Equal parts dance and aerobics, Zumba has taken over the fitness world. Maybe the secret ingredient to making exercise fun has been discovered. Zumba was just named Inc. Magazine’s Company of the Year this week. This following this summer’s accolade of being named the largest fitness brand in the world.
While Zumba holds its own as a fitness class, it clearly stands up as a very successful business as well. Inc. reported this week that the Zumba company has an estimated valuation of more than $500 million. That tally comes from some very rapid growth. The CEO, Alberto Perlman, stated in the Inc. article that the company grew 4,000 percent from 2007 to 2010. Additionally the company grew 750 percent in the past three years. Holy Zumba, Batman! Is anything else in the business world, anything at all doing that well?
Zumba creator Alberto Perez has more than a talent for great dancing, he and Perlman seem to be very wise businessmen. They’ve created a program that attracts all types. Dancers, exercise nuts, thin people, overweight people, men, women, kids, seniors and everyone in between. But there’s not much money to be had in creating a class alone, so the founders went much further. They’ve joined with the music world and created music just for Zumba. They’ve created one of the most coveted fitness apparel lines to accompany Zumba dancers. There are video games, DVDs, books, bags, and fitness concerts, too. In a fully sustainable brand.
While all of these outlets are bringing in the money, Inc. pointed out that the rapid growth of Zumba is attributed to their original business model. Perez and Perlman sell licensing and support to those who teach their classes – classes that are in high demand. The report stated that fourteen million people in 150 countries take a Zumba class at least once a week.
Well, done Zumba! In a world where the daily top story seems to be about the increasing obesity rates and weight-related health issues, Zumba has gotten fourteen million people off the couch and up dancing on their feet.