Health/Wellness and the Fitness Industry: COVID-19 Impact
Countless examples of business model adaptability exist in the fitness/health industry as popular gyms are forced to close their doors for the time being. Four examples of fitness/health brands/and or companies that are working to keep people motivated and empowered to be fit and healthy outside of the gym with their brand communications during COVID-19 have been curated and presented. As requested, this is focused on the United States.
- Nike is the latest major brand to launch a campaign to address the coronavirus while maintaining an inspirational message that positively impacts worried consumers.
- Cleverly, and without specifically mentioning COVID-19 by name, Nike has waived the subscription fee for its NTC Premium service that furnishes streaming workout videos, training programs and tips from professional trainers. The sportswear behemoth announced this in a blog post. NTC Premium includes The Nike App, the Nike Training Club (NTC) app, social channels, the Nike Running Club (NRC) app, nike.com and even a podcast aptly named "Trained".
- As reported in Footwear News, Nike kicked off a social media campaign that plays on the current topics of social distancing and self-isolation. Its reworked creative includes a new slogan to go along with its iconic swoosh symbol, "Play inside, play for the world," along with corresponding hashtags. The company also donated $15 million to help with the fight against the pandemic.
- As millions of people try to figure out ways to maintain their exercise and diet regimens during the COVID-19 pandemic, Nike stepped up by offering its workout and health content for free. By allowing its content to be freely accessible, Nike can reach more potential customers, highlight its content, and support positive associations with its brand among consumers. The company may be able to convert those consumers into paying subscribers when the crisis is finally over.
- Amid gym closings, it’s more important than ever, both physically and mentally, to keep exercising. Planet Fitness, like all gyms, had to close its doors, but wants to keep its members moving. The company is directing its community to use its mobile app, which gives members access to fitness content and hundreds of exercises that can be done at home. Planet Fitness is also hosting “Home Work-Ins” on its Facebook page, where its trainers will lead free fitness classes streamed live Monday through Friday.
- To keep things simple for their customers, there will be no equipment needed and all classes will be 20 minutes or less. Erica Lugo was scheduled to lead one of the workouts. She is a trainer on “The Biggest Loser,” a popular reality television show.
- “Physical and mental health is extremely important, especially during stressful and uncertain times. While we will miss seeing you in the club for the time-being, we are still here to motivate and support you along your fitness journey,” the company said on its website.
- The national fitness chain Orangetheory has suspended memberships at its temporarily closed studios and is posting 30 minute workouts online daily for members. (Instructors cleverly make use of common household items such as a potted plant or two jars of spaghetti sauce instead of weights during workouts.) They are also offering free daily workouts on their website.
- This source provides a step by step look at how chief brand officer Kevin Keith and in-house creative director Bowen Mendelson figured out how they were going to continue delivering workouts for its members and anyone else who wanted them. "Overnight sentiment across social media pivoted from growing anger over billing issues to wild enthusiasm. Members were posting pictures and videos of themselves doing the workouts, using everything from bags of peat moss and 25-pound bulldogs for weights. Small children are learning it's best not to be in arm’s reach when mom or dad are doing the routines."
- The meditation app Headspace is taking a thoughtful approach. Recognizing the upcoming months will be particularly stressful for workers on the front line fighting COVID-19, it is providing free subscriptions to healthcare providers working in public health settings for the remainder of the year. The workers will be able to access the subscription with their email address along with their National Provider Identifier (a 10-digit identification number).
- Headspace has also released free digital offerings to help the general public cope with anxiety and panic. "Headspace has made available a specially-curated collection of meditation and mindfulness content, called Weathering the Storm, available in several languages. Employers can also access its free online collection of tools and resources to support mental health in the workplace."
- In a LinkedIn post, Headspace co-founder and CEO Rich Pierson wrote “This is our small way of helping people around the world find some calm and compassion for themselves and those around them in a truly trying time.”