BoxUnion, a California-based fitness boxing brand, announced today that it has acquired TITLE Boxing Club (TITLE), a fitness studio with 166 clubs across the United States, Mexico and the Dominican Republic specializing in boxing and kickboxing fitness classes. The transaction was backed by Kwanza Jones & José E. Feliciano SUPERCHARGED Initiative (KJSI), BoxUnion’s lead investor, plus other existing shareholders. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
The acquisition brings together the best of both worlds, combining BoxUnion’s innovative programing with TITLE’s brand awareness. Founded in 2016 by Todd Wadler and Felicia Alexander, BoxUnion has experienced significant membership and subscriber growth due to its accessible, inventive and effective approach to boxing. This approach integrates music, mindfulness and community into a meticulously programmed class structure. In April of 2020, the brand launched BoxUnion Digital, which brings the BoxUnion in-studio class experience to subscribers anywhere in the world.
As a result of the acquisition, Wadler takes over as CEO and Alexander will continue in her role as the Chief Revenue Officer of the combined company. TITLE Boxing Club’s ownership team will remain equity holders in the new company and consists of two International Franchise Association (IFA) Entrepreneur of the Year recipients, three IFA chairpersons, and one IFA Hall of Famer. This includes a powerhouse of best-in-class franchise industry leaders including former CEO John Rotche, David Barr, Shelly Sun, Doc Cohen, and NFL superstar and future Hall of Famer Drew Brees. In addition, Rotche will continue to serve on the board of the combined company. Brooke Budke, who is currently TITLE Boxing Club’s Vice President of Marketing, will take over as President, Franchise System.
“TITLE Boxing Club is the biggest player in the fitness boxing and kickboxing category. Our goal is to triple the studio base while also providing a state-of-the-art, engaging digital experience to the at-home market,” said Wadler. “We are excited to bring together TITLE Boxing Club’s scale and brand awareness with BoxUnion’s culture of innovation to drive the first, true omni-channel fitness boxing offering to millions of consumers anytime, anywhere. I’m thrilled to partner with the TITLE Boxing Club team, the franchisees and all the partners within the TITLE Boxing Club brand as we embark on the next stage of growth.”
“As studio operators ourselves, Todd and I understand firsthand the impact this sport can have on building a local community and empowering people to throw a punch at the daily challenges life throws our way,” said Alexander. “Now more than ever, it is critical to provide an outlet for the stress millions of people are going through. We have members that have been outspoken about how BoxUnion has helped alleviate depression and build confidence. With more than 65,000 members and digital subscribers, the combined company will now be able to provide this experience to more people than ever.”
Wadler spent over 20 years in finance and co-founded Moelis & Company, a publicly traded, leading global independent investment bank and asset management firm. Passionate about fitness, he saw an opportunity to grow the market in fitness boxing. Alexander boasted a successful career as a sales and marketing executive for companies including Sun Microsystems, Sony, Mattel, and Demand Media. She is deeply passionate about boxing as a vehicle to change people’s lives, having put on gloves for the first time at 16 shortly after her father’s sudden death.
“The popularity of fitness boxing and kickboxing is growing rapidly. I set out on a deliberate path to find a promising boxing brand to accelerate our growth,” said Rotche. “Todd and Felicia’s collective dedication to revolutionizing the fitness boxing category make them the ideal new owners for TITLE Boxing Club and the optimal partner to our passionate franchisees. The two brands integrate seamlessly due to their commitment to the same core demographic and bringing the mental and physical benefits of boxing to all ages, genders, and experience levels.”
“You can expect us to expand our fitness offering with the added leadership of the BoxUnion team. Currently 81% of our locations are open and provide a safe, no-touch boxing workout for people looking to destress, get results, feel better, and gain confidence,” said Budke. “With demand for health and wellness at the highest it’s ever been, we have plans to expand into new markets, giving future franchisees an amazing opportunity to turn their passion into a profession. We adamantly believe in providing the most effective workout, in local communities and online. I look forward leading the charge for the next phase of growth in our franchise system.”
Kwanza Jones, co-founder of KJSI said, “We always look for opportunities to build mutually beneficial powerful partnerships. The BoxUnion and TITLE Boxing Club combination is just that. This investment aligns perfectly with two of KJSI’s focus areas: entrepreneurship and empowerment. Our franchisees are entrepreneurs and 70 percent of our consumers are women. We look forward to boosting opportunities for existing and new franchisees as they support our consumers on their health and fitness journey.”
January 6, 2021