Title Boxing Bags New International Name and All-star Investment Team
Left to right: John Rotche, Drew Brees and David Barr.
When Title Boxing Club seeks overseas investors, it will have a smaller box and a new title—Everlast Fitness.
The name “Title” does not have the trademark protection to make it a worldwide brand, says Title Boxing Club CEO John Rotche, which necessitated the new partnership with Everlast, a global provider of boxing, fitness and martial arts products. The fitness clubs under the Everlast name will provide the same boxing and kickboxing classes that have proved to be extremely popular with women in the U.S., plus sell both brands’ product lines. The clubs will look alike, with one exception: instead of an oversized “T” on the wall, Everlast clubs will sport an “E.” Smaller footprints both internationally and domestically make finding real estate easier without cramping the club's style.
Spring has been the season for multiple changes at Title. In addition to the Everlast deal, Title Boxing bought out the equipment manufacturer’s interest in the fitness club. Franchisees felt it was double-dipping, Rotche says, since they were paying both a royalty fee and buying the equipment, such as gloves, from Title. “We still have a license agreement with them (Title),” he adds. “It’s just a cleaner relationship.”
Both brands will be under the holding company, Elite Fitness.
With the help of his Franworth partner, David Barr (see cover story), Rotche recruited a new team of investors, which could be said to be akin to a franchising Dream Team: Barr, who is also a multi-unit franchisee and serves on several public and private boards; Shelly and JD Sun, founders of BrightStar Care; Lawrence “Doc” Cohen, a franchisee of brands such as Great American Cookies and a former International Franchise Association chairman; and New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees, who in addition to being a Super Bowl champion is a franchisee with Jimmy John’s and a franchisor of a sports bar concept, Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar. While Brees brings the star power easily recognized by the general population, the other partners have franchise star power.
When Barr asked Rotche what he thought of asking the Suns and Cohen to be investors, Rotche says, “It was the easiest of question that took the least amount of time to answer.
“I’m thrilled to have Shelly’s mind in my business,” he says, and Cohen is the “godfather presence in franchising.” The new group represents four active IFA board members, two future IFA chairs, one former IFA chair and a “soon to be (football) Hall of Famer.”
Before the deal, Rotche says, he could say he was the smartest guy in the room. “Now I’m the student again,” he says modestly.
Since taking over Title in 2012, Rotche has grown the concept from 20 units to more than 150 open units. Company revenues have grown 1,774 percent in that time.