A dream come true for any purpose-driven brand is a customer getting its logo tattooed on their body. In the case of One Academy, a Toronto-based gym and fitness brand, this happened four times within one year; a true testament to the passion felt towards One Academy by its community.
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We launched One Academy alongside Canadian Athlete, Jesse Bruce. After overcoming an exceptional story of addiction, Jesse became one of the top endurance athletes in the world. He believes fitness has the power to transform lives through hard work, discipline, camaraderie and inclusion. This unwavering passion for a communal approach to fitness is the heart and soul of One Academy and led him to venture into the world of fitness entrepreneurship.
In seeking out his next fitness adventure, Jesse needed marketing support and that’s where we came in. We are Torontonians, we are the Co-Founders of King Ursa, a full-service creative agency, and we don’t settle for the status quo. If we did, those four people wouldn’t have the One Academy logo on their bodies.
We saw this as an opportunity to put our money where our mouth was and support One Academy through our passion, purpose, profit framework. Jesse had plenty of passion and we were ready to help him harness it. Fast forward to March 2020, when Covid-19 shut down much of the world, this framework allowed One Academy to not only stay afloat during the pandemic but evolve into a thriving online community.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it would’ve been easier for us to take a pause on this project. It’s a gym, after all, and the pandemic had closed major gym facilities. But instead, we carried on with the mission of One Academy and kept connecting with the community, virtually.
On March 17, 2020, the day after the “temporary” (haha…) closure, the team came together to host free daily workouts. Three months later, our state-of-the art production studio designed for virtual training was up and running and we were back to providing the highest quality training possible.
What kept us going then, and continues to keep us going now, is the One Academy community and Jesse’s dedication to continue delivering his communal approach to fitness. This focus has led One Academy to build a community of over 1,300 members.
What are we doing now?
We’re leaning on our growing community to support the broader Toronto community. This past Mother’s Day, we held a two-hour free Mother’s Day Marathon class with the mission to raise $3,500 for Street Haven at the Crossroad, an organization that helps homeless and at-risk women in the Toronto community achieve stability and independence through safe housing and supportive programs.
We surpassed this goal and raised $4,188! This brings our total money raised for local community groups through Covid-19 to over $23,000.
The pandemic was a roadblock, we can’t deny that, but for us it was an opportunity to expand the One Academy community globally and show the current members the deep dedication and passion that runs through the business.