In my last post I shared the science behind "social fitness," and how creating social environments in your facility will help retain members. But what about bringing in new members, specifically those of Generation Y? These are young people born between 1980 and 1999, and they outnumber both the Baby Boomers and Generation X. According to an article in Athletic Business, the Sporting Good's Manufacturers Association "Sports and Fitness Participation Topline Report" shows that social networking is impacting sports participation patterns in the US. "The most popular Generation Y category is fitness sports; 51.3 million are engaged in some type of fitness-oriented pursuit, and as a result of their strong social attitudes, they gravitate toward group exercise."
Check out this PSA created to help encourage college students to exercise:
Here's a great personal example - my niece, Taylor. Taylor is 13, and has been talking with me about ways to exercise and keep fit now that she has left her competitive gymnastics team. Last week, I told her about Lifestyle Family Fitness and their free teen memberships, given every summer to teens that want to remain active while not in school. Her first question was, "How many of my friends can come with me, and can we take classes together? We don't know how to use all that equipment..." One group text from Taylor was all it took - I am chaperoning a group of she and five of her friends to our closest LFF this week to sign them up for their free memberships. Geoff Dyer and his team at LFF recognize the need to market to Generation Y, knowing that, if they get started with exercise at a young age, they will be more likely to continue, and probably at their nearest Lifestyle facility.
What is your facility doing to market to Generation Y? Are you providing a social fitness environment, and are you getting the word out via social media channels? I'd love to hear your thoughts, and your questions.