifting, and MMA.

While a member can choose to workout alone, the attraction and value of Victory’s daily classes is its niche, and the way it stands apart from the common health club. Taught by certified instructors and professional fighters, Victory’s specially formatted classes provide members with professional instruction and guidance that is unique to the industry. These challenging and technically legitimate classes are offered to members with varying skill levels, from beginners to the most advanced. Clubs may also have professional “fight teams,” adding to their notoriety and popularity within their community.

Members may also decide to reach their goals through the use of various cardio machines, resistance machines, free weights, nutrition counseling, and weight-loss programs. In addition, Victory offers specialized services such as individually-focused private training, Victory Certification Programs in MMA, Muay Thai, boxing, and Jiu Jitsu, as well as traditional Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, grappling, and striking programs.

Joe Mannino, CEO of Victory MMA and Fitness, has 30 years of experience as a health club owner.

Franchise Chatter (FC):  Can you tell us how Victory MMA and Fitness got its start?

John Mannino, CEO of Victory MMA and Fitness

Joe Mannino, CEO of Victory MMA and Fitness

Joe Mannino (JM):  I owned a 25,000 square foot health club in San Diego for many years. With a health club on every corner, the profit margins weren’t as exciting as they used to be, so I began to explore other options.

I was approached by two 20 year veteran Navy Seals with a proposal to convert the club into a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Fitness Center. They are MMA coaches with Jiu Jitsu and grappling backgrounds who understood the MMA market, and saw the explosive growth of the sport and MMA training centers.

FC:  What are some of the things that set Victory apart from other fitness centers competing in the market today?

JM:  Victory MMA and Fitness is the first fitness franchise dedicated to Mixed Martial Arts and related fitness platforms. The model is unique in the industry, offering average people the opportunity to enjoy exciting group exercise classes in boxing, kickboxing, Gracie Humaita Jiu Jitsu, and MMA, as well as typical health club amenities. This allows people of all ages to actually participate in aspects of the fastest growing sport on the planet, instead of watching it on TV. It is also an alternative to old school boring workouts.

Victory MMA and Fitness Franchise PhotoFC:  Please describe the ideal location and demographics for a Victory gym. What regions of the country do you expect to do particularly well in?

JM:  While some members are in their 60s, most members are between 5 and 35, and come from all walks of life. The popularity and notoriety of MMA is everywhere, so there are no geographical boundaries. Any area that is fruitful for a typical health club will be fertile ground for this new and exciting workout option. Since our member base is so diverse, our franchise works in any populated market.

FC:  You offer prospective franchisees a choice of 5 different business models. Can you describe the unique aspects of each one? How do franchisees make money under each of these models?

JM:  All of the franchise models bring in revenue via monthly membership dues, retail products, and nutritional foods and supplements.

Mobile Training Vehicle – Ideal for personal trainers, the Mobile Training Unit allows a franchise owner to build a business of clients that prefer to have private or small group personal training at their locations. The truck is equipped with a proprietary training package. The franchise owner can bring the mobile gym to homes, businesses, community centers or public parks.

Health Club Drop In – This option is designed to be installed into a portion of an existing health club. This gives existing health club owners the opportunity to include our MMA programs in their facilities.

Fitness and Training Center – This is our smaller model, designed for small stores and/or a strip mall environment. Services provided are similar to the larger models, with separate areas for striking, Jiu Jitsu, and fitness, with either a cage or a boxing ring.

Premier Fitness & Training Center – This model also works in a store or a strip mall, but can also work in a small to medium free standing building. This larger model offers additional group workout rooms, as well as a regulation boxing ring and an MMA cage.

Elite Fitness & Training Center – The Elite Center is the largest facility ranging from 20,000 to 30,000 square feet. This option offers all of the above, plus private training rooms, a retail store, and an internet cafe.

Victory MMA and Fitness Franchise PhotoFC:  What qualities are you looking for in a potential franchisee?

JM:  We’re seeking individuals that have business experience and a passion for fitness.

FC:  Based on your experience, what are the most effective ways to attract and cultivate a strong membership base?

JM:  We have created a marketing program that includes traditional campaigns such as membership drives, contests, TV, radio, and print as well as a huge Internet marketing program including a robust multifunctional website, social media, and email programs.

FC:  What are the staffing requirements for your different business models? Are your business models dependent on the franchisee being an active owner-operator?

JM:  The franchise owner is encouraged to participate in the business but does not have to commit a full time effort at the location.

The Mobile unit can be operated by one or two people. The staffing for the centers require one to two front desk attendants and one membership/sales representative. The classes are staffed by a variety of trainers based on the class schedule. Staffing demands will vary somewhat depending on location, but there are numerous individuals skilled in the components of MMA that are excited to work in the field they love.

Victory MMA and Fitness Franchise PhotoFC:   Can you tell us about the initial investment and ongoing expenses to open and operate a typical Victory MMA and Fitness center? What is the profit potential for your franchise?

JM:  The initial investment ranges from $55,000 to $2,491,880. See the investment table here.

Our FDD reflects that memberships are currently $89 per month. The number of members is relative to the class schedules and facility size.

FC:  What are your goals for Victory MMA and Fitness over the next five years and how do you plan to grow the business?

JM:  We plan to open 200 franchised units by 2017. We will achieve this goal by recruiting qualified franchise operators that are looking for a fitness franchise that stands alone in the industry. Victory MMA connects people with the largest and fastest growing sport in the world.

FC:  Is there anything else you wish to share about Victory MMA and Fitness?

JM:  We are owner operators, running our San Diego unit each and every day. We love what we do, and look forward to helping others make a living in this new and exciting industry.

If you’d like to learn more about Victory MMA Franchise, please call Rick Grossmann at 303-378-2221 for more information.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jim Thomas March 2, 2012 at 4:51 am

Nice article


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