Health & fitness clubs were a major victim of the pandemic as people did not want to participate in indoor physical activities with others. The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) estimates 25% of health and fitness facilities had closed by the end of 2021 compared to March 2020.
With the likelihood of the pandemic becoming an endemic soon, health & fitness clubs may have an opportunity for a significant comeback. Radio is where they can engage with loyal and returning members and generate new memberships.
Comparing data from five 2021 representative consumer/market surveys conducted by The Media Audit indicates those adults 18+ who have exercised 12+ times at a health club during the past year are a prime consumer audience, with an average age of 48 and an average household income of $83,300.
Unsurprisingly, younger adults over-indexed for exercising at a health club during the past year as they were generally less concerned about contracting the COVID-19 virus. Other adults under-indexed because they were much more fearful of becoming sick. Participating may have decreased because of the pandemic, but these indices will likely improve throughout 2022.
“Health & fitness clubs that survived the pandemic and new clubs will be ready to market and promote themselves again as conditions improve during spring and summer 2022,” said Nick Miller, Midwest Market Manager, The Media Audit. “Club owners may be cautious initially given their experience during the past two years, but the health & fitness audience is very active and, therefore, very mobile, so radio fits their lifestyle almost better than any other ad media.”
The second table of data from The Media Audit’s same five consumer/market surveys shows strong correlations between those exercising at a health & fitness club and participating in other physical activities.
Health & fitness clubs can partner with sporting goods stores, athletic shoe stores and other retailers in these activity verticals for possible cross-promotional campaigns. Clubs can offer a discount coupon from these other retailers for items club members purchase for their other activities while these other retailers can offer a club membership discount with a qualifying purchase.