Who owns Planet Fitness? Here's why socially-distanced 'Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year's Eve' sponsor sparked fury
As people wait for stimulus checks and uncertainty over the pandemic and unemployment continues, many took to social media to express their reactions to the extravagant celebrations
Planet Fitness returned as a presenting sponsor for 'Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year's Eve with Ryan Seacrest' to ring in 2021, and not everyone is happy. Many took to social media to express their befuddlement over the inflatable tube men used during the celebrations as well as the purple-and-yellow hats and confetti that covered Times Square as people watched from home.
It was announced in December 2020 that Planet Fitness would be featured on 'Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2021'. Chris Rondeau, chief executive officer at Planet Fitness, said, "We know that 2020 has been a challenging year and many are eager to put it behind them as they look toward a brighter 2021. Planet Fitness is more excited than ever to ring in the New Year as presenting sponsor of the biggest party on the planet."
The organization also invited people to submit "Confetti Wishes," meant to be "heartfelt wishes" for the new year which were then printed on pieces of confetti that were then flown over Times Square as the clock struck midnight signaling the arrival of 2021.
As people wait for stimulus checks and uncertainty over the Covid-19 pandemic and unemployment continues, many took to social media to express their reactions to the extravagant celebrations. One user tweeted, "Planet Fitness sponsoring a socially distanced New Years' Eve in Times Square is about as f**king stupid as I expected this year to end." One user wondered, "Anyone else wondering how much @PlanetFitness paid to be the official sponsor of the year 2021!? Lol."
Planet Fitness sponsoring a socially distanced New Years Eve in Times Square is about as fucking stupid as I expected this year to end.— chris person, Game Freak (@Papapishu) January 1, 2021
Anyone else wondering how much @PlanetFitness paid to be the official sponsor of the year 2021!? Lol— 🏳️🌈Scheana (@scheana) January 1, 2021
Others took a more humorous approach, with actor Matt Oswalt writing, "I just hope those Planet Fitness inflatable hats don't sell out before I get my stimulus check." A user tweeted, "So far 2021 has taught me that Planet Fitness has inflatable tube people ready to replace us all." Another viewer joked, "The Planet Fitness Wacky Waving Inflatable Tube Men Times Square NYE Party is the best horror movie of 2020."
I just hope those Planet Fitness inflatable hats don't sell out before I get my stimulus check— Matt Oswalt (@MattOswaltVA) January 1, 2021
So far 2021 has taught me that Planet Fitness has inflatable tube people ready to replace us all. pic.twitter.com/q60aZEKykG— Matt Fernandez (@FattMernandez) January 1, 2021
The Planet Fitness Wacky Waving Inflatable Tube Men Times Square NYE Party is the best horror movie of 2020 pic.twitter.com/lY1eg7pafd— Mackenzie Bartlett✨ (@formalsorcery) January 1, 2021
Who owns Planet Fitness?
Michael and Marc Grondahl acquired a struggling Gold's Gym franchise in Dover, New Hampshire, in 1992 and founded Planet Fitness in 1994 after current CEO Chris Rondeau joined as the third partner. In 2002, Michael Grondahl bought the Planet Fitness trademark from Rick Berks.
The company is majority-owned by private-equity firm TSG Consumer Partners which became an equity partner in 2013, however, the majority of the stores are franchised, while some of the Planet Fitness gyms are owned by corporate companies. The company works on the model that franchised store-owners would drive its growth which allows the company to grow rapidly and gain a substantial portion of its capital from royalties — which is comprised of a percentage of membership dues and fees — paid by franchisees.
Michael Grondahl, the co-founder of Planet Fitness, stepped down as the CEO and was succeeded by Chris Rondeau. Planet Fitness went public in August 2015 and sold 13.5 million shares to raise $216 million at $16 a share in its initial public offering.
Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve With Ryan Seacrest 2021 premiered on ABC, Wednesday, December 31 starting at 8 pm ET and continued to the Times Square ball drop with performances from around the globe until 2 am ET