Brian Lee, founder and CEO of Freshly Chopped, Ireland’s original healthy fast-food retailer, and NEAT Pizza has today announced a new partnership with Empowered Brands to bring UBX, the world's fastest growing franchised boxing community, to Ireland. UBX, pronounced you-box, delivers a unique mix of boxing and strength training across a 12-round circuit in under 45 minutes and was co-founded by four-time world boxing champion, Danny Green, alongside Australian fitness and tech entrepreneur, Tim West in 2016.
Brian Lee, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu competitor who has won medals at European level, and his partner Sinead Beasley, former world and European kick boxing champion, who has over 17 years in the fitness industry and 25 years in kick boxing, will oversee the rollout and growth of the UBX brand in Ireland.
Brian Lee commented: “I’m very proud of the success of Freshly Chopped and NEAT pizza and my other interests and they continue to grow. As a passionate entrepreneur, I’m always looking for ways to diversify and grow new businesses. UBX grabbed my attention for a number of reasons – firstly, its founder Tim and the rapid growth the company has seen since it opened and secondly, I think it’s a unique concept that will appeal to the masses but especially so to women in Ireland, women make up over 60% of UBX’s membership and this is growing. I’m delighted too for an opportunity to work with my partner Sinead who is a former World and European kick boxing champion and who takes on the role of Director of UBX Programming for UK and Ireland. Sinead and I live and breathe health and fitness, we even met each other first in the gym! So, for us UBX felt like a perfect fit to work together and help build a business based on our shared passions. Sinead will make a great ambassador for the business with her years of experience and inclusive plans for UBX to make it a home for anybody that wants to try something new.
“We see massive potential to deliver a unique concept that mixes boxing and strength training across a 45-minute, 12 round workout experience that can work for people of all ages, backgrounds and fitness levels. From a business perspective, the franchise investment entry point is much lower than franchising linked to gyms and traditional fitness clubs as premises can be a fraction of the size of a budget gym and fit-out can be achieved very cost-effectively. The return on investment across the 100 clubs already open is impressive and will be very appealing to prospective franchisees. We have already secured two franchisee owned UBX clubs to open in Dublin before Christmas and we have high interest levels amongst ex-professional sports players given the tax reliefs they are eligible for and other entrepreneurs working to acquire prime territory in the coming months.”
Sinead Beasley, the Director of UBX Programming, UK and Ireland believes: “The dynamic, flexible and ever-changing programming of UBX can reconnect disillusioned gym goers with an experience that will motivate them and ensure that all those who come to UBX find a programme that works for them. I’m delighted to be taking the helm at UBX and overseeing the culture and training of the UBX clubs. I speak to so many women who really do not know what to do in a gym, they’re intimidated by the venue and put off by the experience. Our overarching aim will be to ensure that we make the UBX experience deliver the health and fitness results that everyone strives for. UBX programming is constantly changing, it does not rely on timetable classes, and it connects every individual with a personal trainer, so we know it can sustain interest levels and deliver great results for its members.”
UBX co-founder and tech entrepreneur Tim West: “UBX has one aim; to let everyone experience the transformational power of boxing. Our unique, non-contact boxing experience is developed by expert trainers who advise on form and techniques across 12 rounds of boxing led strength and cardio activity. I am delighted to work with Brian and Sinead to see Ireland become the launch pad for our major expansion into Europe. We have 20 territories identified for UBX expansion in Ireland and we know that in Brian and Sinead we have a duo that will ensure UBX is a runaway success.”
Since its launch in Australia in 2016, UBX Global Limited, has expanded into the USA, Asia and the UK. With almost 100 clubs open to date the organisation has plans to open 1,000 by the end of 2025. In 2021, it was announced that Empowered Brands, which is behind the successful existing chain, énergie fitness, would partner with UBX to launch the chain in Ireland and the UK.
Empowered Brands is backed by RM Funds, an alternative asset management business. Founded in 2010, the firm manages capital on behalf of institutional investors, multi-asset allocators, family offices and retail investors. Since inception the business has transacted in excess of £50 billion of assets, and advised and or originated, structured and managed over £1.5bn of sterling assets and over €700m in European assets.