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24 Hour Fitness has renewed its partnership with the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). The agreement extends the partnership through the Olympic and Paralympic Games to be held in Tokyo in 2020.
Tom Lapcevic, the executive vice president and chief marketing officer at 24 Hour Fitness, explained the company and the USOC have been working together since 2004. “It’s been a terrific relationship at every level,” he said. “And the time was up for us to talk about how we extended that partnership, which everyone was really excited to do.”
One of the innovative elements of the agreement is the U.S. Olympic Committee Certification Program developed exclusively for 24 Hour Fitness personal trainers. The USOC will create general and sport-specific courses for the fitness professionals of 24 Hour Fitness.
Lapcevic credited Victoria Hoe, the director of member marketing at 24 Hour Fitness, who has managed the relationship with the USOC for four years, with spearheading what Lapcevic called this “winning concept.”
The world recognizes Team USA and their plethora of gold, silver and bronze medals every four years, but there are Olympic hopefuls in training year-round starting at different ages scattered throughout the country.
“We were looking to take it beyond the three weeks of the Olympic games every three years and make it a much more integrated, year-round relationship,” said Hoe. “We know from our employees who have gone [to the Olympics], the high-performance staff that has gone over the years, that it’s a partnership everyone takes a lot of pride in — it’s something our employees take a lot of pride in, and our members as well.”
Lapcevic said for existing 24 Hour Fitness members, because so many of the Olympic sports carry over to recreational and scholastic athletics, the partnership brings a whole new level of expertise to working with athletes on a sports-specific basis with cutting-edge training techniques.
“It’s a massive commitment for 24 Hour Fitness, but we really believe it can heighten the experience of our members, the Olympic athletes that already train in our clubs, a lot of the scholastic athletes, and the weekend warriors who really do want to train like an Olympian — we really want to be able to take that expertise to the masses,” said Lapcevic.
24 Hour Fitness is also introducing a new app, 24GO, which provides visual workouts inside its clubs, in people’s homes, or wherever users are.
“Our top-level commitment is changing lives through fitness, so whether that’s inside our clubs or beyond the four walls of our clubs, we want to make sure we provide our members with the best possible experience of achieving their fitness objectives,” Lapcevic said.
Hoe explained the thought process behind integrating 24GO with the USOC partnership was to be able to get Olympian-inspired workouts — which had been very well received by members in the past — out to even more people and give people the access to do the workouts at home.
“We have all these great opportunities to feature Olympians as well as our Team USA certified trainers in these videos, so really the sky is the limit on how we can spread the word about those workouts,” said Hoe. “As the partnership develops over the next couple years and we continue to build out the 24GO platform with more and more content, it will continue to be an ongoing marketing communication with our members.”