A study by IHRSA partner in Spain, Management Around Sports (MAS), which was endorsed by the research team in sports management and training of the University of Alcalá, and supported by Gympass, found that nearly 90% of respondents planned to return to their health clubs. VivaGym Group found in the month of August that 50% of their members have gone back to training routinely as they did before club closures.
“Also, as we reopened all our gyms, we have had new joiners. Members who decided to return to our clubs are doing so with complete confidence. In general, the response from our members has been positive in all the geographical areas where we operate,” Del Río Nieto says.
It’s also important to note that at the time of this article, VivaGym group has not had a positive COVID-19 case reported back to any of their facilities since reopening.
The approach for VivaGym Group has been one that is consumer-centric. They are positioning themselves as an essential service to their members, encouraging communication and promoting the positive experiences their members are having.
“The dialogue with our members has been constant,” Del Río Nieto says. “Now is the time to fully dedicate ourselves to accompany and get to know them even more! We continue promoting the word of mouth among them in favor of the good time they are having in our gyms, how happy they are to carry out advised trainings, and the security that our establishments give them.”
New Protocols & Preparing for the Future
VivaGym Group has continued to promote cleanliness procedures to staff and members. These new methods have become a positive habit. Safety of their members and staff is the most important thing. They have continued to offer outdoor activities and digital content in order to better serve members as well.
“This pandemic has changed all of us. Hygiene has become, more than ever, a fundamental value,” says Del Río Nieto.
“The ‘new hygiene’ derived from the ‘new normal’ is here to stay. Both our staff and our members have been able to adapt to this new normality very naturally. Washing their hands, wearing a mask and keeping distance are now natural routines for everyone.”
Masks are mandatory in public places in Spain and Portugal, with some exceptions including activities that are incompatible with wearing a mask. In VivaGym Group’s club locations, there are posters and audio marketing to reinforce that message.
Members have been reacting well to new protocols. Says Del Río Nieto: “Our members understand the current situation and have embraced all the safety and hygiene protocols as their own. The members clean after using the material, maintain the safety distance, respect the training schedules. ... Our staff also participates in all these protocols.
"In addition, we regularly carry out the nightly cleaning of the facility so that the members who come first thing are impeccable.”