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Increased stake in World Series of Fitness marks latest step in mass participation roadmap
Zug, Switzerland/London, UK – Infront has become the majority owner of HYROX, the World Series of Fitness Racing, expanding on its initial investment in the mass participation and professional race company in 2019 and taking its stake to just over half.
The acquisition means HYROX becomes the latest brand to be incorporated under the Infront Personal and Corporate Fitness umbrella. Despite the change in ownership, the current Hyrox team will maintain the majority of direction and control in terms of commercial decisions. The unique indoor fitness competition is designed for both amateurs and professional athletes. Competitors at all events cover the same course, completing 8 X 1KM runs with a Functional Movement between each run, and up to 5,000 participants compete at each race. Races can be completed as an individual in pairs or as a relay team of 4 to provide an accessible entry point for any fitness level
The 2022/23 season began in Basel on 9 September and a total of 45 events will take place across six countries in Europe, the UK, North America, the Middle East, and Hong Kong. The European Championship, taking place on 21 January in Maastricht, the Netherlands, and the North American Championship, taking place in Chicago on 11 February are two highlights of the season. Both events fall ahead of the World Championship where the top 2,500 athletes from the 90,000 participants competing at all global Hyrox events will be invited to compete. The two-day event will include special fitness activations, guest speakers and entertainment for athletes and spectators alike.
It will also feature the Elite 15, the top 15 fastest athletes from the men’s and women’s pro division. They will race to compete for the title of HYROX World Champion of Fitness Racing and a prize purse of USD 75,000.
Hans-Peter Zurbruegg, Senior Vice President Personal and Corporate Fitness, said: "When we initially invested in HYROX it was about getting in on the ground floor and being part of its meteoric growth over the last few years made it an easy decision to bring it under the Infront brand. The series has the potential to become a huge brand within fitness and has already created aspirational athletes that amateurs are looking to emulate. The brand proposition for sponsors knows no limits and we are excited to continue driving that expansion."
Christian Toetzke, Founding Partner & Managing Director of HYROX said: "Our ambition has always been that HYROX would become one of the largest and most recognisable sporting properties in the world. We believe the sport of fitness racing will attract over half a million participants within the next 4 years and attract a demographic of people who are connecting to their relationship with exercise for the first time. In order to support these significant ambitions, we need to work with partners that share our vision and willingness to take on these significant challenges with the same energy we do. Infront have been a great partner in this respect, and we are looking forward to deepening our ties and collaboration"
Moritz Fürste, Founding Partner, Managing Director of HYROX and double hockey Olympic Gold Medallist comments: "This is a sport for everyone, the global potential of a truly mass participation fitness racing series is difficult to comprehend but Infront were sufficiently agile and progressive enough to see the potential early on. We see it as a great endorsement that one of the most respected sports media groups in the world continues to share our vision for the future of HYROX. As we continue to grow and develop the sport the added value of Infront’s deep connections in the advertising, sponsorship and media space will aid us in continuing the rapid growth we are targeting."
The profile of HYROX has risen dramatically since it was first launched in 2017. The story of the 2021/22 was told in a feature-length documentary aired exclusively by ESPN in the USA in August 2022. It offered a behind-the-scenes focus on the Elite 15 athletes that qualified for the 2022 HYROX World Championship in Las Vegas, USA.
HYROX was founded in 2017 by Christian Toetzke, an industry veteran in the international cycling, marathon and triathlon world, and Moritz Furste, one of Germany’s greatest ever hockey players and successful entrepreneur. HYROX was born out of the founders’ desire for an event that would bring the endurance and functional fitness worlds together in a format that replicated the activities that regular gym goers did in their workouts. HYROX bridges the gap between traditional long distance endurance events and functional fitness and attracts competitive athletes and enthusiasts from all sporting backgrounds.
HYROX has experienced remarkable growth in Europe and the US, with the World Series in Hamburg seeing 3,000 participants, 10,000 spectators, and live television coverage in 2019. Bolstered by investment from the Infront Sports & Media Group in 2019 and aligned with significant international brand partners, including Puma and Redbull, HYROX is now continuing its rapid global expansion plans following the curtailment of in-person events in 2022/23