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Recap: Opportunities & Challenges in Corporate Fitness

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On September 23, IHRSA, REX Roundtables and Club Solutions Magazine presented the 25th installment of a weekly virtual roundtable series aimed at helping clubs navigate through the COVID-19 crisis.

Panelists included Megan Hughey, MS, RDN, LDN, the senior manager of Programs of Walton Life Fitness Center; Matthew Parrott, Ph.D., the vice president of business development of Corporate Fitness Works; Bill McBride, the co-founder, president and CEO of Active Wellness; and Blair McHaney, the CEO of MXM and owner of WORX health clubs. The discussion was led and moderated by Brent Darden, the interim president and CEO of IHRSA, and chair of REX Roundtables.

The following is a summary of top takeaways from the discussion, centered on the challenges and opportunities in corporate fitness, including virtual fitness opportunities in this space:

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE DISCUSSION

  • Similar to your regular members, corporate wellness clients and employees are also seeking virtual fitness opportunities and ways to stay healthy throughout the pandemic.
  • In corporate fitness, it’s important to focus on the four Cs: Coaching, Classes, Challenge and Community.
  • Individual coaching on Zoom is a great revenue-generating option for corporate wellness.
  • With any virtual offering, be sure to keep your identity.
  • The best thing for corporate fitness is one-on-one training to not only get members inside the club, but to get them in a normal routine.
  • Virtual fitness can be used as a complementary offering.
  • Apple’s virtual fitness launch shows the market is hungry for virtual fitness. However, it isn’t a threat; people respond better to virtual when they know their instructors.
  • When offering virtual fitness to your corporate clients, make sure you are clear on who owns IP and data.
    • Also, who has access to it? Corporations want to know you are keeping their employee’s information safe.
  • Live classes have been more popular than recorded content, because it gives the participant accountability and interaction.
  • Branding your content as “virtual” can have a negative context with members. Consider calling it remote fitness.
  • If you aren’t looking for new corporate partners now, you could fall behind competitors.
  • However, it should be a priority to focus on pre-existing corporate relationships before searching for new ones.
  • Education is important during COVID-19. Provide your content to businesses to get people moving.
  • Content has to be king. The content has to be unique to the company you are trying to connect with. Create programs that will improve their work.
    • Example: If you are partnering with an apple farm, have fitness programs that make them better apple pickers.
  • Corporations who are working both remotely and in the office can create an opportunity to create onsite fitness centers due to unused space.
  • In order to secure corporate fitness partners, you have to relationship build. Interact with business leaders in hopes they will sole source to you. Relationships put you in a better spot.
  • Read about B2B sales to help you convince corporations to partner with you.
  • Encourage physical fitness, it’s the best medicine for mental wellness.
  • Create challenges to keep people engage. For example, have clients create a food, family, fitness or money-oriented goal to focus on for 21 days.
  • Think about the mind as much as you think about the body in your offerings.
  • Do not discount memberships just because people have jobs in your market. Create partnerships.
  • Capitated agreement – only pay for a certain percentage of employees, but offer it to all employees and adjust every quarter. This is the best-case scenario for clubs. Allows the company to fairly offer to all employees. 
  • Be creative and find ways to draw them in the club or help them change their routine.
  • Embrace change, don’t run away. Become a part of the solution. Pivot to virtual offerings.

To access the on-demand version of this webinar, here.

To access the audio-only version of this webinar, here.

UPCOMING: Don’t miss the 26th installment of our virtual roundtable series, “Successful Strategies for Shaping Your Future: Fitness Industry Image, PR and Communications,” on Wednesday, September 30 at 2 p.m. EST. Limited seats are available. Click here to reserve your spot.

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Taylor Brown

Taylor Brown is a staff writer for Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at taylor@peakemedia.com

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