The Marketing Advantage
Virtually all clubs have equipment, locker rooms and group exercise. One thing not all clubs have is a pool. As a result, if you have one, it can be used to differentiate your club from others in your local market.
“The pools are a favorite amenity for many of our members,” said Mary Frank, the sales and marketing manager for Cincinnati Sports Club in Cincinnati, Ohio. In addition to boasting an indoor pool used for lap swimming and aquatic group exercise, Cincinnati Sports Club has an outdoor pool used for swim lessons, swim meets, parties and private events.
“The combination of both an indoor and outdoor pool makes the club a hot spot for Cincinnatians that love to live active lifestyles all year,” said Frank.
According to Frank, the outdoor pool in particular provides for unique marketing leverage in warmer months. “Families really enjoy our summer membership opportunities,” she said. “With kids busy during the school year, the summertime is when our families connect with each other and have fun together.”
Frank explained the club has created its own version of an active outdoor amusement park in the pool area that is particularly attractive to members with kids. “In addition to the water amenities, the outdoor space offers an ‘Imagination Playground,’ a giant chess set, a large open grass area for field games, Friday night family entertainment and a kid’s play structure,” said Frank.
However, both the indoor and outdoor pools are attractive. “Swimming is an activity you can enjoy for a lifetime, and we have a dedicated group of year-round lap swimmers that take advantage of having an indoor and outdoor pool at their disposal,” said Frank.
Cincinnati Sports Club’s pools are a draw for those with specific fitness needs as well. “Aging members often have more therapeutic needs, which include walking, exercise classes, arthritis treatment and miscellaneous rehabilitation,” explained Frank. “The indoor pool has a maximum depth of four feet, and the temperature is kept at a comfortable standard based on the season, so it’s easily accessible for people of all abilities.”
When it comes to marketing, Frank explained the club uses pictures to tell a fun, different story about life at Cincinnati Sports Club. And the pools are a component of that. “We focus on enriching life experiences and human-interest stories with our public relations campaigns, so we’ve helped local TV stations and newspapers share how water therapy and swimming helps kids with special needs and adults with injury rehabilitation programs,” she said. “We received quite a bit of coverage when the club first converted to the indoor saline pool system.”
Although the pools are only one aspect of Cincinnati Sports Club, they’ve become a vital one.