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Blood pressure readings taken at work can help in recruiting new members, while corporate clubs can have a strong social bias
accountable,” he adds. “We have clear KPIs: the occupational the clubs become lifestyle-orientated rather than purely a
membership ratio, the active ratio – the number who work fi tness offering. We also run wellness treatments and seminars
out every week – which as a group averages 64 per cent, we – club staff might go around the offi ces checking blood
have our own benchmarking through the ISO system, plus the pressure and cholesterol – to create awareness of the gym.”
income, budget and targets, so each manager can take pride in
their performance and build it up. weathering the recession
“We aim to promote from within to create a strong company In 2005, concerned that all the company’s interests were in
culture and we organise our clubs so that everyone multi- the corporate sector, Brame diversifi ed into education – the
tasks – we don’t have separate receptionists and instructors, company now has around a dozen contracts, which have all been
for example. They do inductions, they do classes and they won by referral. “We’ve built it up slowly as a side division so
get involved with everything. This makes their jobs more we don’t have all our eggs in one basket, but we’ve never actually
interesting, which means we don’t tend to lose them.” marketed ourselves into that sector,” says Brame.
Bladerunner’s effectiveness is reflected in the fact that the Bladerunner adds value for schools that fi nd facilities costly to
company only loses 3.5 per cent of members a year and has an run, and that had previously kept them empty in the evenings and
average take-up of 40 per cent. Making members feel at weekends, by opening them to the public to generate revenue.
important is fundamental: “Once we get a gym open, we don’t To Brame’s relief, the recession hasn’t had a negative impact
lose members,” says Brame. “We look after them. The ratio of on the business and, in 2009, Bladerunner won 14 new contracts,
instructors to members is 1:200, so they get personalised including the tender for the FA’s new corporate gym at Wembley
treatment similar to that from a personal trainer. Stadium (see p76). “It’s been very exciting and is going very well,”
“We pride ourselves on attracting people who wouldn’t says Brame. “I think it’s a question of time and the profi le we’ve
normally go to a gym,” he continues. “Our standard induction got for ourselves now. People know we’re around.”
programme, Fit4You, includes 45 minutes spent on a lifestyle
assessment, which not only covers exercise habits, but also MoD contract
eating and drinking habits and objective setting. This information Bladerunner secured the contract to run the sport, health and
is used as a basis for setting a programme. Members then get fitness facilities which opened at Catterick Garrison in North
introduced to an instructor who acts as their mentor.” Yorkshire in July 2009. “It’s a very similar set-up to our
Making corporate clubs more than just a place to work out commercial clubs, where the employees – in this case the army
and dispelling notions of them being intimidating is another – use it in core hours and the public come in and use it
area the company focuses on. “We work hard at the social afterwards,” says Brame. “I think we won the contract from
programmes,” says Brame. “We see the clubs as a hub within the MoD because we understand about managing members and
the company with a real buzz. Members can bring friends to working closely with clients to balance their needs.”
gatherings, whether it’s a game of bowling or a quiz night, so The MoD has used Catterick as a pilot for a new-style
base, in part by investing heavily in sport and
fi tness facilities to attract and retain recruits
and to improve quality of life for army
The company doesn’t
families and serving soldiers.
In addition to the 40-station gym, other
pay ground rent, business
facilities include a studio, a six-court sports
hall, a library and three pools, which the army
rates or utilities for the uses every weekday between nine and fi ve, with
majority of its contracts
public access during the lunch break and after
hours. There are plans to develop community
use, with children’s lessons, tournaments in the
sports hall and use by local groups.
32 Read Health Club Management online february 2010 © cybertrek 2010
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