Centr CEO on Building a Fitness & Wellness ‘Ecosystem’

Andrew Sugerman is turning Centr into a leader in both content and equipment, but it’s not a connected fitness company
This article is part of ATN’s DISRUPT 2023 video series, which features key conversations with executives from the most successful brands in fitness and wellness. To watch more videos, click here
Centr, the fitness and wellness platform founded by Chris Hemsworth, has been on a tear recently, releasing new products, creating content and forging strategic partnerships with other leading brands.
The burst of activity is part of CEO Andrew Sugerman’s ambitious plan to turn the platform into what he calls a holistic health and wellness “ecosystem,” a place where consumers can go to not only get workout routines, meal plans and mediation content, but also buy strength-training equipment and other fitness products. 
Sugerman sat down with Athletech News during DISRUPT 2023 to discuss his first 12-plus months on the job, his vision for Centr, and the perks of having Hemsworth as the face of the brand. 

More Than a Fitness App
Sugerman took over as Centr’s CEO in September 2022 with a clear goal in mind: make Centr more than just a fitness app.
“The vision was to establish Centr as a highly trusted lifestyle brand in the wellness category where we bring together the latest research, content, digital tools (and) physical products, all to help users, our audience and consumers on their wellness journey,” Sugerman says.
Andrew Sugerman (credit: Centr)

To bring Sugerman’s vision for the brand to fruition, Centr has focused on creating both content and equipment to bridge the gap between the physical and digital worlds.
On the content side, Centr continues to produce fitness and wellness videos featuring Hemsworth and expert coaches, covering everything from workout programs to healthy recipes to meditation routines. Centr’s content is built on the three Ms: meals, mind and movement, Sugerman noted.
“It’s really the holistic element of how these three pieces work together, and then we’re wrapping that with an element of motivation,” he said. “What is it that actually drives you every day when you wake up to want to care about meals, movement and mind?”
At the same time, Centr also recently entered the fitness equipment space, leveraging its close relationship with Inspire Fitness to launch new strength training products. Consumers can now buy Centr-branded home-gym products at Walmart, and the company recently inked a deal with Hyrox to provide competition-level equipment for hardcore athletes. Expect to see more Centr products hit the market soon.
“We’ve got a lot of new things we’ll be announcing over the coming probably three to six months,” Sugerman said during the conversation, which was filmed in late September. “So it’s just the start.”
credit: Centr

Not a Connected Fitness Company
Combining equipment and content may seem like old hat in the fitness world, but Centr is doing things a bit differently than its competitors, according to Sugerman.
“We don’t really view (ourselves) as a connected fitness company,” the Centr CEO said.
Sugerman says that unlike connected fitness companies that operate on a “closed-loop” – you have to buy a digital subscription to use the hardware and vice-versa – Centr takes an “open” approach where consumers can use the brand’s equipment and content independently of one another, or they can combine the two. 
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“We really want to create a ‘connected ecosystem’ where we don’t require one thing to drive the other,” Sugerman says. “If you want to buy some of our products and not tap into the digital side we’re offering, that’s your choice. We want to enable options and accessibility.”
The Hemsworth Effect
Sugerman also touched on what it’s like to have Hemsworth as the founder and face of the Centr brand, saying he’s the “perfect person to have associated with a company like ours.”
Contrary to what some might assume, Hemsworth isn’t the normal uninvolved celebrity just lending his name and star power to a brand in return for cash or clout.
“Chris is not an endorser of the brand, he is the brand,” Sugerman says. “He really lives our mission. He throws himself into the latest research and insights. … He’s constantly looking at how to be on the front edge of longevity, the front edge of trends in the world of fitness and nutrition.”
Chris Hemsworth using Centr equipment (credit: Centr)

According to Sugerman, Hemsworth founded Centr to create a platform where everyday people could receive the same expert-level fitness, nutrition and mental coaching he had access to as a Hollywood actor.
As Centr looks to make good on Hemsworth’s initial vision, the brand will lean into personalization. The goal is to find ways of turning Centr into the ultimate “interactive coach” for users on their fitness and wellness journeys, Sugerman says.
“It’s really back to that notion of, ‘How do we bring the expert perspectives that Chris experiences and bring that to bear for consumers, regardless of their socioeconomic position,’” he says.

https://athletechnews.com/centr-ceo-on-building-a-fitness-wellness-ecosystem-exclusive-interview-disrupt/

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