10 Tips for Marketing Your Sports, Fitness or Gym Franchise

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fitness franchise

If you’re thinking about starting your own fitness franchise, you’ll be interested to know the creative ways that you can market your business. Keep reading to learn our top 10 tips for marketing your sports, fitness or gym franchise.


If you’re unsure how to get word out about your fitness franchise, you’ve come to the right place. The good thing is, it’s actually not too difficult to achieve wide recognition and reach a lot of clients without putting in a tonne of work. With the countless number of marketing channels available for gym businesses, you can leverage your budget and success across all of them to increase your brand awareness and entice new members.

10 tips for marketing your sports, fitness of gym franchise

1. Sponsor, sponsor, sponsor!

The more you sponsor or donate to people or charities, the more people will take notice of your sports franchise. It’s a great way of letting your customers and potential customers know that you give back to the local community.

2. Feature a member every month

Make your gymgoers feel special by featuring a member of the month on your website and social media. If someone is working exceptionally hard to reach their goals, why not recognise it? It will make them feel good and inspire other members to do the same. This should keep your current members happy and let them know personal trainers are paying attention. It also gives the impression that you care about your members achieving their goals rather than simply their membership fee.

While this might not play a part in attracting new members, fitness marketing is also about keeping your current members happy because, if they’re not satisfied, they can easily cancel their membership and move elsewhere.


3. Use press releases

We’re all fond of an event or story that’s told well. If your fitness franchise can conjure up one that can captivate your audience, you can turn it into a press release.

4. Targeted promotions

Rather than just offering promotions across the gym, it can be helpful to target specific classes like yoga or Zumba. This could bring in a different type of clientele than you’re currently attracting and widen your customer base.

5. Create a story

Copyblogger suggests that you need a hero (your customer), a goal (the solution to their problem), an obstacle (what’s stopping them), a mentor (you) and a moral (what they will get out for it. Effective marketing is less about dragging people in any way you can, and more about creating a long-lasting connection and relationship of trust. It’s thought that having a great marketing story will help achieve this goal.

Business spotlight – The Gym

Budget chain The Gym launched an advertising campaign that set itself apart from its competitors. The ‘So I Can’ advert reveals how many diverse motivations people have for getting in shape. It features a wide range of The Gym users and their – often light-hearted and entertaining – reasons for working out; for instance, to ‘vex my ex’, ‘eat fried chicken’ and ‘dance all night’.

It also shows members of varying ages, races and body sizes to show that it is inclusive and there’s no such thing as one type of gymgoer. This helps reassure newbies that The Gym welcomes everyone and it’s a friendly, non-judgemental environment to get fit in.

6. User-friendly website

With 54 percent of people looking online for a business as one of their first contact points, it’s fundamental that your website is informative, simple to navigate and present in search engines. You can then direct users to it on your promotional campaigns.

7. Reward guests that leave a Google review

Having lots of positive google reviews is a big plus for your fitness business. People really do read them when they are searching for a new gym to commit to and want to make a well-informed decision. Better still – it will help you rank higher than your competition in local SEO.

If you’re struggling to get a strong number of reviews, try offering members that leave reviews a free month pass for anyone they choose. Not only will this mean more Google reviews, which should entice new members, but it will make your current members happy and allow them to work out with someone they know.

When providing free passes, remember that the overall aim is to get them to sign up. Talk to them about joining, pay special attention to them and if they decide not to, ask them why and learn from it.


8. Use social media influencers

45 percent of the global population use social media, with 60 percent of this group saying they are always connected and 98 percent having used it in the last month. We spend an average of two hours and 23 minutes browsing our favourite social media platforms every day, and 53 of these minutes are spent on Instagram.

Find social media fitness influencers in your area by clicking on different location tags near you and find accounts that are popular and have good engagement levels. You can start building a relationship by following them and liking and commenting on their posts. Once you’ve cemented a relationship, they might even follow you back or recommend you to their followers.

One gym clothes retailer that has mastered Instagram and boasts over 60 million followers is Gymshark. Gymshark’s Chief Creative Officer Noel Mack said:

We have been building our following organically since day one of the brand, six years ago. We like to think a Gymshark Instagram post is very recognisable because of our unique photography style, almost over-exposing pictures to create a really ‘aspirational’ look, drawing particular attention to the athlete and our product.

Business spotlight – Crunch Gym

Crunch Gym has over 265 franchise locations across the globe. While franchisees can have their own social media accounts, the main Crunch account has lots of inspiring content. On Instagram, it presents different exercises by one of the CRUNCH personal trainers, and each video has big, bold text on top detailing which exercise it is and has the #CrunchGetsPersonal hashtag. This makes them very easy for users to find.

These helpful videos act as quick tips for people looking to develop their gym routine. Personal training is additional to the membership, so by sharing free information, people who aren’t sure whether it’s for them can get an idea of what it’ll be like.

Its Instagram account also has Story Highlights for beginners, with easy-to-follow instructions from trainers. And, on the Crunch Facebook page, there’s a call-to-action button, ‘Sign Up’, and the ‘Crunch Guest Pass’ tab allows people to sign up for a one-day free trial.

So, what can your fitness business learn from Crunch Gym?

  • Provide useful information in bite-size chunks to inform and inspire audiences
  • Have different ways to sign up across social media platforms and website

9. Use SMS

We are a society that’s often glued to our smartphones. While this has its downfalls, it can be advantageous to businesses. Why not put a fitness code on your social media or website, so when people text it to the number, they can gain a free pass or another incentive to join your gym?

10. Use the ‘Three Legs Concept’

ZenPlanner suggest that for fitness business success, you need the ‘Three Legs Concept’ of marketing, which includes community involvement, client referrals and a fantastic web presence.

Use these marketing tips for your sports, fitness or gym franchise

Hopefully, these top 10 tips have inspired you to implement some new marketing strategies in your own gym franchise. You can check out our 'Top 10 Sports, Fitness, and Gym Franchises in the UK' article here. And, you can also find out what to look for when hiring employees for your sports, fitness or gym franchise here.

>> Read more articles on the Sports sector

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