The Past, Present, and Future
BECOMING ONE PLAYGROUND
It’s been seven months since Fitness Playground became One Playground. We share how we became One Playground, why we did it, how it is going, and whether it was worth it?
THE BEGINNING: Where it all started.
We started as a bootcamp named Fit Crew in 2011. We woke up at 5 a.m., unpacked our equipment from the back of a van and ran sessions in the park, rain, hail or shine. The community that started the movement formed, and we began to assemble a team of Great Humans to open an indoor premises.
In 2014, we opened our first gym in Surry Hills in the same building it’s in today. We had a goal of having 800 members, and within six months, we had more than double that. It turned out that people loved this new type of gym, a space built around environment and experience, with grass, monkey bars, ropes and tyres – Fitness Playground was born!
In 2015, we opened Newtown and Marrickville, and it was here that our Playground took shape. We had hundreds of classes, incredible coaches, and all the toys and equipment you have come to expect. The 2015 Fitness Playground was all about variety while maintaining great value.
In 2018, The Bunker was born, and it was our first step into crafting experiences through design. You are transported into a world beneath your feet, where you can escape life by stepping into The Bunker. Our innovation was met with acclaim, winning the Men’s Health New Gym of the Year.
All these years later, our initial experiences created the foundation for what is known as One Playground. While we have evolved a lot, we knew we needed to build “gyms” where you felt or experienced:
1. Sense of Community
2. Great Humans
3. Inspiring Environments
4. Variety at Great Value
5. Craft Experiences Through Design
Regardless of our brand name, location or product, these are a part of our core and will never change.
THE EVOLUTION TO ONE: Why we did it.
After being “Fitness Playground” for eight years, we knew we had become more than fitness. The name and brand no longer fully encompassed what we aimed to achieve or what our members wanted or needed.
Two key events instigated the change. In 2020, for the first time ever, our members were no longer coming to us to look better or get fitter. In fact, the number one reason our members were joining us was to feel better. In 2021, we opened our first Wellness Playground in Marrickville, which moved our offering from just fitness to include wellness.
We had become the place where people went for wellness, workshops, classes, fitness, coaching, recovery and education; it was no longer just about fitness. Our experiences had extended well beyond what you would expect from a typical gym where you lift and leave, and we wanted our brand to represent that.
After significant deliberation, we embarked on our journey to create a brand that reflected who we had become and who we hoped we would be for our members well into the future. A brand that could go beyond the four walls of the gym.
On March 1 2023, we became One Playground.
REFLECTING ON THE CHANGE: What is it all worth it?
The rebranding process was a long road. It took over eight months of work from making the decision to unveiling our new name and logo to the public. We then had to change every sign, every uniform, every web page, all at once. It was a huge effort, but our team pulled together and got it done.
It was an irreversible decision to change our brand, to change our name, and even to drop the yellow that we had become known for!
The re-branding, however, is so much more than just a logo change; it represents our future while respecting our past. We see our future as One – a place where you can get all things health and wellness with one membership, while respecting our past as a Playground – where people actually enjoy going to move.
Reflecting on becoming One Playground, if I had my time again, I would make the same decision 10x over.
THE FUTURE: What now?
Seven months after becoming One Playground, we are designing our first location to be unveiled under the new brand. There may be a little less yellow, but there will be more opportunities for our members to unlock endless experiences, feel better, perform better, and look better under one roof for one affordable membership.
Watch this space as we look to the next stage of the One Playground journey!