GET HCM
magazine
Sign up for the FREE digital edition of HCM magazine and also get the HCM ezine and breaking news email alerts.
Not right now, thanksclose this window
Les Mills
Les Mills
Les Mills
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

Follow Health Club Management on Twitter Like Health Club Management on Facebook Join the discussion with Health Club Management on LinkedIn Follow Health Club Management on Instagram
UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Get the latest news, jobs and features in your inbox
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

Promotional feature: Say hello to HUSSLE

As aggregator PayAsUGym announces a rebrand, we talk to COO Neil Harmsworth about the move

Published in Health Club Management 2019 issue 5
Hussle founders Jamie Ward (left) and Neil Harmsworth
Hussle founders Jamie Ward (left) and Neil Harmsworth
Our research shows that 14 per cent of our customers go on to be members of the gym directly, so it’s working out really well for our gym partners

You might not be familiar with the name Hussle, but if you’re involved in the fitness industry, you’ll know the company.

Until recently, they’ve been known as PayAsUGym, the original gym fitness marketplace. Their website brings thousands of gyms from all over the UK to one place, providing operators with access to hundreds of thousands of customers who want a national reciprocal membership system.

The Hussle website is already approaching 700,000 individual members, and features thousands of the country’s best gyms. With copycat services constantly popping up across the globe, the company has decided to change its name. So it’s goodbye to PayAsUGym, and hello to Hussle.

Neil, can you explain how the decision came about?
There are a number of factors driving the rebrand. The first is that PayAsUGym doesn’t really describe what we do any more: we’re no longer just a pay-as-you-go service, so that was causing confusion.

The second thing relates to audience: the move to Hussle is designed to appeal to a millennial audience, a customer group that’s very aesthetically conscious, active on Instagram, and quite careful about the kinds of brands they use.

PayAsUGym wasn’t a premium name – it didn’t really reflect the quality of our service. Significantly it also really doesn’t represent the service our premium and mid-market operator partners provide to customers. We’re working with the best gyms in the country: our brand needed to reflect that.

What kind of people use Hussle?
We’re very much talking to the 18-35 market. They’re pretty well-known for being hard to reach: they don’t consume traditional media, they’re less trusting of advertising than previous generations, and actually at the moment, they’re not taking up traditional gym memberships. It’s why the average age of a gym member in the UK has been creeping up every year.

So how do you reach them?
This audience has really grown up with digital media. That’s where our core expertise lies: we’ve got a lot of experience in digital marketing, and we know our audience really well. So we’re helping gyms all over the UK leverage that expertise in a way that they haven’t really been able to before.

On top of this, the geographic coverage we provide through our operator network makes our service extremely appealing to commercial partners, who want to use fitness as a reward or benefit for their customers.

Traditionally, individual gym operators haven’t been able to provide the scale to function as a truly national marketing partner, which is why we haven’t seen a deal comparable to something like the Meerkat Movies campaign, which drove 4.3 million UK cinema visits last year alone.

Those people sitting in cinemas could just as easily have been visiting the gym. We want to enable this and grow the fitness market at the same time.

Why will consumers use Hussle?
Well, first and foremost, this is about convenience for an audience who are busy, with different aspects of their life constantly competing for attention. Work, family, travel, friends, chores – the list goes on.

When people are busy it can be very easy to sacrifice health and fitness and we exist to help them make life work out. Having a gym wherever they need – whether that’s at home, work, or wherever – is a key benefit. And of course, this is an audience that really values variety, so the ability to mix it up and try something new every time they work out is also hugely appealing to a millennial audience.

Service is important to them too. By letting them use the best clubs all over the country on a flexible basis, they can start to appreciate the benefits of a service-led fitness experience, rather than the no-staff budget option they might get as an alternative to a Hussle partner club.

How does it work for operators?
We’re working with 2,500 gyms all over the UK – and that’s growing all the time. We’ve got a complete mix of operators: you can find premium chains like Nuffield Health & Wellbeing and Bannatyne Health Clubs on Hussle, and you can also access public sector providers like Places for People Leisure and Everyone Active. There are hotel brands like Hilton Livingwell and Village Gym on our site, as well as thousands of the UK’s best quality independent clubs.

The reason so many operators work with us is that we help them reach new customers, specifically the 18-35, pre-family age group. With almost 700,000 registered customers – of which our data shows 92 per cent are new to the gym they visit – we already have huge reach. What’s more, 14 per cent of these customers go on to become members of the gym directly once they reach a phase of life which doesn’t require the same level of convenience that we provide. It’s always been free to become a listed fitness partner, and we typically have clubs up on the website and receiving customers within a week.

There’s been a lot of debate about fitness marketplaces over the last 12 months. What’s your view?
The fact is that consumer behaviour has changed. Brands need to be present in every sales channel the customer chooses to shop through. That’s a customer-led, macro-trend which extends far beyond fitness and is widely acknowledged by pretty much every operator I meet.

In other market sectors this approach is called omni-channel marketing – it just recognises the fact that in order to be paid by the customer you need be seen by the customer!

Fitness marketplace are simply a new way to do that in fitness, making sure your business is present in every channel the customer shops through.

What would you say to your critics about aggregators?
People that fear change are those that benefit most from the status quo. Formula One racing is a good comparison: if your car has the fastest engine and you’re winning every race then naturally, you do everything you can to stop the engine regulations changing. It’s pure self-interest to maintain competitive advantage.

Over the last ten years, budget gym chains have established market-leading positions by cannibalising the mid-market with aggressive price disruption in the 18-35 age group, and by dominating search engines online. This explains why budget gym chains continue to be the most vocal detractors of aggregators and it’s not hard to understand their motivations– they don’t want things to change!

However, the mid and premium markets are now fighting back by using aggregators like Hussle to regain market share from budget gyms. They’re using services like ours to make sure they are exposed to a wider online audience and benefitting from the national marketing deals we can strike. The result will be that consumer narrative will soon shift away from ‘lowest cost’ to focus more on service, facilities and convenience – which can only be a positive development for any operator that wants to do more than compete on price alone.

What's the future for Hussle?
The core of our service will remain ‘gym-first’ for the foreseeable future, and we’ll continue focusing on B2C channels, rather than the highly contested corporate membership market. In terms of geography, our focus remains on the UK, but we have our eye on a number of other territories for when the time's right.

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
The Hussle app makes it easy for consumers to enjoy their choice of gym access
The Hussle app makes it easy for consumers to enjoy their choice of gym access
PayAsUGym has become Hussle in a major rebrand
PayAsUGym has become Hussle in a major rebrand
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/imagesX/471714_798951.jpg
As aggregator PayAsUGym announces a rebrand, we talk to COO Neil Harmsworth about the move
Jamie Ward, Founder, Hussle Neil Harmsworth, Founder, Hussle,Neil Harmsworth, Jamie Ward, PayAsUGym, Hussle,
HCM magazine
This was a year when research helped transformed the gym sector into a serious political force. Two pieces of work stand out in terms of timely impact
HCM magazine
How Virtuagym and Thebodycontent created an ecosystem of fitness within a small community
HCM magazine
High quality user experience and good value for the operator. This is the winning formula behind an expanding Physical Company product range, says James Anderson
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
Technogym introduced live and on-demand functionality to Mywellness in July. Here we find out more about operators who have adopted this solution
HCM Magazine
Letters
Power Plate UK's Davide Ferreira and Stuart Stokes from ReferAll write to HCM
HCM Magazine
Active ageing
With many older people in crisis due to the pandemic, ukactive’s head of health and wellbeing development, Kenny Butler, explains why the organisation is launching an active ageing consultation and how you can get involved
HCM Magazine
Supplier showcase
Bulmershe Leisure Centre, run by Places Leisure, is providing its community with state-of-the-art fitness machines from Octane Fitness
HCM Magazine
Research
Regular sessions of new-generation yoga can help tackle the lockdown blues, increase sleep quality and boost mental health
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
Andy Hall, COO of data and tech solutions brand, Volution, looks at the trends we can expect to see emerging in the global fitness market in 2021
HCM Magazine
News report
A new study from the Global Wellness Institute highlights the scope of the $121bn mental wellness market, as Katie Barnes and Megan Whitby report
HCM Magazine
Latest News
The failure to tackle the UK's obesity crisis is down to successive governments being guilty ...
Latest News
Les Mills has launched a new digital content solution to support health and fitness operators ...
Latest News
Gymbox has entered the hospitality space with the signing of a deal to deliver in-room ...
Latest News
Nuffield Health has launched a series of free, online classes focused on emotional wellbeing. The ...
Latest News
HCM editor, Liz Terry, has launched a Parliamentary Petition calling for gyms to be in ...
Latest News
Resistance training is just as beneficial for men and women over the age of 50, ...
Latest News
Fitness, sport and leisure sector professionals who have continued to deliver services to their communities ...
Latest News
A national survey has launched to chart the mental health of the fitness and physical ...
FREE WEBINAR
promotion
This free webinar on 26 January will see our panellists reflect on the changes to work in 2020, and their priorities for 2021.
Opinion: 2021 is the year to prioritise global culture
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Funxtion collaborates with global experts on white paper exploring digital in the future of fitness
In collaboration with ukactive, FunXtion has driven a global discussion with some of the world’s leading fitness operators and influencers, exploring how digitalisation will influence the delivery of fitness services and products moving forwards.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: What does a socially distanced leisure centre and health club look like?
The world has had to get used to social distancing in 2020 and any business operating in the leisure and hospitality sectors has had to face this challenge more than most.
Company profiles
Company profile: IONTO Health & Beauty GmbH
IONTO-COMED offers a wide range of treatment beds offering maximum flexibility and the symbiosis of ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Incorpore Limited
Incorpore Ltd is a leading fitness and wellness company which has been successfully delivering solutions ...
Supplier Showcases
Supplier showcase - Bouncing back
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Lockers/interior design
Safe Space Lockers Ltd: Lockers/interior design
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Software
Volution.fit: Software
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Uniforms
Service Sport: Uniforms
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
Fitness equipment
TRX Training: Fitness equipment
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
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
21-24 Sep 2021
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates

features

Promotional feature: Say hello to HUSSLE

As aggregator PayAsUGym announces a rebrand, we talk to COO Neil Harmsworth about the move

Published in Health Club Management 2019 issue 5
Hussle founders Jamie Ward (left) and Neil Harmsworth
Hussle founders Jamie Ward (left) and Neil Harmsworth
Our research shows that 14 per cent of our customers go on to be members of the gym directly, so it’s working out really well for our gym partners

You might not be familiar with the name Hussle, but if you’re involved in the fitness industry, you’ll know the company.

Until recently, they’ve been known as PayAsUGym, the original gym fitness marketplace. Their website brings thousands of gyms from all over the UK to one place, providing operators with access to hundreds of thousands of customers who want a national reciprocal membership system.

The Hussle website is already approaching 700,000 individual members, and features thousands of the country’s best gyms. With copycat services constantly popping up across the globe, the company has decided to change its name. So it’s goodbye to PayAsUGym, and hello to Hussle.

Neil, can you explain how the decision came about?
There are a number of factors driving the rebrand. The first is that PayAsUGym doesn’t really describe what we do any more: we’re no longer just a pay-as-you-go service, so that was causing confusion.

The second thing relates to audience: the move to Hussle is designed to appeal to a millennial audience, a customer group that’s very aesthetically conscious, active on Instagram, and quite careful about the kinds of brands they use.

PayAsUGym wasn’t a premium name – it didn’t really reflect the quality of our service. Significantly it also really doesn’t represent the service our premium and mid-market operator partners provide to customers. We’re working with the best gyms in the country: our brand needed to reflect that.

What kind of people use Hussle?
We’re very much talking to the 18-35 market. They’re pretty well-known for being hard to reach: they don’t consume traditional media, they’re less trusting of advertising than previous generations, and actually at the moment, they’re not taking up traditional gym memberships. It’s why the average age of a gym member in the UK has been creeping up every year.

So how do you reach them?
This audience has really grown up with digital media. That’s where our core expertise lies: we’ve got a lot of experience in digital marketing, and we know our audience really well. So we’re helping gyms all over the UK leverage that expertise in a way that they haven’t really been able to before.

On top of this, the geographic coverage we provide through our operator network makes our service extremely appealing to commercial partners, who want to use fitness as a reward or benefit for their customers.

Traditionally, individual gym operators haven’t been able to provide the scale to function as a truly national marketing partner, which is why we haven’t seen a deal comparable to something like the Meerkat Movies campaign, which drove 4.3 million UK cinema visits last year alone.

Those people sitting in cinemas could just as easily have been visiting the gym. We want to enable this and grow the fitness market at the same time.

Why will consumers use Hussle?
Well, first and foremost, this is about convenience for an audience who are busy, with different aspects of their life constantly competing for attention. Work, family, travel, friends, chores – the list goes on.

When people are busy it can be very easy to sacrifice health and fitness and we exist to help them make life work out. Having a gym wherever they need – whether that’s at home, work, or wherever – is a key benefit. And of course, this is an audience that really values variety, so the ability to mix it up and try something new every time they work out is also hugely appealing to a millennial audience.

Service is important to them too. By letting them use the best clubs all over the country on a flexible basis, they can start to appreciate the benefits of a service-led fitness experience, rather than the no-staff budget option they might get as an alternative to a Hussle partner club.

How does it work for operators?
We’re working with 2,500 gyms all over the UK – and that’s growing all the time. We’ve got a complete mix of operators: you can find premium chains like Nuffield Health & Wellbeing and Bannatyne Health Clubs on Hussle, and you can also access public sector providers like Places for People Leisure and Everyone Active. There are hotel brands like Hilton Livingwell and Village Gym on our site, as well as thousands of the UK’s best quality independent clubs.

The reason so many operators work with us is that we help them reach new customers, specifically the 18-35, pre-family age group. With almost 700,000 registered customers – of which our data shows 92 per cent are new to the gym they visit – we already have huge reach. What’s more, 14 per cent of these customers go on to become members of the gym directly once they reach a phase of life which doesn’t require the same level of convenience that we provide. It’s always been free to become a listed fitness partner, and we typically have clubs up on the website and receiving customers within a week.

There’s been a lot of debate about fitness marketplaces over the last 12 months. What’s your view?
The fact is that consumer behaviour has changed. Brands need to be present in every sales channel the customer chooses to shop through. That’s a customer-led, macro-trend which extends far beyond fitness and is widely acknowledged by pretty much every operator I meet.

In other market sectors this approach is called omni-channel marketing – it just recognises the fact that in order to be paid by the customer you need be seen by the customer!

Fitness marketplace are simply a new way to do that in fitness, making sure your business is present in every channel the customer shops through.

What would you say to your critics about aggregators?
People that fear change are those that benefit most from the status quo. Formula One racing is a good comparison: if your car has the fastest engine and you’re winning every race then naturally, you do everything you can to stop the engine regulations changing. It’s pure self-interest to maintain competitive advantage.

Over the last ten years, budget gym chains have established market-leading positions by cannibalising the mid-market with aggressive price disruption in the 18-35 age group, and by dominating search engines online. This explains why budget gym chains continue to be the most vocal detractors of aggregators and it’s not hard to understand their motivations– they don’t want things to change!

However, the mid and premium markets are now fighting back by using aggregators like Hussle to regain market share from budget gyms. They’re using services like ours to make sure they are exposed to a wider online audience and benefitting from the national marketing deals we can strike. The result will be that consumer narrative will soon shift away from ‘lowest cost’ to focus more on service, facilities and convenience – which can only be a positive development for any operator that wants to do more than compete on price alone.

What's the future for Hussle?
The core of our service will remain ‘gym-first’ for the foreseeable future, and we’ll continue focusing on B2C channels, rather than the highly contested corporate membership market. In terms of geography, our focus remains on the UK, but we have our eye on a number of other territories for when the time's right.

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
The Hussle app makes it easy for consumers to enjoy their choice of gym access
The Hussle app makes it easy for consumers to enjoy their choice of gym access
PayAsUGym has become Hussle in a major rebrand
PayAsUGym has become Hussle in a major rebrand
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/imagesX/471714_798951.jpg
As aggregator PayAsUGym announces a rebrand, we talk to COO Neil Harmsworth about the move
Jamie Ward, Founder, Hussle Neil Harmsworth, Founder, Hussle,Neil Harmsworth, Jamie Ward, PayAsUGym, Hussle,
Latest News
The failure to tackle the UK's obesity crisis is down to successive governments being guilty ...
Latest News
Les Mills has launched a new digital content solution to support health and fitness operators ...
Latest News
Gymbox has entered the hospitality space with the signing of a deal to deliver in-room ...
Latest News
Nuffield Health has launched a series of free, online classes focused on emotional wellbeing. The ...
Latest News
HCM editor, Liz Terry, has launched a Parliamentary Petition calling for gyms to be in ...
Latest News
Resistance training is just as beneficial for men and women over the age of 50, ...
Latest News
Fitness, sport and leisure sector professionals who have continued to deliver services to their communities ...
Latest News
A national survey has launched to chart the mental health of the fitness and physical ...
Latest News
One of England's highest ranking police officers has called on government ministers to clearly define ...
Latest News
Virtuagym, a leading provider of fitness technology for gyms and trainers, has announced the launch ...
Latest News
Fitness First has launched a new free digital fitness hub, offering users a wide range ...
FREE WEBINAR
promotion
This free webinar on 26 January will see our panellists reflect on the changes to work in 2020, and their priorities for 2021.
Opinion: 2021 is the year to prioritise global culture
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Funxtion collaborates with global experts on white paper exploring digital in the future of fitness
In collaboration with ukactive, FunXtion has driven a global discussion with some of the world’s leading fitness operators and influencers, exploring how digitalisation will influence the delivery of fitness services and products moving forwards.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: What does a socially distanced leisure centre and health club look like?
The world has had to get used to social distancing in 2020 and any business operating in the leisure and hospitality sectors has had to face this challenge more than most.
Company profiles
Company profile: IONTO Health & Beauty GmbH
IONTO-COMED offers a wide range of treatment beds offering maximum flexibility and the symbiosis of ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Incorpore Limited
Incorpore Ltd is a leading fitness and wellness company which has been successfully delivering solutions ...
Supplier Showcases
Supplier showcase - Bouncing back
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Lockers/interior design
Safe Space Lockers Ltd: Lockers/interior design
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Software
Volution.fit: Software
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Uniforms
Service Sport: Uniforms
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
Fitness equipment
TRX Training: Fitness equipment
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
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
21-24 Sep 2021
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
Search news, features & products:
Find a supplier:
Les Mills
Les Mills