World Class was founded in 1983, when Ulf Bengtsson, world’s foremost bodybuilders and Swedish entrepreneur, has started a project whose main goal was to attract people to movement, health awareness, productivity and self-fulfillment.
Even way back then, Ulf Bengtsson knew that every individual needs physical activity to feel good, be productive and content with their lives. Spotted in California at that time, where he used to train with Frank Zane and Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ulf sketched a logo on a napkin – “World Class” or “world-class”, inspired by the well-sculpted body that made him famous around the world and his ambition to help others achieve a similar dream. He imagined it red colored, bold, aggressive, outstanding – the sign of a big time impact change. Back in Sweden, Ulf Bengtsson opened in Stockholm the first modern fitness club in the country and one of the first such places in the world. The brand has rapidly expanded in Sweden and soon the targeted market was Eastern Europe, an untapped and particularly attractive for entrepreneurs market. After opening several clubs in Russia, Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary, World Class enters the Romanian market in 2000, with the opening of the first exclusive fitness club, at Hotel JW Marriott, as it attempts to become a global chain. The brand is to be positioned as a player in the premium or even luxury segment, targeting the 5% richest people in Bucharest and offering facilities such as gym, group fitness classes, swimming pool, sauna and squash. Soon afterwards, as part of an ongoing upgrade across World Class portfolio, a new club is launched inside the Radisson hotel, which marks an important expansion momentum for the business in Romania.
The elitist coordinates were kept until 2010, when – with the release of Ulf Bengtsson from the ownership and Mikael Fredholm’s naming as CEO of World Class International, World Class changed the strategic direction of the company in Romania. The brand focused on the mainstream market, targeting consumers with average income, interested in their well-being and pursuing a social mission, rather than a business one: to change people’s mentality, to promote a healthy lifestyle and turn World Class Romania in Romanians’ number one option in terms of active life and leisure time.
2014 was the year that marked a period of auspicious changes and accelerated expansion. The buyout of Resource Partners, a Polish private equity investment fund, that took over the company’s operations and rights management for the brand World Class in Romania, Serbia and Poland. The moment of glory was in 2016, when the leading fitness services provider acquired one of its competitors, Club Sport Fitness Center MV, which led to an enlarged network of fitness centers in Bucharest, Timișoara, Cluj-Napoca and Iași, counting a total of 30 clubs.
At the end of 2016, World Class Romania has appointed Swede Kent Orrgren as Chief Executive Officer to further lead the company’s national expansion and fulfill the mission of leaving a mark in Romania and the lifestyle of the population.
Today, our mission is to provide a friendly welcoming place for its members, a place of their own, away from home and work, where each member could feel motivated and inspired to improve their lifestyle and to be a significant social factor in their life. We manage to do this by getting to know our members, treating them with self-awareness and empathy and by creating a true and genuine bond with them.
We are always striving to be the preferred third place, outside home and work, in our members’ lives. We do this by creating an atmosphere where our members want to spend a significant part of their free time. We are always a retreat and an escape where our members can leave their worries and stressful lives behind and where they can enjoy themselves in a social, entertaining and inspirational way.
Here, we create visual stories that arouse emotions in people and inspire them to improve and transform their lifestyle into a healthier one.
Our core values are connected both with the World Class strategy of creating healthy living awareness in all its aspects – nutrition, exercise, relaxation, inspiration, social life – and all our beliefs that go beyond brand and top fitness services and reveal our greatest aspiration, to radically transform the lifestyle of people in Romania.
… 900 million calories are burnt annually at World Class Romania, the equivalent of 2.9 million cheeseburgers?
… over time, the clubs network had met the needs of the potential customer with special offers and discounts, including a “gold” one – an annual membership consisting of a discount equal to twice the winner’s weight in Euro?
.. our members have met their best friend, business partner and even the future husband / wife when training in World Class clubs?
…our members have lost 11.7 tons in 12 months by choosing Delta Training System, the expert program for weight loss?
… .during the World’s Strongest Man competition, organized by World Class Romania in the Radisson Hotel garden, 6.4 tons of equipment were used?