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MXM: Changing the Narrative Through Visits to Virus Data


MXM, Medallia’s Partner to the Fitness Industry, decided to start collecting Visits to Virus data because they wanted to change the narrative surrounding the reopening of health club across the U.S. 

They also wanted to support the fitness industry’s efforts to influence policymakers. At the very least, they wanted policymakers, health professionals, journalists and anyone else to be curious enough to look closer at the COVID-related data and to scrutinize the decision to close health and fitness clubs.

“We are collecting data on the total number of check-ins and total known cases of COVID-19 called in — not necessarily contracted at the club — since you re-opened, or since April 1 if your club never closed,” said Blair McHaney, the CEO of MXM.

MXM defines a “case” as when clubs identify that a member, guest or staff member have been in the facility and were determined to have COVID-19. The club may determine the members or staff member are ill via:

  • A check-in procedure, such as temperature check.
  • The member or staff member self-reported themselves as contracting COVID-19.
  • The CDC or Department of Health called the club to report that someone tested positive and was at the club.

“We closed out the submission of data on Friday, August 7, so marketing teams, PR teams and anyone else could begin to use the data with static numbers in order to build a voice for the whole industry,” said McHaney. “The way [clubs] can participate is by widely distributing the stories and infographics that will come from the use of the data.”

Taking into consideration the Visits to Virus data, shutdown and reopening survey data, and customer experience data, MXM has identified a number of trends clubs should be aware of. The three biggest are the number of members on freeze, the incredible experience members seem to be having as they come back into the clubs, and the absence of outbreaks of COVID-19 originating in clubs.

“These three trends triangulate nicely to what we are calling a thaw strategy,” said McHaney. “We think it is essential to be collecting the voice of member at this time, and to transition from messaging about all the things a club has done to make members safe, to using the comments from your own customers in your messaging to those on freeze in order to humanize those changes, and create trust with those members sitting on the sidelines.”

According to McHaney, the most important high-frequency data clubs can collect right now is member feedback. This year is not likely to be one of great profits for any health club. However, 2020 should be a year of focusing intensely on the member experience in order to build relationships with active members, members on freeze and your community.

“Those that can build the strongest relationships will be poised to take advantage of the new world on the other side of this mess,” said McHaney. “MXM is the ideal partner from both a technology standpoint and a strategy and consulting standpoint.”

Overall, the Visits to Virus data seeks to prove that fitness clubs are healthy and safe to use, and not the main drivers of community transmission of COVID-19. Through this data, MXM is changing the narrative for the fitness industry in a positive direction.

The most recent data shows that out of 49.4 million visits to over 2,877 locations, 1,155 cases of COVID-19 have been called in. This makes a 42,731 to 1 Visits to Virus ration and a .002% occurrence rate of COVID-19 in health clubs.

Taylor Brown

Taylor Brown is the assistant editor for Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at taylor@peakemedia.com

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