Fit for the future: Business producing fitness and wellness content for major global brands
David Langridge admits that fitness is in his blood.
The former Global Marketing Director of Fitness First, the fitness empire that at its height had 550 clubs in 21 countries, is the Co-founder of 1FitLife and Fitter Stock with his wife, Anna.
From its studios at The Picture House in Bournemouth, the business provides video, photographic and audio content for a wide variety of clients.
The content ranges from on-demand workouts, exercise libraries and training & nutrition plans to sleep or mental health audios.
Clients include David Lloyd Clubs, the leisure, fitness and health giant; Virgin Pulse, the world’s biggest corporate wellness platform, and Slimming World.
It also works with a range of organisations, from corporate health and residential retirement villages to seafarers in the North Sea and charities.
One of its latest projects is partnering with Parkinson’s UK to create specialist activity videos.
They’re part of the charity’s ongoing work to encourage people living with Parkinson’s to become and stay as active as possible.
1FitLife has created six videos so far with the intention to produce a full series of 18.
It was while working for Fitness First that David, 48, identified the need for high quality video for digital platforms such as apps and websites.
He said: “It doesn’t matter how good your app – or your platform – is, if you haven’t got great content it doesn’t bring it alive.
“One of the hardest things I found at the time of being Global Marketing Director was to find a content provider that could be quick, high value, high quality and instant.
“I felt there was an opportunity for us.”
Founded in 2017, 1FitLife produces bespoke content for clients while Fitter Stock offers ‘ready to go’ content for licensing.
David said: “A client may come to 1FitLife and say ‘I’ve got an app or a platform and I need content’.
“They give us a very specific brief and 1FitLife creates that wellness or fitness content.
“On the other side, Fitter Stock has about 400 pieces of content ready to go.
“A client can dip in and license it and put it on their app or website.
“We started very small with just my wife, Anna, and myself.
“It was when we moved into The Picture House in 2020 that things really began to take off.
“Previously we were hunting all the time for studio facilities and finding hotels to hire. It was painful.
“We were using freelancers, hiring equipment and we didn’t have a studio.
“It felt like a massive leap, initially taking one of the rooms at The Picture House and hiring three people.
“Now there are 15 of us – ten full-time employees and five freelancers – including visual content creators, a Head of Production, Head of Creative, Head of Client Services, marketeers and wellness experts.
“We also have a part-time nutritionist and sports scientist while I have a personal training background and Anna is a master trainer in pilates as well as having a background in PR.
“Our facilities include probably the largest studio on the South Coast as well as a smaller studio.
“We started working for David Lloyd in 2018 and it has brought in a fair chunk of our revenue for a long time.
“Last year we won a contract with them to develop all of the content inside their app.
“We’ve produced over 3,000 workouts now and about 500-600 for David Lloyd.
“Content isn’t easy.
“We’re fully consumed in content these days but to produce really engaging, quality content is hard.
“It’s also a forever changing market.
“In the last year and a half, since Covid, the world has moved from fitness-led to wellness-led.
“Everyone is now talking about mental health and how you manage it in a positive way.
“We’re now calling it mental fitness.
“How do you get fitter in your mental health as well as in your body.
“It accounts for a lot of the stuff we do now.
“We’ve done meditation, hypnosis, box breathing, audio walks in the forest and nutrition snippets as well such as educating people about what’s protein and the things you should consider in calorie counting.
“Although we’ve been established for seven years it’s felt like only three because it took us four years to find a consistency and a rhythm.”
The latest project is to move Fitter Stock from an enquiry to an e-commerce platform.
David said: “We’re getting lots of enquiries but we have to manage each one by video call.
“It’s laborious and not where the digital world is.
“We’re half-way through building an e-commerce site and moving all of our content onto it so you’ll be able to self-serve.
“It’s a huge job.
“Clients can have a six, 12 or 24 month subscription and at the end of that time they’ll have to take the content back down.
“It will fundamentally change things.
“We’re moving from a bespoke 1FitLife business, that produces content, and Fitter Stock, which is producing content but talking to people, to actually all of us going behind the scenes with the e-commerce site leading the way.
“We become a marketing and content system and it’s just production, marketing, CRM (customer relationship management) and data management.
“We will always own the content and have people license it.
“FitterStock.com is now our biggest growth area and has huge potential.
“We never stop but I feel very proud about the business.
“Although it’s Anna and I that started it everyone has bought in and is part of the team – and we have a great team.”