IHRSA Modernization Continues with New Name

IHRSA Modernization Continues with New Name
Courtesy IHRSA.com

Courtesy IHRSA.com

Under the new name of the Health & Fitness Association, the association is dedicated to advocacy, education, and research on behalf of the global community of industry leaders.

Marking the next chapter of member service and engagement for an innovative and consumer-focused industry, IHRSA President & CEO Liz Clark unveiled last week a new name for the organization: Health & Fitness Association, which she described as a “global community of industry leaders supporting an association committed to advocacy, education, and research.”


Clark made the announcement during her President’s Address prior to the keynote at the association’s convention and trade show March 6 in Los Angeles.


“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.


The announcement about the name change marks the culmination of a year-long project involving board members, industry advisors and veterans, association staff, as well as brand strategy and brand marketing consultants. 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.”



The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) is a global community of health and fitness professionals committed to building their businesses and improving their communities’ health and well-being. The mission of IHRSA is to grow, protect, and promote the health and fitness industry, and to provide its members with the benefits that will help them be more successful. IHRSA and its members (health clubs and fitness facilities, gyms, spas, sports clubs, and industry suppliers) are dedicated to make the world healthier through regular exercise. For more information visit www.ihrsa.org.

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