Anytime Fitness Brand President Stacy Anderson went undercover for tonight’s episode of Undercover Boss. The episode will air at 8 p.m. on CBS.
Disguised as a blonde woman wearing over-the-top makeup, Anderson goes on an undercover mission to get a look at Anytime Fitness’ franchise operations. The synopsis for the episode says that Anderson will work on a set of undercover missions to make sure the gyms are operating in “tip-top shape as she tries not to break a sweat when put through a workout by a fanatically clean gym manager.”
Undercover Boss allows company executives and leaders to get a look at the behind-the-scenes going-ons of their companies without their employees knowing they’re there. The show also gives the bosses a way to see what happens in everyday situations and also see how difficult the work is and where improvements may need to be made.
Anderson Identifies Opportunities For Enhancements
Throughout the episode, Anderson goes undercover at various gyms. She works as a club manager and trainer, getting opportunities to learn and grow aside team members and seeing what employees, franchisees and customers really think of the company.
As a direct result of her journey on Undercover Boss, Anderson found the brand needed some changes made. Insights from the mission will allow Anderson and other executives to fine-tune operations and stay ahead of the competition.
“As we look to evolve and elevate our brand experience to better compete in a growing competitive environment, there are both great assets we have in our clubs as well as challenges that lie ahead of us,” Anderson told PR Newswire. “Undercover Boss provided an unprecedented opportunity to identify our company strengths and areas for improvements so we can make refinements as we continue on our aggressive growth path.”
She went on to say that it is clear from the experience that the employees and franchise owners really care about the brand, their members, and their businesses. The people are the most important part of the brand.
Anytime Fitness Has Over 4,000 Locations
Anderson was promoted to Brand President of Anytime Fitness in September 2016. Prior to being promoted, Anderson served as the company’s Chief Marketing Officer since 2012.
Anytime Fitness began franchising in 2002 and now has nearly 5,000 locations that span all seven continents. They plan to open more than 130 locations by the end of 2020 in the U.S. and Canada.
The filming for the January 15 episode of Undercover Boss happened last July in a few different cities. One of those cities was Lebanon, Indiana, where Anderson went undercover and met Anytime Fitness franchise general manager Cathy Scott. Scott had never seen an episode of the show, so she did not catch on when they were filming. She told the Kokomo Tribune that a lot of the members at the gym figured it out.
“If I had known it was Undercover Boss, I might not have said some of the things I said,” she said. “I probably would not have been as frank.”
Of course, the whole point of the show is to get the employees to be as upfront and open as possible with the executive; that’s why they go undercover.
Undercover Boss airs at 8 p.m. on Wednesdays on CBS.
UPDATE 1/19/2020: After the Anytime Fitness episode aired, Heavy was contacted by Matthew Lein, owner of the Anytime Fitness in Roswell, which was heavily featured in the episode. We received the following statement:
First and foremost, I want to express our deepest gratitude to all of our members and clients, both past and present, that have reached out to offer their support since the airing of Undercover Boss. The last few days have been very draining emotionally on our family, and your words have offered great comfort. There have been many others that have chosen to send us disparaging emails and posted personal attacks on social media. For those viewers that were disappointed in my comments, attitude, and demeanor on the show, I understand completely. If the sequences and comments shown had actually occurred the way they were portrayed, I would say I 100% deserve your criticism. The person I saw on Wednesday night was not the person I set out to be, and not the person that I am.
Unfortunately the content captured during the two days and over 8 hours of filming that we did for this show were much different than what was aired, as was the personal dynamic between myself and Stacy. What Studio Lambert and CBS aired Wednesday night was a coordinated hit piece clearly designed to create controversy and ratings. They were not interested in showing anything of substance, but rather a handful of negative sound bites, many captured when the cameras were supposedly not rolling. They cut out every scene, conversation, and sequence that showed any sort of humility, kindness, intelligence, or professionalism on my part. They cut out the success story interviews that were conducted with my clients. They cut out the 45 minute conversation between Stacy and my wife. They deleted any references to my personal life and backstory, and outright neglected to mention that I even have a family. They deleted all content regarding my gorgeous angel of a wife, my beautiful 1 year old daughter, and my 6 year old son with autism that is the light of my life. Everything I do is for them.
They neglected to mention we have overwhelmingly more positive online reviews than we do negative. They neglected to mention that the majority of our training clients are female, not extreme athletes as was stated. They cut a 30 minute interview with one of my dear friends and weight loss clients Stephen, that took off work that day to participate in the filming. And most importantly, they neglected to mention that our business is actually in a steady growth phase in year 12 which is not common for a gym or health club. Why did they leave out the majority of what was filmed? Because if they showed those things, and presented a balanced story, it would be much more difficult to paint me as a villain. Which was clearly the narrative that had been decided on before Stacy ever entered our gym that day.
No matter what was shown Wednesday night, I promise you, I am not the villain they want me to be. But I also understand that my physical appearance, and brutal honesty, can rub some people the wrong way. I will continue to work on all aspects of my professional life with the end goal being to provide the best possible experience for everyone that visits or joins our gym. In regards to Stacy Anderson, I would just like to say I don’t feel that the show gave an accurate or fair representation of her time with us, or the common ground we reached during our two days together. I also had a much different impression of her as a person after our time together than the way she was depicted on the show. The things she said about me were of course surprising and very hurtful. But regardless, I do not hold any ill will towards her personally.
My sincere hope is that this overall negative representation of the Anytime Fitness brand does not discourage people from joining Anytime Fitness clubs. While I may have disagreements with the corporate office and the direction of the brand, I fully support every franchisee and their employees. These are hard working, blue collar people, that are merely trying to support their families doing a job they love.
Please feel free to ask me any questions or send any comments you’d like. We look forward to continuing to share our story, and hope to reach a purchase agreement with Anytime Fitness for our gym at some point down the road. Please feel free to visit my personal Instagram account @mattLein22 for a more in depth look at our family, our members, and our business. We will continue to post updates regarding the aftermath of the show, comments and support from our members, and the legal steps we take moving forward. God bless you all.
Owner Anytime Fitness Roswell