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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

Sponsored: Hussle: New normal, new opportunity

Hussle is offering operators the opportunity to take part in a pilot for its new MAP service to enable them to secure new members without upfront costs. Hussle’s Jamie Owens tells us more about the insights that drove this initiative

Published in Health Club Management 2020 issue 9
'We’re creating a
new joiner channel
for gyms' - Jamie Owens / PHOTO: hussle
'We’re creating a new joiner channel for gyms' - Jamie Owens / PHOTO: hussle
We’re identifying and upselling customers who would benefit from a direct gym membership, so we can help the sector grow again

Jamie Owens has been busy this summer and with a unique perspective on the market, having worked for operators such as Nuffield Health and Virgin Active prior to his appointment as head of sales at Hussle, he’s experienced the aggregation model from both sides. 

His brief on joining the company last year was to bring an operator mindset to the services provided and better align them to the needs of the industry.

The pandemic has turned the fitness industry on its head and Owens has spent the last few months hosting a series of virtual roundtables with gym operators from across the sector to get their views on what happens next.

With the insights gained from these conversations, he’s recently released a three-part blog series discussing the impact of lockdown on operator revenues and pioneered a new service from Hussle called MAP. More on that later.

The need to shift strategies
“Most operators I’ve spoken to hit their revised membership targets by the second week of August,” he says, “but the general consensus is that this pent-up demand is comparable to the mini-bubble being reported in the housing market.

“The sustainability of this demand is the bigger challenge for operators, with September results proving to be sobering for many. Operators I’ve spoken to are reporting losses of as many as 40 per cent of pre-lockdown members.”

Owens’ discussions reflect a consistent experience from fitness facilities across the sector. Everyone’s experiencing a chunk of members who have not yet renewed or returned.

As well as cancellations, operators are also reporting a big shift in usage patterns. While a proportion of customers have moved towards digital home workouts, there’s also a difference when it comes to which clubs are getting used and when they’re busy.

“Operators I’ve spoken to during our roundtables have reported that although overall member usage is creeping up to around 60 per cent of visits, compared to last year, this is dominated by suburban and residential sites,” says Owens. “City centre locations are being impacted the most, with usage down to as little as 5 per cent compared to pre-lockdown.

“If this becomes a longer-term trend, some operators will find their estate is now in the wrong location to attract members,” he says. “I suspect we’ll see increased demand for property deals for new gyms, especially in the budget sector, to reflect this shift towards residential locations.”

The focus now is on how to grow again, says Owens: “The real challenge is knowing how much to commit to marketing while customer demand remains relatively unknown. One operator we spoke to reported that a Facebook campaign that would previously have generated around 20 new members per club, only attracted one per club in August. At that level, the investment in that marketing channel is uneconomic.”

Handing over high value members
“It remains a turbulent and unpredictable time to be trading, says Owens. “Fitness facilities are going to need new strategies to regain momentum.

“One thing we can agree on is that the fitness industry is a flexible and resilient sector. The overall sentiment from the operators I’ve spoken with is that they’re willing to try new solutions even if that means changing the way they think about member acquisition.”

This brings us back to the Membership Acquisition Programme (MAP) that Owens has pioneered to support operators and help them rebuild their core membership revenue stream.  

MAP from Hussle is an algorithm-driven service which segments customers using the Hussle marketplace and targets them with offers for an operator’s membership options.  

The idea for the service came from findings produced by Aggregation in Fitness, the independently-audited Whitepaper from Fusion Analytics which was published in late 2019.   

“The Whitepaper revealed two standout things about gym membership that – as a former head of membership sales – really got my attention,” says Owens.

“Firstly, 71 per cent of Hussle customers used a gym they wouldn’t otherwise have visited. These customers offer a new revenue stream that operators can access, without risking their own marketing money, as that cost and risk falls on Hussle.

“Secondly, 26 per cent of Hussle customers go on to join a gym directly. To date this has occurred completely organically, but in a trading environment where operators need to rebuild their membership base, Hussle can help significantly.

“We’re launching MAP on a pilot basis with selected operators and we believe that with the right collaboration, we can continue to provide valuable revenue for customers who require multi-club access, as well as identifying and upselling customers who would benefit more from a direct gym membership, so we help the sector grow again.”

• If you’re interested in your business participating in the MAP pilot, please contact: [email protected]

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
The new Hussle MAP service has been designed to support operators in rebuilding their membership base / PHOTO: hussle
The new Hussle MAP service has been designed to support operators in rebuilding their membership base / PHOTO: hussle
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2020/507932_836193.jpg
Hussle is offering operators the opportunity to take part in a pilot for its new MAP service to enable them to secure new members without upfront costs.
Hussle, Hussle MAP, Jamie Owens,fitness, gym, membership, joining
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To the relief of the sector, the UK government confirmed yesterday (23 November) that gyms, ...
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The University of Stirling has opened its new £20m sports and fitness centre. The building, ...
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With January now close on the horizon your thoughts will be firmly focused on sales campaigns to attract new members through your doors in the new year rush.
Opinion: Sealing the Leaky Bucket – 7 Research-Based Tips for Retaining New Members in January 2021
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Converting members in January has never been so simple with Volution’s new Lead Generation tool
Volution – the leading data solutions specialist for the fitness industry – has launched a Lead Generation tool that enables operators to harness the power of mobile technology and cloud-based infrastructure to streamline sales.
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Featured supplier: Active IQ launches End-point Assessor qualification
Active IQ has launched its Level 3 Award in Understanding the Development and Delivery of End-point Assessment to meet the increasing demands for skilled assessors in this emerging area.
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Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
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Property & Tenders
11 - 25 Union St, London SE1 1SD
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Property & Tenders
Waltham Abbey, Essex
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Property & Tenders
Diary dates
27-28 Nov 2020
Athena, Leicester, United Kingdom
Diary dates
03-03 Dec 2020
Virtual,
Diary dates
09 Dec 2020
Raffles City Convention Centre, Singapore, Singapore
Diary dates
02-04 Feb 2021
Ericsson Exhibition Hall, Ricoh Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
23-26 Feb 2021
IFEMA, Madrid, Spain
Diary dates
03-04 Mar 2021
NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
03-06 Jun 2021
Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
16-17 Jun 2021
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates

features

Sponsored: Hussle: New normal, new opportunity

Hussle is offering operators the opportunity to take part in a pilot for its new MAP service to enable them to secure new members without upfront costs. Hussle’s Jamie Owens tells us more about the insights that drove this initiative

Published in Health Club Management 2020 issue 9
'We’re creating a
new joiner channel
for gyms' - Jamie Owens / PHOTO: hussle
'We’re creating a new joiner channel for gyms' - Jamie Owens / PHOTO: hussle
We’re identifying and upselling customers who would benefit from a direct gym membership, so we can help the sector grow again

Jamie Owens has been busy this summer and with a unique perspective on the market, having worked for operators such as Nuffield Health and Virgin Active prior to his appointment as head of sales at Hussle, he’s experienced the aggregation model from both sides. 

His brief on joining the company last year was to bring an operator mindset to the services provided and better align them to the needs of the industry.

The pandemic has turned the fitness industry on its head and Owens has spent the last few months hosting a series of virtual roundtables with gym operators from across the sector to get their views on what happens next.

With the insights gained from these conversations, he’s recently released a three-part blog series discussing the impact of lockdown on operator revenues and pioneered a new service from Hussle called MAP. More on that later.

The need to shift strategies
“Most operators I’ve spoken to hit their revised membership targets by the second week of August,” he says, “but the general consensus is that this pent-up demand is comparable to the mini-bubble being reported in the housing market.

“The sustainability of this demand is the bigger challenge for operators, with September results proving to be sobering for many. Operators I’ve spoken to are reporting losses of as many as 40 per cent of pre-lockdown members.”

Owens’ discussions reflect a consistent experience from fitness facilities across the sector. Everyone’s experiencing a chunk of members who have not yet renewed or returned.

As well as cancellations, operators are also reporting a big shift in usage patterns. While a proportion of customers have moved towards digital home workouts, there’s also a difference when it comes to which clubs are getting used and when they’re busy.

“Operators I’ve spoken to during our roundtables have reported that although overall member usage is creeping up to around 60 per cent of visits, compared to last year, this is dominated by suburban and residential sites,” says Owens. “City centre locations are being impacted the most, with usage down to as little as 5 per cent compared to pre-lockdown.

“If this becomes a longer-term trend, some operators will find their estate is now in the wrong location to attract members,” he says. “I suspect we’ll see increased demand for property deals for new gyms, especially in the budget sector, to reflect this shift towards residential locations.”

The focus now is on how to grow again, says Owens: “The real challenge is knowing how much to commit to marketing while customer demand remains relatively unknown. One operator we spoke to reported that a Facebook campaign that would previously have generated around 20 new members per club, only attracted one per club in August. At that level, the investment in that marketing channel is uneconomic.”

Handing over high value members
“It remains a turbulent and unpredictable time to be trading, says Owens. “Fitness facilities are going to need new strategies to regain momentum.

“One thing we can agree on is that the fitness industry is a flexible and resilient sector. The overall sentiment from the operators I’ve spoken with is that they’re willing to try new solutions even if that means changing the way they think about member acquisition.”

This brings us back to the Membership Acquisition Programme (MAP) that Owens has pioneered to support operators and help them rebuild their core membership revenue stream.  

MAP from Hussle is an algorithm-driven service which segments customers using the Hussle marketplace and targets them with offers for an operator’s membership options.  

The idea for the service came from findings produced by Aggregation in Fitness, the independently-audited Whitepaper from Fusion Analytics which was published in late 2019.   

“The Whitepaper revealed two standout things about gym membership that – as a former head of membership sales – really got my attention,” says Owens.

“Firstly, 71 per cent of Hussle customers used a gym they wouldn’t otherwise have visited. These customers offer a new revenue stream that operators can access, without risking their own marketing money, as that cost and risk falls on Hussle.

“Secondly, 26 per cent of Hussle customers go on to join a gym directly. To date this has occurred completely organically, but in a trading environment where operators need to rebuild their membership base, Hussle can help significantly.

“We’re launching MAP on a pilot basis with selected operators and we believe that with the right collaboration, we can continue to provide valuable revenue for customers who require multi-club access, as well as identifying and upselling customers who would benefit more from a direct gym membership, so we help the sector grow again.”

• If you’re interested in your business participating in the MAP pilot, please contact: [email protected]

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
The new Hussle MAP service has been designed to support operators in rebuilding their membership base / PHOTO: hussle
The new Hussle MAP service has been designed to support operators in rebuilding their membership base / PHOTO: hussle
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2020/507932_836193.jpg
Hussle is offering operators the opportunity to take part in a pilot for its new MAP service to enable them to secure new members without upfront costs.
Hussle, Hussle MAP, Jamie Owens,fitness, gym, membership, joining
Latest News
Up to 100k people will benefit from the free gym and physical activity sessions, thanks ...
Latest News
To the relief of the sector, the UK government confirmed yesterday (23 November) that gyms, ...
Latest News
Closing gyms and leisure facilities during any possible future lockdown would be "unthinkable", according to ...
Latest News
The University of Stirling has opened its new £20m sports and fitness centre. The building, ...
Latest News
Gyms are right near the bottom of the list in terms of places people have ...
Latest News
A new, Europe-wide initiative will look to chart the level of risk of COVID-19 infection ...
Latest News
UK Parliament will debate COVID-19 restrictions on gyms and leisure centres on Monday 23 November, ...
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Opinion
promotion
With January now close on the horizon your thoughts will be firmly focused on sales campaigns to attract new members through your doors in the new year rush.
Opinion: Sealing the Leaky Bucket – 7 Research-Based Tips for Retaining New Members in January 2021
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Converting members in January has never been so simple with Volution’s new Lead Generation tool
Volution – the leading data solutions specialist for the fitness industry – has launched a Lead Generation tool that enables operators to harness the power of mobile technology and cloud-based infrastructure to streamline sales.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Active IQ launches End-point Assessor qualification
Active IQ has launched its Level 3 Award in Understanding the Development and Delivery of End-point Assessment to meet the increasing demands for skilled assessors in this emerging area.
Company profiles
Company profile: Physical Company Ltd
Physical Company provides specialist fitness solutions. This includes equipment, flooring, gym design, programming and training ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Safe Space Lockers
Safe Space have over 25 years of experience in the UK leisure and fitness industry, ...
Supplier Showcases
Supplier showcase - Powering through
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Direct debit solutions
Harlands Group: Direct debit solutions
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Design consultants
Zynk Design Consultants: Design consultants
Management software
fibodo Limited: Management software
Software
Volution.fit: Software
Whole body cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Whole body cryotherapy
Member feedback software
AskNicely: Member feedback software
Gym flooring
REGUPOL/Berleburger Schaumstoffwerk (BSW): Gym flooring
Property & Tenders
11 - 25 Union St, London SE1 1SD
Bankside Open Spaces Trust
Property & Tenders
Waltham Abbey, Essex
Lee Valley Regional Park Authority
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
27-28 Nov 2020
Athena, Leicester, United Kingdom
Diary dates
03-03 Dec 2020
Virtual,
Diary dates
09 Dec 2020
Raffles City Convention Centre, Singapore, Singapore
Diary dates
02-04 Feb 2021
Ericsson Exhibition Hall, Ricoh Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
23-26 Feb 2021
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Diary dates
03-04 Mar 2021
NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
03-06 Jun 2021
Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
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ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
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