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Galiani Brothers and NeV Launch US Fitness NeV’s Crunch Franchise brand to expand to 300 locations


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irk and John Galiani, the former owners of Gold’s Gym International, Inc., and of the Pulse Fitness Clubs, have embarked on a joint project with New Evolution Ventures, LLC (NeV), the Lafayette, California– based venture capital firm, to develop and operate a new group of clubs.


Kirk, l., and John Galiani


The business, which will be known as US Fit- ness, will incorporate the Galiani brothers’ Midcoast Onelife Fitness clubs and their Washington, D.C.–area Crunch Fitness facilities, which will join the NeV portfolio. Vision Capital, an international private- equity investor, will also participate in financing the undertaking.


“We have eight clubs in the mid-Atlantic, with many more in various stages of development …,” John Galiani told The Wall Street Journal. “By partnering with NeV, we now have the ability to choose the best brand for each location.” The Galianis, industry veterans with more than 20 years of experience, have also joined NeV’s board of directors. “I’ve always admired Kirk and John Galiani for being two of the top operators in the industry,” notes industry veteran Mark Mastrov, the chairman of NeV. “The mid-Atlantic region has strong growth potential for our brands, and I’m excited to rapidly grow our footprint. We’re honored to have Kirk and John join the NeV board, as we continue to build NeV into a global health, wellness, and fitness company.” In other news: Ben Midgley, the president of Crunch Franchise, another NeV property, has announced that the brand intends to expand its portfolio of franchised clubs from the current 12 to approximately 300 within the next five years. Midgley indicated the firm has already finalized deals for 100 facilities in the U.S. and Australia. —|


First Lady Challenges TV Comedians Michelle Obama vs. Jimmy Fallon on late-night TV


> First Lady Michelle Obama has made it crystal clear that she’s committed to doing anything she can to help stem the tide of obesity with her Let’s Move! initiative. “I’m pretty much willing to make a complete fool out of myself to get our kids moving,” she said in a speech earlier this year. Her remark caught comedian Jimmy


Fallon’s attention, as did her desire to help kids become more fit. “I connected with that,” he quipped on his NBC talk show, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. “I make a fool of myself every night, so I decided to go down there and help the First Lady out.” He challenged Obama to a fitness


competition, and she responded with an invitation to the White House. The friendly event, overseen by First


Dog Bo and a Secret Service agent named Harry, began with Fallon and Obama racing up the steps of a marble staircase. Next, they dropped to the floor for push-ups (straight-leg, not bent- knee); played tug-of-war and dodge ball


18 Club Business Internat ional | APRIL 2012 |


(she hit him on the head); tried a little Hula-Hooping; and finished with a potato sack race (he crumbled at the finish line, while she broke the tape). “Well, Jimmy, that was


fun,” said a triumphant Obama, with an I-rubbed- it-in-your-face tone. “Thank you so much for coming to the White House to raise aware- ness for Let’s Move!” “It was my pleasure,” he replied,


Jimmy Fallon vs. First Lady in tug of war


“and the most important thing for the kids to learn is that it’s all about being active and having fun. It doesn’t matter if you’ve won or lost.” “It matters,” she said, gloating. “Double or nothing!” he retorted. Later on his show, after showing the


clip of their fitness tête-à-tête on his show Fallon plugged the Let’s Move!


ihrsa.org


Web site and the work the First Lady has been doing. This isn’t the first time Obama has


taken her message to a talk-show tele- vision audience. She’s brought healthy snacks to Jay Leno at The Tonight Show, and challenged Ellen DeGeneres to a contest of 25 push-ups on her show. The First Lady won, again, with DeGeneres criticizing her form, and challenging her to a rematch.—|


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