Like all the best things in life, fitness is an experience best shared with others, so, after a period when members have been isolated from friends, family and familiar faces, World United, a new global festival of fitness, promises to kickstart the sector’s COVID-19 recovery.
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The World United campaign has been designed to support the global fitness industry in reactivating paused members and attracting new ones.
The campaign has been conceived and created by Les Mills, but the company has withheld its branding from all campaign materials, so that operators can use it on a white label basis, for the benefit of the wider fitness community.
The campaign is also the third and final phase of Les Mills’ recovery support package for its club partners, to help turbocharge their relaunch and drive member re-engagement.
World United will peak from Saturday 19 September 2020 onwards, with a synchronised global launch of live and online fitness events involving tens of thousands of fitness facilities and trainers.
Why should we get involved?
Health is one of the world’s number one priorities, so it’s no surprise that in most markets, 75 per cent of people plan to spend more on fitness and sport.
With this in mind, World United has been conceived as a business accelerator for gyms and health clubs, designed to support their relaunch strategies by re-engaging existing members and attracting new ones.
Launch activations will play a strong role in motivating members to attend more often, dialing up the fun factor and offering a strong PR hook to generate added buzz and publicity around participating clubs.
How can we get involved?
Both clubs and instructors are invited to join the celebration by hosting their own special launch activations or community open days (or weekends) to re-engage paused members and attract new ones.
Clubs are recommended to structure launch activations around a schedule of free workouts, group fitness classes, personal training, instructor meet-and-greets, competitions, prizes and any other ideas that will get members engaged.
In previous campaigns we’ve also seen operators incorporate live events such as fun runs and collaborations with local businesses offering healthy snacks and other types of complementary products, to add to the excitement.
In the UK, World United will serve as the kick-off event to a week-long series of activations coordinated by ukactive, culminating in National Fitness Day on September 23.
What should we tell members?
Tell them fitness is a uniting force. We’re united by our love of strength, of speed, of fitness. Clubs should tap into this and excite members by telling them they’re joining the biggest global fitness event of the year, bringing together thousands of clubs and instructors from around the world to celebrate as one.
Clubs should also make sure that members have the event date in their diaries and know how they can sign up to attend.
We know, ‘new’ and ‘free’ are two of the most powerful words in marketing. Chances are club members have friends who would also like to attend the open day, so it’s a great idea for clubs to encourage them to bring guests along and have membership and instructor teams consider the best way to convert these fresh faces into new joiners.
What support is available?
To successfully plan, promote, and prepare for World United launch activations, Les Mills has created a campaign to assist clubs, with photography and videos by world leading artists such as Carlos Serrao.
There’s no branding on this campaign. It’s designed solely to promote participating clubs.
A free online campaign hub has been created with a landing page featuring a collection of relaunch resources, as well as customisable event assets in print and digital, ready for use.
Editable templates have also been provided, so clubs can choose between images, upload their own photos or logos, and edit text fields, to build a complete and personalised campaign that aligns with their brand and supports any other relaunch activity they’re already driving.
What are the benefits of running a fitness event?
The benefits include:
• Keeping members motivated and improving retention
• Re-engaging lapsed members to prevent attrition
• Attracting new members through cost-effective referrals
• Engaging more members in group exercise – a key driver of retention
• Having an opportunity to recruit new talent to bolster your team
• Continually improving the quality of service and building a buzz in your club
• Building community and staff teamwork
What if my club is operating under capacity restrictions?
Before planning club events or launch parties, clubs should check COVID-19 safety recommendations to ensure they’ll be compliant.
Details showing how to run a live event under social distancing conditions can be found at the World United homepage, along with tips on how to make the most of livestreaming for your club.
Why is group exercise one of the elements of World United?
Research into social exercise tells us workouts are more motivating and enjoyable when we work out together, while we also get better results.
Multiple reports and post-lockdown surveys have also indicated that the social elements of the club, such as group fitness and interactions with staff, are going to be the biggest drivers of recovery.
Anyone who’s felt the electricity of a live fitness class will tell you it’s one of the most powerful and motivational workout experiences you can get.
Live classes remain one of the pinnacles of club offerings, because they’re where people come into their own, build connections and inspire participants to beat their best.
By tapping into this energy and showcasing clubs at their best, events have long been a crucial pillar of building a successful club business.
How else is Les Mills supporting the World United campaign?
September 19 will also see the release of a series of United-themed workouts from Les Mills.
This release consists of a special collection of group fitness workouts, designed specifically to re-engage fitness fans in the wake of COVID-19.
Labelled the Les Mills United Release, these workouts will not feature release numbers and were specially filmed on iPhone during lockdown, featuring 300 of the world’s top presenters.
The classes can be launched live in clubs and studios – or, for example, in outdoor spaces – by clubs’ instructor teams.
As with any new Les Mills release, the company encourages clubs’ non-Les Mills instructors to refresh the content of their classes as well.
Are there special opportunities for Les Mills customers?
With many countries still experiencing restrictions due to COVID-19, Les Mills has made it possible for clubs and instructors to stream workouts and run online fitness classes via the Les Mills livestreaming system.
The rules around a livestream class are the same as for a live class – instructors need to livestream through a club account.