Rafael Morlà Girol decided to take Australian franchise brand, Body Fitness Training, to Barcelona. Here’s why.
Diversification is key to a successful franchise portfolio, especially if you own complementary brands in the same sector. Fitness entrepreneur Rafael Morlà Girol, the first BFT franchisee in Barcelona, has first-hand experience of operating multiple fitness concepts while cross-promoting to different markets.
Rafael is no stranger to running different fitness studios and gyms across Spain, but he felt his portfolio lacked a different type of high-performance group training method that would appeal to his local community. BFT’s franchise opportunity was the perfect solution.
Rafael and three partners chose to invest in the brand knowing they were filling an important fitness gap in the Spanish market that no one occupied.
BFT Example is the first franchise to open in Europe, and the new state-of-the-art studio will be launched in January 2024 in the central district of Barcelona. The first of five studios to open by 2025, the team have ambitious plans to scale their business across all the key cities in Spain, bringing their combined 60 years of health and fitness to their new venture.
“Having all worked in the fitness sector for over a decade, we were keen to find a small group functional fitness solution to fit in our portfolio,” says Rafael. “We looked at other global fitness franchise brands but then came across BFT and totally loved that it was strength-based and science-backed. With our background in fitness, the franchise brand really resonated with us, and we knew immediately that it was a perfect fit, especially after our visit to BFT Battersea.
“BFT is different to the other franchise brands as it offers a fitness programme for everyone. It’s also very professional, and the business model is adapted to reflect both the culture and the country where it has a presence.”
Rafael will manage and coach at the new studio with head coach Sergio Rodriguez. They are both certified personal trainers, which will enable them to run their studio with the support of a team of around five accredited coaches.
“Our goal is to open multiple studios across Spain, but it is vital that we get the first one right before we then secure further sites,” says Rafael. “We have been reaching out to the local community to let them know about the arrival of BFT, and the response has been incredible. They are really excited to become members as the product is different and better than anything else they have experienced.
“Fitness is our real passion, and it has been part of our lives for as long as we can remember. Having worked and lived in Barcelona for a long time, we know the Spanish market and understand our target audience well. This will give us a good head start with our membership when we launch in the new year.
“BFT is a new and young brand in Spain, and we now have the unique opportunity to play an integral part in the brand’s expansion across Europe. We have joined a reputable global brand and support network where we can apply our knowledge, skills and experience.
“I have just completed the six days of bootcamp training in Australia at BFT’s head office - three days operational and three days strength and conditioning – and can’t wait to get started. Sergio, who previously worked for six months for a BFT franchisee in Australia, has also done the training, so we feel confident in our preparations for the launch in January.
“We have received incredible support from the BFT community so far and everyone is so helpful, from the founder Cameron Falloon to the head of marketing and fellow franchisees in the global network. From the outset, we had huge respect for the senior management and felt our values and vision aligned with theirs. We all have ambitious plans to grow the brand.
“As a new franchisee, I wholeheartedly endorse BFT to anyone interested in a franchise investment. We can’t wait to welcome the local Barcelona community through our doors. Despite the challenges of recent years, the health and fitness sector is thriving, with an evident demand for group training.”