In addition to being known for its innovative fitness technology, Technogym has also made an impact in the fitness world with programs like its Let's Move for a Better World campaign. But that all started with a man who wanted to be a fashion designer. 

Nerio Alessandri, Technogym’s founder and CEO, was recently profiled in a story on 60 Minutes Sports. The 13-minute segment, titled ‘Ferrari of Fitness,’ detailed Alessandri’s vision of wellness, how his company rose to prominence in the field, and his ambitions for a healthier future worldwide.

Alessandri’s original aspiration was to become a fashion designer, but instead of working for Armani, he began one of the leading health and wellness companies in the world.

“Why not go from fashion designer to fitness designer?” Alessandri says in the interview.

Technogym began in Alessandri’s garage, where he designed and built his first piece of fitness equipment, a hack squat machine, in 1983. From there, he toured gyms in the U.S. to learn more about bodybuilding and fitness culture, where he saw an opportunity to get in on what would become a booming industry.

Since then, Alessandri’s company has gone global; 40 million people in 100 countries use Technogym equipment daily, according to the segment. Technogym has become the official supplier of fitness equipment at the Olympics, and their equipment can be found in high-end gyms and hotels around the world.

The company’s headquarters in Cesena, Italy, called the Technogym Village, employs 500 factory workers who assemble each piece of equipment by hand, as well as 500 office staff. The company encourages healthy habits among its employees, outfitting its company gym with its own high-end equipment, and encouraging them to move more throughout the day by taking stairs instead of elevators, and sit on exercise balls during meetings.

“The best wellness evangelist is our employee,” Alessandri says in the segment.

And that plays into Alessandri’s vision of a healthier world. In addition to worldwide programs, like Let’s Move for a Better World, he hopes to turn his home area into the world’s first “Wellness Valley.” By encouraging healthy activity among residents — not just through exercising at a gym, but through other programs, like a walking school bus for children and organized walks and bike rides — Alessandri and Technogym are having an impact.

“We collect data, and we measured that people are 10 percent more active than the Italian average,” Alessandri says.

You can check out the full 60 Minutes Sports segment through your Showtime Anytime subscription here.

Jason Scott is Online Managing Editor of Athletic Business.