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Mindbody Customer Story

D1 Training x Mindbody: A Results-Based Partnership

D1 Training x Mindbody

Just days before the federal government declared COVID-19 a national emergency, CEO and co-founder of D1 Training Will Bartholomew gathered his corporate staff and franchisees for their annual summit in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. The event’s theme? “Believe.”

Little did Bartholomew know just how meaningful that word would become heading into the months that followed. In fact, it became an unofficial motto that would not only help the brand survive but thrive in a disrupted business and social climate.

While many fitness businesses folded under pandemic pressures, D1 Training rose to the challenge. So much so, that the brand grew revenue by more than 30% in 2020—without losing a single staff member or location.

A track record of overcoming adversity

Bartholomew’s fortitude is nothing new. A former Division I football player and national champion at the University of Tennessee, Bartholomew shared the collegiate gridiron with Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning (who also happens to be an investor in the D1 Training brand).

At 22, he signed a contract with the Denver Broncos. Sadly, his professional football career was over before it had a chance to start. A repeat ACL tear prevented him from chasing his NFL dream.

“I was devastated, but determined to make it back,” said Bartholomew. “I moved back home to Nashville and I quickly discovered there was nowhere to train aggressively—to train like an elite athlete. The training environment and community I had at the University of Tennessee was nowhere to be found.”

For Bartholomew, the inspiration for D1 Training was born out of that knee injury.

One location becomes a growing franchise

Like any budding entrepreneur, Bartholomew wore many hats to get up and running and suffered “a lot of scars and bumps and bruises” along the way. Through it all, he was laser-focused on his goal: create a groundbreaking type of training for school-aged kids, adults, and professional athletes.

“Differentiation is an interesting concept,” said Bartholomew. “How do you stand out from a crowd? What works for us might not work for others, but what I do know is that we are here to inspire and motivate our athletes to reach their goals. That’s our ethos, that’s our ‘why’. Results-based outcomes are what wins in fitness.”

Since 2002, Bartholomew has grown D1 Training into 32 corporate-owned locations and in 2017 began franchising across the country. At the end of this year, there will be 100 D1 Training locations nationwide—with many more on the horizon.

“One of the toughest decisions was whether or not to enter into a franchise model,” said Bartholomew. “In the end, it made sense because we wouldn’t be able to provide our service to a large and wide audience if we didn’t franchise. There would be communities all over the country that would be missing out on what we offer.”

To date, D1 Training has helped more than 2 million people and over 1,000 professional athletes—including a slew of celebrity partners—reach their fitness goals.

A partnership built for success

As D1 continues to grow, so does the strength of its partnership with Mindbody.

“When we onboard our new franchises, we always describe Mindbody as the backbone of the business because everything is connected through it,” continued Bartholomew.

Corporate controls and reporting help connect the brand’s corporate structure with the unique needs of each individual franchise location. “With Mindbody, we’re protecting our franchisees. [The software] holds it all together.”

What the future holds

So, what’s next for D1 Training?

“One of the things we do in our annual planning is come up with an operating theme,” said Bartholomew. “This year, rather than make another bold move, we decided as a corporate team to narrow our focus and tighten up and get better at everything we do.”

That focus on strengthening the brand’s foundation and culture continues to move the business forward. Even 20 years later, D1 is still pushing the envelope on results-based fitness.

“It’s crazy to see where the company was, and where it is today. It's been a fun ride.”

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