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CLUB: Think Fitness


Toronto, Ontario (www.thinkfitnessstudios.com) OWNER: Brent Bishop CHALLENGE NAME: TransformNation Challenge (12 weeks)


HOW IT WORKS: Think Fitness currently has 80 participants earning points, prizes and bragging rights based on their fitness improvement, body measurements improvement, participation (in classes, workouts, personal training and events) and by sharing on social media and taking part in weekly social media challenges. Participants place colour- coded stickers on a large performance tracker poster in the reception area. Prizes (e.g., personal training, class packages, and supplements and apparel from sponsors) are awarded in four categories: Overall Success, Top Performer, Greatest Loss and Most Committed.


BUDGET: $3,500 ($1,000 for kickoff and staff costs for benchmark testing/retesting; $2,000 for promotion and marketing; and $500 for administration) No charge for partici- pants to join.


MARKETING: All marketing efforts are directed internally and online, and an event coordi- nator on staff (who is also a trainer) oversees the challenge. An external designer (Rob De Franco of Mighty Creative, a previous client) manages the design aspect of the challenge, which lets staff focus their attention on motivating clients. The personal training team, which sinks a lot of time into the project, wears TransformNation-branded shirts to always keep the challenge top of mind.


BENEFITS: The biggest benefit has been increased client focus and motivation, an improve- ment in staff programming, and client retention. The challenge has also resulted in the booking of more personal training sessions and classes (to increase the points participants earn), which translates into increased revenue for the studio.


TIPS FROM THE PROS


1. Design with leveraging in mind Split participants into age and gender categories to allow people to com- pete against each other equally and to provide multiple winners. Include requirements like before/after pic- tures, body measurements, an essay or responses to a few simple questions about their success and experience. The Turbulence Training challenge essay requirement, along with before/ after photos provides amazing testi- monials for our website. Corey Arsenault, Stretch Fitness, Summerside, P.E.I.


2. Open up to the world Post all the details and weekly up- dates along with energetic photos and videos on Facebook to showcase the challenge experience and so unregis- tered members and non-members can follow or participate online. We also have our trainers post a new fitness challenge video (e.g., a timed exercise sequence) every two weeks. All this creates more buzz in the studio, and the sharing of Facebook posts leads to inquiries about our services. Brent Bishop, Think Fitness, Toronto


3. Don’t reinvent the wheel We got the idea for our challenge af- ter reading about a fitness centre in the U.S. called Big Vanilla that won an award for its 90 Day Challenge. We contacted them, and we now run a very similar challenge. Janet Cranston, Reh-Fit Centre, Winnipeg


28 Fitness Business Canada March/April 2014


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