Alberto Perlman first discovered Zumba Fitness at age 25, when his mother mentioned a new class she’d been taking from fitness instructor Alberto Perez, whom everyone calls Beto. It blended aerobics with elements of hip-hop, samba, salsa and merengue dancing for both fun and fitness. After observing a class, he teamed up with a childhood friend, Alberto Aghion, and Beto to produce exercise videos and sell them through infomercials. The popularity of Zumba inspired the entrepreneurs to develop training sessions for their instructor as well as the DVD and music in order to expand their business.
The driving force behind Zumba is the company’s instructor network, known as ZIN Members. Instructors work either full or part time, and many of them say being part of Zumba has transformed their lives.
Bank of America has been a part of that growth since the very beginning. In 2011, as the Hallandale, Fla.-based company strategized how to turn the 10-year Zumba craze into a global phenomenon, a meeting with bankers helped their development. The company sat down with their bankers, who listened, and helped Zumba streamline operations.
“We’re a fast-paced company, constantly investing in new resources and partnerships to grow our brand and make our instructors more successful, and Bank of America has been a great partner by making every service easy for us to implement,” said CEO Alberto Perlman. The company has since evolved into a lifestyle brand, selling clothes, shoes, music and more.
Today, Zumba is creating jobs in South Florida and certifying instructors around the world. Fifteen million people take classes in 200,000 locations in 180 countries, and the company continues to grow – with help from Bank of America. “Working with Bank of America has afforded us the luxury of true transparency and trust with our banking partner, and that’s not easy to find today,” said Perlman.