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Entries in branding (10)


How to Make Your Gym’s Brand Work as Hard as You

This is an IHRSA featured post, brought to you by Iron Grip.

Your gym’s brand never rests. It has to keep working even after you close the doors and turn off the lights of your facility every night. In a highly competitive marketplace, you can’t miss any opportunity to build and protect your brand.

Continue reading "How to Make Your Gym’s Brand Work as Hard as You."

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Millennials Want to Hear Your Health Club’s Story—So Tell It

Millennials tend to get a bad rap for allegedly being entitled, self-centered, and glued to their phones. But, for the fitness industry, millennial consumers may be the key to untapped business growth.

Millennials Prioritize Wellness and Experiences

“Millennials and Gen Y consumers are coming into maturity and will have more income to spend than any generation before them,” said Soraya Darabi, co-founder of Zady and impact investor, at the closing IHRSA 2017 keynote, sponsored by Daxko / CSI Software. “They’re thinking more wisely about spending and they’re spending on experiences over things—good news for this crowd in particular.”

For millennials, wellness is a daily pursuit—they eat healthy as a lifestyle choice, use apps to track their fitness data, and are willing to shell out for wellness (while holding back on fashion and entertainment spending). 

“Millennials are coming into their income and want to spend every day in the clubs you create,” Darabi said. “They want to be healthy and ensure that in every moment of their day they are living their best life in terms of happiness.” 

To Attract Millennials, Tell Your Brand’s Story

Clearly, millennials are already open to the services your club provides—but winning them over takes some digital finesse.

Millennials spend about six hours a day online, Darabi said, but due to the prevalence of ad blockers, simply purchasing display ads to promote your club won’t cut it. Instead, tell your brand’s story in a way that resonates with millennial consumers.

You can leverage your club’s unique story by telling it in promotional materials, on your website, in conversation on social media, and through your brick-and-mortar club. By becoming a storyteller, your brand will stop interrupting and start having conversations with millennial consumers.  

“I’m asking you to think like an ‘intra-preneur’—as someone within your organization willing to recreate the storyline as if it’s day one,” she said. “By thinking like a brand new company, it’ll rejuvenate you to tell your story like never before in a way that resonates with customers most.”


5 Gym Branding Tips from Johnny “Cupcakes” Earle at IHRSA 2017

Johnny “Cupcakes” Earle doesn’t own a gym, but if he did he’d have a gift shop filled with products that he designed. His gym would also serve delicious, healthy food, play good music, and offer a number of events to help build a community.

(Sounds like a great business plan, if you ask us.)

Earle explained how his business, Johnny Cupcakes, grew from a "joke" to a multi-million dollar, highly exclusive t-shirt brand driven by a community of world-wide collectors in his Friday, March 10 IHRSA 2017 keynote presentation, sponsored by Matrix Fitness. In addition to sharing details about his road to business success, Earle suggested several actionable tips for health club owners. Here are our favorites: 

1. Humor and design matter. “Humor and good design are very inviting elements to a brand new customer—especially millennials. If they’re looking at a gym with the same typography as TGI Friday’s, they might not want to go to that gym.”

2. Create a seasonal marketing/promotions schedule. “Whatever type of business you have, you can always utilize the different seasons and pop culture and sports as new ways to reach out to past, present, and potential customers. You can raffle off tickets at your gym for a baseball game and have a new prize every month for existing members and new members, you can have events—there are so many things you can do.”

3. Generate word-of-mouth marketing. “Try new things to give bloggers and writers a reason to write about what you’re doing. If you’re doing the same thing you’ve been doing for years, why would someone write about your business? If you take some of your marketing budget to do new experiences, it’s advertising because people do the talking for you.”

4. Tell your story. “You don’t have to have a stuffy, simple mission statement. You can have a mission statement, but give [potential members] your history. Let someone who’s signing up for your sports club know you’re a person, too.” 

5. Never stop creating new experiences. “People thrive off new experiences—they yearn for it. Whether they’re going out to eat or to a sports club or to the movies, they’re looking for the most unique experience that they can have. Their time is valuable. Why would they support a business that’s been doing the same thing for years? If you want new results, you have to do new things.”


Westergaard Shows Fitness Industry Leaders the Importance of ‘Branding Now’

“So maybe there are similarities between branding and fitness,” said Nick Westergaard, chief brand strategist at Brand Driven Digital during the 20th Annual IHRSA Industry Leadership Council Summit, sponsored by ABC Financial.

If we delve deeper into the connections between branding and fitness, it is evident that they are both big goals for many people. However, in order to get in shape or build better brands, all of us must effectively utilize to-do lists and the resources available to us to be successful—which is often tougher than we think.

Continue reading "Westergaard Shows Fitness Industry Leaders the Importance of ‘Branding Now.’"

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This Week in the Fitness Industry: Merritt Athletic Clubs Unveils New Brand Identity 

Merritt Athletic Clubs Unveils New Brand Identity  
Merritt Clubs, formerly Merritt Athletic Clubs, marked its 40th anniversary by launching a new brand identity that better communicates the continual evolution of the company’s fitness facilities and programs. In addition to the new name, Merritt now has a new logo, messaging, website, and signage that is already installed in its nine locations. “Our mission is to change the way people think about fitness,” COO Mark Miller said in a release. “To us, fitness means strengthening your body and mind in the comfort of a place that feels like home, with a friendly staff that feels like family. Our new brand is helping to tell this story and it truly captures our purpose of being the best part of our member’s day and the spirit of our clubs.”   

TRX Named IHRSA Associate Member of the Year
We’re excited to announce that TRX, a leading producer of functional training programs, education, and equipment, is our 2017 Associate Member of the Year! "We are delighted to honor our good friends at TRX for their ongoing support of IHRSA and for their work to grow the industry,” said Joe Moore, IHRSA's president and CEO. “When Randy Hetrick launched the first Travel X, the precursor to the TRX Suspension Trainer in 2004, he foresaw what the future of functional training would be for millions of fitness consumers. Since then, TRX has been a leader in delivering innovative products and programs designed to not only inspire people to be more active, but more importantly, help them achieve their fitness goals.” The Associate Member of the Year Award is presented annually to recognize an IHRSA Associate Member for their significant contributions to the advancement of the health club industry, as well as their support of IHRSA, its members, and its mission through program and event participation, advertising, and sponsorship. The award will be presented during IHRSA 2017 in Los Angeles, CA, March 8-11. Read the full “TRX Named 2017 Associate Member of the Year” press release.

Blink Fitness Offers Amazon Lockers in 7 Manhattan Clubs
Blink Fitness announced Wednesday that seven of its 11 Manhattan locations are now home to Amazon Lockers, which offer members and the community a self-service delivery location to pick up and return packages from Amazon Lockers are cropping up nationwide and there are more than 100 in and around New York City and, according to Blink, this is the first time Amazon Locker has worked with a fitness club. "Blink's collaboration with Amazon is a natural fit to benefit both our members and the community at large," said Blink Fitness President Todd Magazine. "Our member experience comes first, so we're thrilled that members will no longer have to worry or go out of their way to receive a package. Secondly, the Amazon Lockers will help introduce our state-of-the-art facilities to a new audience and hopefully encourage them to make their fitness resolutions with Blink."

Equinox CEO Talks Trump, Company Growth

Last week, Equinox CEO Harvey Spevak spoke to CNBC about how President-elect Donald Trump may affect business, and shared his thoughts on company growth and the SoulCycle IPO.

33% of Canadians Resolved to Improve Physical Fitness in 2017
One in three Canadians said improving their physical fitness and eating habits was their top New Year’s resolution, according to a new Ipos survey that was conducted on behalf of GoodLife Fitness. The survey also found that 21% of Canadians said they would focus on financial goals; 13% wanted to dedicate more time to travel and leisure; 11% planned to put a stop to bad habits, like drinking and smoking; and 10% will try to spend more time with family and friends. “It’s great to see more Canadians choosing fitness and nutrition as their number one resolution for 2017 because it suggests people are making positive choices when it comes to eating well and being active, with the goal of feeling better overall,” said David ‘Patch’ Patchell-Evans, founder and CEO of GoodLife Fitness.


Health Club Branding Can Be Tough—Here's How to Make It Easy

Branding is much more than your company’s name or product—it's who you are and, more importantly, how your club is perceived. 

Differentiate Your Club’s Brand Without Compromising Your Integrity 

Properly constructing your brand involves identifying who you are, creating consistent content, and developing your character and voice. 

“Too often when businesses try to ‘reinvent’ themselves they end up completely losing sight of who they fundamentally are at the core,” says Shannon Malooly, membership and marketing director for The Claremont Club in Claremont, CA. “It’s important for clubs to differentiate themselves in ways that do not compromise their values or their integrity. It’s amazing what a big difference a new shade of lipstick and a haircut can make—there’s no reason to go overboard!” 

Streamline Your Brand Appearance to Become More Identifiable 

When a club is looking to streamline its brand appearance in order to become more identifiable, the first step is to consider its demographics. Think about who your existing market base is and who are the kinds of members you’d like to attract. 

“The last thing we’d want to happen is to turn off anyone,” Malooly says. “By completely changing your brand you risk losing members who have been faithful all along. It’s amazing to think what an effect distaste to a color scheme can have but it needs to be considered before making radical changes.” 

And, when it comes to branding, less is more. 

“Too often we are our own worst enemies by splitting a single hair into a hundred pieces,” she says. “Deem what your final outcome goals are, prioritize and tackle portions of rebranding sections at a time. A rebranding process is meant to drive revenue and increase member perception and value not to break the bank!” 

Malooly will share more of her branding expertise in her Thursday, October 6 webinar, “Branding Reinvented: Providing Passion, Purpose & Promise.” 

In her 60-minute presentation, Malooly will help club owners and operators: 

  • Review ways to reinvent your club's brand without compromising your identity or integrity.
  • Learn how to establish core fundamentals that will fuel your company.
  • Gain insight on how to streamline your brand appearance; become easily identifiable.
  • Discover how to transform your community perception and reputation with a focus that will ignite positive conversation.
  • Explore how to stand uniquely among the competition while maintaining your traditions and values.

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Is It Time to Give Your Marketing Strategy A Makeover?

Give your marketing strategy a makeover with tips from one of IHRSA’s most popular speakers on the subject of marketing and sales.  Join us for Proven & Profitable Fitness Marketing Strategies tomorrow at 2:00pm EDT. Free to IHRSA Members! This webinar will help you:

  • Discover the secrets of highly-profitable fitness club marketing
  • Gain insight into the fastest, easiest and most profitable ways to flood your club with sales leads
  • Explore the importance of branding and discover what defines a great club brand
  • Learn how to maximize your profits by aligning strategic and tactical marketing plans and goals
  • Review effective web marketing strategies
  • Obtain successful club marketing benchmarks on cost of sales and leads, sales closing ratios and ideal marketing budgets

To register, visit, email, or call 800-228-4772 or +1 617-951-0055.


Is It Time To Take A Fresh Look At Your Brand?

As the industry continues to evolve so do the needs and wants of your members and prospects. If you haven’t recently, it may be time to take a fresh look at your brand and make sure it is still setting you apart from the competition.

Join Shannon Malooly for an IHRSA webinar that will help you: 

  • Learn how to create value, deepen member's perceptions and discover ways to unlock their true sense of belonging.
  • Define your passion and give your members and staff a higher sense of purpose.
  • Discover how to build a community of ‘healthy living' by creating raving fans and inspiring those beyond your membership base.
  • Obtain ideas on programs and systems that will help differentiate your club.
  • Learn how to reveal the potential behind your brand and explore the ways you can lead the masses beyond traditional health and fitness options.

You and your staff can participate in this webinar for just $39 ($79 for non-members) orsubscribe to 6 consecutive webinars for only $99! (IHRSA members only)

To register, visit or call 800-228-4772. 


Fitness On Request rebrands itself to Wellbeats

Fitness On Request, the Maple Grove, Minn.–based pioneer of virtual group fitness systems, has rebranded itself as Wellbeats to reflect its overriding mission, that of personal wellness.

The firm was founded in 2008 by Jason Campana and Ed McConaghay, two health club owners who were eager to provide their members with more flexible and convenient group exercise options. Since then, they’ve refined their simple, original video playback device, transforming it into a sophisticated, automated plat- form, featuring advanced management software and data-reporting functionalities.

“Every year, we learned more from our customers and the new industries we were serving,” says Campana, the company’s vice president. “We’ve spent the last six years improving our solutions to meet diverse needs in the best possible way.”

In 2011, Wellbeats acquired the services of exercise guru Linda Shelton, a member of the Fitness Hall of Fame, to serve as its director of education and content. Her presence and input had a major impact on the rebranding decision. “At Wellbeats, we believe that wellness, not just fitness, is the underlying lifestyle driver to any successful program,” she explains.

In March, Wellbeats also announced it had entered into partnerships with EXOS, Silver&Fit, and MOVE ME! to produce content for those programs, content that will be delivered on the Wellbeats platform.

“We recognize that wellness needs to look different for different individuals,” says Campana. “Our goal is to provide intelligent, intentional programming that meets the individual wellness needs of the widest possible audience, while making it convenient and cost-effective for facilities to deliver it."


IHRSA webinar: 'Enhancing the Member Experience'

OK, you got a member in the door. You have their membership fee and they are starting to use the equipment, sign up for classes and are considering a personal trainer.

But how do you keep that going?

The member experience is just as important as money in hand. Keeping members happy, offering what they want and keeping them engaged goes a long way for a longtime member.

If you are looking for an edge over your competitors, the next IHRSA webinar, “Enhancing the Member Experience: Lessons Learned from the World's Most Successful Brands,” on Thursday, July 11, 2 to 3:30 p.m., is for you.

For more, read on.