John Baudhuin MBA ’90 has been a cyclist his whole life. But he found it increasingly difficult to train while pursuing a master’s degree from Loyola Marymount University at night and working as an accountant during the day. So, he teamed up with a professional cyclist to create an indoor bike and time-efficient fitness programs to help cyclists train. The idea was a hit, and led Baudhuin to start Mad Dogg Athletics, a health and fitness company, in 1994.
Today, Mad Dogg Athletics has reached millions of cycling enthusiasts in more than 80 countries through a network of over 35,000 facilities. The company has trained more than 175,000 instructors and manufactures its patented line of Spinner bikes, Pilates and functional training equipment, Resist-A-Ball stability balls, fitness DVDs and a complete line of Spinning-branded apparel and accessories. That success led Baudhuin to be inducted into the College of Business Administration’s Entrepreneur Alumni Wall of Honor at a ceremony April 27.
“It is humbling and a great honor to be inducted into the Wall of Honor from my alma mater,” said Baudhuin. “I am a big believer in education, and I still implement many of the concepts I learned while studying at LMU in my business today.”
While Mad Dogg Athletics has had tremendous success, Baudhuin said it’s the network of cyclists and their positive attitudes that has inspired him the most. “My most proud achievement is the development of a community of cyclists who love spinning, and who want to get fit and maintain a healthy lifestyle,” said Baudhuin. “Building something that has touched so many people around the world is incredibly rewarding.”
Social responsibility is a key component in Mad Dogg Athletics’ business model. The company has hosted and participated in events for charity such as Spinning Nation and Chain Reaction. Also, Mad Dogg Athletics donated a studio to the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Hospital.
“We are more than a business that just sells a concept, bike or fitness program. There is an entire group of people who not only care about fitness and health but also the communities they live in,” Baudhuin said.
Baudhuin credits LMU with providing him the critical thinking skills necessary to run a company and manage its finances. “My experience at LMU taught me how to learn, more than anything else. I learned how to be analytical and to see more than one side of a situation,” Baudhuin said.
As for inspiring entrepreneurs, Baudhuin offered this advice: “In the end, you realize that you learn as much from the mistakes as from having the right answers,” Baudhuin said. “And honesty and integrity always served me well.”