Gym Owner Monthly

Chief Growth Officer appointed at ‘Multiservice Business of the Year’, Fitness Playground

Fitness Playground has appointed experienced marketing and sales executive Nick Coulman as its new Chief Growth Officer. Coulman will support sustainable growth for the scaling company, which has just been named Multiservice Business of the Year by industry body AUSactive.
The multi-award-winning fitness and wellness company is about to undergo multi-million-dollar renovations in two of its gyms, as well as opening new locations in 2023.
Coulman has vast experience leading marketing and sales at a range of rapid-growing Australian companies, including disability support platform Hireup, online education provider Open Colleges, and Up Education’s ed-tech start-up, eddy. He has also worked in senior marketing roles at premium eyewear company Luxottica and legal platform LexisNexis back in the United States, where he lived before moving to Australia seven years ago.
“Since moving to Australia, my passion has been working at purpose-led start-ups and scale-ups, focusing on driving sustainable growth,” he says. “My forte is looking at the whole experience and finding ways to inject growth, through better user experiences, brand-building, and unlocking commercial opportunities.”
He says his new role at Fitness Playground involves “a little bit of everything”. “Right now Fitness Playground is at a pivoting point. There’s a great model, so it’s about harnessing what really works in that model – harnessing all the amazing people and what they bring to the table – then figuring out what’s going to help us build the company into the future as we scale.”
Coulman is excited about working in the industry. “Fitness and wellness is a huge space and it’s growing rapidly. Australians love their fitness. It’s been one of my favourite things about moving here – everybody’s always outside, getting in exercise over lunch or in the morning. It really is part of the lifestyle.” In fact, the original Fitness Playground, in Surry Hills, is one of the very first gyms Coulman checked out when he first arrived in Australia.
“They had this epic space with battle ropes and squat stations and all these unique things. It was way better than the other gyms I’d seen in the area. Then, seven years on, I saw this role come up, and I jumped at the opportunity to work for a brand I’m truely psyched about.
“It’s amazing to see Fitness Playground taking all that Australians love about fitness and building one place where everyone can come in and do something unique. I think we’re well-placed to do a lot of innovative, unique stuff in this market, and then bring that into other markets in the future as well. We have plans for new locations that will blow people’s minds. So watch out!”
When asked what his favourite thing about working within the business so far has been, he brings up the onboarding experience and company culture.
“It’s been really cool coming in and learning everything about the brand. How many companies can you say that, as part of your onboarding, you get to do personal training sessions? And a bunch of different, unique classes. Try all these epic, award-winning gyms. Meet heaps of incredible, driven people, and come into a team that’s epically passionate about everything they do. The culture here is really something special and it’s just a cool brand and product to get involved with.
“The great thing about coming in here to drive growth is that everything is already really good. So it’s just about making it better. Taking it all to the next level as we scale. People already love the brand. They already like recommending it to their friends. I know so many people who, when I started here, were like, ‘Oh wow, I love that place. I love working out there, I love so-and-so trainer, I love the smell of the place!’
“The brand has solid foundations; people love it, And there are a lot of opportunities to make it even bigger and better in the future.”