Fitness industry collaboration meeting minutes: Comments sought, next meeting to be planned

The interest is there for the fitness industry to collaborate on a broader level to promote the common message. What the group will need is an advisory board or some leadership that has the time to develop an action plan. SNEWS® is very willing to be the communication platform to keep any effort moving. To read the minutes from the Collaboration meeting on March 6, read on...
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The interest is there for the fitness industry to collaborate on a broader level to promote the common message. What the group will need is an advisory board or some leadership that has the time to develop an action plan. SNEWS® is very willing to be the communication platform to keep any effort moving.

With such a short timeline between the meeting on March 6 and the Health & Fitness Business show in mid-July, the suggestion has been that a more formal meeting be scheduled for the July show. With a rather tight two-day schedule, the only time available may be Saturday morning. SNEWS® is looking for suggestions on a meeting time and place – if not July then when and where – and what action items should be on a more formal agenda.

Below are the minutes from the March 6 meeting. Feel free to offer feedback either personally to snews (snewsbox@snewsnet.com) or in the Reader Chat area by clicking below.

MINUTES

SNEWS® “Collaboration” Meeting at IHRSA: Thursday, March 06, 2008, 10-11:30 a.m. 

Present:

  • Steve Lindenau, President, Diamondback Fitness
  • Therese Iknoian, editor-in-chief, SNEWS®
  • Buell Ish, Vice President, Vectra Fitness
  • Mike Olson, Vice President of Marketing, Horizon Fitness
  • Robert Orr, Sales Manager, Vectra Fitness
  • Chris Strong, Director of Business Development, SGMA
  • Jeff Meeks, Director of Consumer Marketing, Star Trac
  • John Coyle, Vice President, BH North America
  • Stephen, BH North America
  • Kevin Jernigan, Co-Founder and CEO, Xpiron
  • Rod Macdonald, Vice President, CPO, CanFit Pro
  • Richard Kelly, Marketing Manager, Nielsen Business Media/HFB/Interbike
  • Teri Shaughnessy, Consultant, No Guts No Glory
  • Joe Marcoux, consultant, Boutique Thinking in a Big Box World
  • Laura Capes > , founder, Motive Marketing Group
  • Steve Beuerlein, owner, Charlotte Fitness
  • Colleen Logan, vice president of marketing, Icon/FreeMotion Fitness
  • Marc Onigman, Stone Hearth Fitness

10 a.m: Therese greets the group and states that the conversation is being recorded but is off-the-record officially.

I. PURPOSE OF MEETING

  • To share frustrations and challenges our industry faces today
    We sell luxury items / We are fighting for a consumer’s discretionary dollar Our industry is not recession proof
  • To explore the desire/need for industry collaboration and discuss why it hasn’t worked before
    Need for a National Stage Will have to be a guerilla effort / much skepticism Explore Virtues of “Collaboration” vs. “Cooperation”
  • To accomplish at least one thing that will move the industry forward before Health & Fitness Business ( Denver / Juuly 2008)
    Include those that care enough and see the big picture, others will eventually join

II. POTENTIAL IDEAS

  • Data Sharing
    • Has Been Tried Before / Huge Skepticism / not what this is about
    • Grassroots PSA campaign
      • Common Message: “GET ACTIVE” (Health Promotion / Disease Prevention) / provide retailers with turnkey PR they can send
      • Educational Campaign Example: President’s Council on Fitness Literature & Info Web Site: Why You Need Equipment, Why get active… Example: Anti-Smoking Campaign and its success Personal ROI needed Reduced Health Insurance Premiums Flexible Medical Spending Account: New Legislation proposed could set aside $1K pre-tax for consumers to spend on things like exercise equipment. Make sure they know where to buy. PHIT, SGMA working on its passage. Could provide huge benefits to specialty fitness
      • Need to Expand Beyond Specialty Fitness / Cross-over to other specialty areas is key / Establish cooperation with bike, run, outdoors, clubs, etc. / We can all gain
      • Marketing
        • Biggest Loser Spin-Off Education / Personal Accountability / Weekly Weigh-Ins Community-Based / Wellness Focus “Hand Holding” needed to get others to come along
        • Dairy Council’s “Got Milk” Campaign / California ’s “Dancing Raisins” – huge investment but a good model to mimic at grassroots level
        • Generate Media Hype around H&FB Trade Show in Denver (July 2008) Get the Regional Denver Media to Promote Our Industry
        • Go Beyond “Specialty Fitness” / Too Narrow
        • Include Big Box Stores, Outdoor Industry, etc… Invite Public to a possible 3rd Day of Trade Show or late afternoon on second day, if possible at this late date (show this year is two days – Th and Fri) Make an Equipment Donation to a Local Hospital , Retirement Center , or school/community center in need / Do good and get good promotion for industry and fitness retail.
        • Customer Database Gold Mine for a Retailer Retention / Referrals / Testimonials
        • Group Purchasing / Member Discounts – possible benefits of a coalition or group
        • Government Lobbying – effort should be bigger. Could tap into/support SGMA’s ongoing effort

        III.ACTION ITEMS

        • Have Continued Discussions through SNEWS® platform
          • Editorials can be published through SNEWS® by members
          • SNEWS® is open and waiting for additional contributions
          • Create an Advisory Board
          • Create Handouts and Web Site where could be accessed: “Why Specialty?”
            • Buying Guides
            • Educational Information
            • Wellness Focus
            • Potentially link a page through SNEWS® as quick way onto web since site is established
            • Retailers involved could use as resource for themselves and customers
            • Set up Links from Retailers’ Sites?
            • Tie into Not-For-Profit Associations ex. American Heart Association or American Cancer Society or American Association of Retired People
            • Create an Online Virtual “Wellness Community” (i.e. For Runners that use Treadmills, modeled after the “Jeep Jamboree” for Owners of Jeep Wranglers)
            • Drive People into Retailers
            • Consider Scope (Needs to be Broad) & Content (Education & Awareness)
            • Promote the Health & Fitness Business Trade Show ( Denver , July 2008) to Denver
              • Add a Third Day to the Show / Open to the Public (Saturday) – show management (present at meeting) not sure possible at this late date
              • Create Awareness and Media Hype for the Show
              • Get Manufacturers to Donate Equipment / Gift to the Community
              • Biggest Loser Spin-off / Weight Loss Program as possible grassroots national program / turnkey offering to retailers with all checklists, marketing, event organization and PR needed / possible local and regional that can flow into national competition
              • Get the Industry Together to do a Community Service / Community Action Day Example: Steve (Charlotte Fitness now Beuerlein’s Pro Fitness and Training): Fitness Academy for Kids Ages 9-14 now being established Example: When outdoor industry meets in a city, they have an afternoon community service day to build playgrounds, paint, fix trails, etc
              • Have a Follow-up Meeting at H&FB show
                • Attend the SNEWS® Panel Discussion Friday morning about this topic
                • Breakout Roundtables possible at Industry Luncheon on Thursday
                • Could there be a separate meeting at H&FB? When is there a window?
                • Create a “Task Force” or “working group” instead of an “Association” for now
                  • Actually ACCOMPLISH Something / Get Momentum

                  Thanks to Steve Lindenau for providing the meeting space.

                  Thanks to Laura Capes for taking notes and collating them.

                  Adjourn 11:30 a.m.

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