Moritz Kreppel

Moritz Kreppel

  • is the Co-Founder and CEO of Berlin-based sports startup, Urban Sports Club.Before foun­ding the company in 2012, he worked as a manage­ment consul­tant in Frank­furt. When he’s not working on his dream of flexible fitness at a flat rate, he loves travel­ling and using his Urban Sports Club membership, espe­ci­ally to do TRX and Yoga, as well as to go to the gym.

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Why are exer­cise and sport so important to people?

You get fitter, build up your immune system, and do some­thing good for yourself. There are so many options out there that you never have to force yourself to do some­thing. People want to try some­thing new, which is where Urban Sports Club comes in. We take the desires of a modern, flexible sports­person and turn them into a product where you get whatever sport or well­ness treat­ment you want, anytime, anywhere. It’s great stress relief, too, espe­ci­ally if you’ve been staring at a screen the whole day. A bit of exer­cise at lunchtime or a hearty workout in the evening is perfect for winding down and reple­nis­hing your energy levels.

What’s the current dynamic in the fitness sector?

The focus is on “faster, higher, further”, when it needs to be “more flexible, fairer, simpler”. These days, people need to not be stuck in contracts for years. It’s all about having access to diffe­rent kinds of sports without spen­ding lots of money or having to stick with it for a long time. For many people, one gym or deal is not enough, and they’d rather have variety that enables them to reach their athletic goals and advance their health. Exer­cise needs to be easy, whether you’re at home, the office, with friends, or in another city. If you can prac­tise your favou­rite sport ever­y­where, it’s easier to stay moti­vated rather than giving up after a month and paying for nothing.

How did you come up with this busi­ness model?

My co-founder, Benjamin Roth, and I have been friends for a long time. We were both working as busi­ness consul­tants when we met, and bonded over the fact that we were travel­ling all over the country but didn’t have the chance to do our chosen sports, due to infle­xible contracts and such. We deve­loped a diver­si­fied model where for a monthly flat rate, you have access to more than 50 types of sports in thousands of gyms. We worked out a busi­ness plan and went to hund­reds of Berlin gyms, sports clubs, and yoga studios, pitching our idea with a power­point presen­ta­tion. We boot­strapped and kept growing, working day and night. A few months later we made our first part-time hire, moved into a bigger office, and the rest is history. We also estab­lished two new offices in Cologne and Munich along­side Berlin, and we have about 90 employees.

Would this model have been less successful 10 years ago?

I think our concept would have worked back then, but it would have been more compli­cated. We have a smart­phone app for easy check-in to sports clubs. This tech­no­lo­gical advan­ce­ment obviously makes it easier to create a digital ticket to the world of sport. It could have worked without an app as well, but payment would have been much more clunky and time-consuming, and you wouldn’t have had such a good over­view of ever­ything that we offer. Before kicking off in 2013, we had done a lot of prep work to prove that our concept would work.

Why does sport need to adapt to people, and not the other way round?

The whole world is chan­ging and it’s chan­ging a lot quicker than it used to before. People are now more mobile, more inter­con­nected, they switch jobs more often and move to other cities. But also, if I stay in my home­town, I still want to try more things, try out diffe­rent sports and do them in diffe­rent places. The indu­stry, whether it is the sports sector or media, auto­mo­tive or any other sector, has to cater to the chan­ging demands of the custo­mers. If I don’t do that, some­body else will, and the customer will come to them. In general, people crave flexi­bi­lity and compa­nies have to adapt to this.

What kinds of people use the Urban Sports Club service?

We offer over 50 sports with over 2000 part­ners all over Germany and France. This means that there’s some­thing for ever­yone when it comes to well­ness and activi­ties. You could do yoga today, cross-trai­ning tomorrow, then the next day go swim­ming. Put simply, Urban Sports Club is perfect for anyone who likes to be flexible in their workout routine. Depen­ding on your loca­tion, you can do suspen­sion trai­ning, get a massage, or go skiing in Bavaria. Our members are aged between 18 and 80, but most of them are mid-20s to late 40s.

What does Urban Sports Club do for its employees in terms of exer­cise and dyna­mics?

Occupa­tional health manage­ment is beco­ming more and more important. Our motto is “workout life balance”, and in addi­tion to our private custo­mers, we also offer compa­nies and star­tups ways to help their employees into an athletic, healthy life­style. Our own employees also get a free premium membership package. After a stressful day — which is some­times the case with us! — you can treat yourself to a free massage or spa treat­ment. In our Berlin office, we have sports equip­ment, and we colla­bo­rate with sport nutri­tion manu­fac­tu­rers and other star­tups from the cate­ring sector to offer food and drink to our employees. Once a month we have a team event, where we do sports toge­ther then go for dinner and drinks. The perfect workout life balance, if you ask me.

“People crave flexi­bi­lity and compa­nies have to adapt to this.”

Moritz Kreppel

Moritz Kreppel

  • is the Co-Founder and CEO of Berlin-based sports startup, Urban Sports Club.Before foun­ding the company in 2012, he worked as a manage­ment consul­tant in Frank­furt. When he’s not working on his dream of flexible fitness at a flat rate, he loves travel­ling and using his Urban Sports Club membership, espe­ci­ally to do TRX and Yoga, as well as to go to the gym.

Want to get to know Moritz Kreppel?

Get in touch

Still curious?
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