IHRSA Gets a New Name, New Vision

Long one of the most recognized associations representing health and fitness clubs, IHRSA has launched into a new chapter of member service and engagement for an innovative and consumer-focused industry. It begins with a new name: Health & Fitness Association, described by IHRSA President and CEO Liz Clark in her President's Address at the association's convention and trade show in Los Angeles, as a "global community of industry leaders supporting an association committed to advocacy, education and research. 

“Every industry evolves, and the next step of evolution for our association is to have a name that exactly reflects the breadth, diversity and consumer-oriented focus of the businesses in our sector,” Clark said. “The Health & Fitness Association is clear, compelling and can also be easily translated into any language, which is vital given the international reach of the association and the global operations of our members.

“This decision is especially important when we focus on the association’s primary mission—advocacy to government, media, NGOs and other key stakeholders around the world. From today on, there will be no question about the mission, vision and clarity of purpose of the Health & Fitness Association.”  

The association originally launched in 1981 as the International Racquet & Sports Association (IRSA), and in 1994, it became the International Health Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA).

During that time, the association has been proud to share the stories about how the industry has helped consumers improve their lives by providing facilities, tools, group programs, technology, digital tools, equipment and services to support physical activity and to improve both mental and physical health.

In addition to the name, the rebrand involves clarifying and refining the member service and onboarding journey to maximize efficiency and effectiveness, and implementing new operational plans that support ongoing strategic planning. As part of the process, the association unveiled a new logo, brand usage guidelines, colors and fonts.

In the coming months, the association will roll out a full transition of the brand, iconography, images, website, social media platforms, email addresses and collateral materials. The association will use the hashtag #HealthFit. 

The association's strategic pillars are:

Advocacy: The Health & Fitness Association serves as the voice for health and fitness facilities, their employees and members to stakeholders, policymakers, the media and consumers—as well as to national and international NGOs and government bodies. The Health & Fitness Association convenes meetings, brings together diverse sectors of the industry to establish a consensus view on key policy and legislative issues, and serves as the voice to promote facility owners and their businesses, to protect the industry, and to ensure government officials are educated about the impact of policies and laws on the industry, its supplier partners and member consumers. The association also helps drive global conversations about important health and fitness-related topics, and shares industry expertise, such as working to transition the health sector and consumer decisions from a treatment model to a preventative model.

Education: The Health & Fitness Association provides services, products and events—including the leading convention and trade show—that inform industry members, partners and employees, and help improve their businesses. The association provides extensive resources, products and events to educate members about improving operations and about trends and topics, public policy and related topics that impact their businesses. And the association provides in-depth news and industry reporting via Club Business International (CBI), a leading industry publication, and through a variety of website and social media resources as well as a weekly member newsletter..

Research: The Health & Fitness Association identifies and offers to the industry, the financial community and research professionals data and over-the-horizon analysis about operations, consumer opinions, industry services and benefits, and other developing topics.

“This renaming came after serious consideration and a long process that will move the association forward as a stronger brand that is more recognizable to consumers, policymakers, investors and the media worldwide,” IHRSA Board Chair Chris Craytor said. “We look forward to completing the transition in all areas of the brand within the next few months.”