About a year ago, I thought COVID was going to destroy O2.
I was concerned about losing my job, but as a business owner I was more worried about my team. My failure would ripple through dozens of lives, some with devastating consequences, and I would be left with hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt.
I didn’t know what to do, so I defaulted to what felt right: O2 would split profits from online sales with gym owners 50/50. Right down the middle.
We launched that initiative almost exactly one year ago and went on to see the 10x-type growth I had previously only dreamed of - 2020 was our biggest year ever.
Honestly, I didn’t see that coming. Deep down, I believe people really do care about one another, but it was still surprising to see the proof on a balance sheet. It was powerful evidence that putting others first is just good business, and I now firmly believe the businesses that give back to their communities are the ones that will pull ahead in 2021 and beyond.
Everyone can agree this last year has been tough. It’s easier now more than ever to scoff at the power of positivity, or the so-called “socially responsible brand.”
But, you can’t argue with facts: almost 100,000 gym members showed up to support their gym owners through various O2 initiatives last year, and they voted with their dollars to support companies that supported their communities.
It’s our belief that all companies have an opportunity to affect positive change, and we’re fast approaching a time when customers will insist upon it; a time when being a “successful business owner” means investing in your community, mitigating harm to the environment, and standing for something more than just the bottom line.
Last year, O2 made a few difficult (but not that difficult) decisions to give back to our community. By the end of 2020, we contributed $177,000 to gym owners, $30,000 to underprivileged youth, and $14 million in incentives to gym members for keeping their memberships active.
My only regret is that I waited for a global pandemic to get in gear.
By Earth Day, O2 will be carbon neutral, and we’re on track to be carbon negative soon. It takes work, but damn - it feels really good. And we’re just getting started.
We all take pride in making tough choices. And, we can all take a minute to evaluate the purpose behind the brands we’re supporting. When done right, it’s rewarding and feels good - just like a tough workout.
We owe it to ourselves and future generations to invest in the businesses that invest in us. We can buy American and shop at veteran-backed businesses. We can make sure our dollars are working for the world instead of against it. We should do these things, not because they’re easy, but because they’re right.
Team O2 enjoys serving you and our fitness family with Honesty, Humility, and Hustle. These are values we work hard to uphold and know you do, too.
Thank you for helping us hold a higher standard by supporting O2. Click here to get in touch if there’s anything else you’d like to see us do to continue putting community first.
O2 Founder & CEO