Charting a New Path Forward in the Well-being Industry
It’s no secret that the Covid-19 pandemic shifted our way of life, how we work, and how we take care of ourselves and others. Even though change can be scary, sometimes it leads for innovative breakthroughs and ways to streamline priorities. The truth is, the enterprise well-being industry needed a shake-up, a way to provide important and necessary programs to employees in a way that better fits in their daily lives.
In 2020, we realized Fan Health Network needed a shake-up as well.
Let’s rewind 20 years. After being an all-star Minnesota Vikings Running Back for 8 seasons, Robert Smith saw firsthand the influence professional athletes have to encourage people to reach bigger goals and try new things. It was his goal to harness that power into a well-being company to drive a greater good. In 2015, Fan Health Network launched with a big mission and drive, but never found product/market fit in an increasingly growing marketplace.
As the pandemic hit, it was clear that the company was ripe for a reboot. As the home-fitness industry skyrocketed and work-life balance flipped 180 degrees with remote work, we realized that there was a unique opportunity to provide best-in-class content. We believe that people shouldn’t have to buy an expensive piece of equipment and monthly subscriptions - their employee well-being program should support that journey. For me, the opportunity to build a product that I would actually want to use each day was exciting. After being in tech and wellness for a decade, I saw the challenge and opportunity of how to do it in this new climate. When Robert and I met through mutual friends, it was clear we were philosophically aligned and both driven to build a small team with a work-life balance and culture that would walk the talk in this industry. We were excited about bringing the quality of consumer services to enterprise and helping fans connect with their heroes. Because Robert is so generous and kind, I’m inspired daily to bring his incredible work ethic to operationalize his vision in a predictable, repeatable, scalable way.
We joined forces and shared this pivot with our key stakeholders, who were incredibly passionate and visionary as they considered these options. With their support, Robert and I recapitalized the company and relaunched it as Fan Huddle in Q1 2021. We quickly onboarded industry veterans Amy Kugler and Genifer Ritter for a fully remote team, then scaled our content team to twelve talented creatives to help begin our product journey.
After founding and/or working at two well-being companies, I thought for sure I would work on a different type of product. These opportunities and challenges greatly excite me, and I am super grateful for the opportunity to take Fan Huddle into post-Covid life as we build a new normal.