Lessons in boosting market penetration from GlobalFit's Frank Napolitano

GlobalFit’s President and CEO Frank Napolitano presents a workshop titled 'Improve Market Penetration: Lessons from Corporate Wellness to Get People Active,' at IHRSA on Saturday, March 17. While it’s geared toward health club and gym owners, there are a few lessons specialty retailers could learn.
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It’s a question every specialty fitness retailer and fitness club owner wants to know: How can we get more people through our doors?

Frank Napolitano, president and CEO of GlobalFit, has some answers. It involves those in the fitness industry getting people intrinsically motivated to focus on their health and wellness, which encompasses healthy eating and exercise.

Napolitano presents his “Improve Market Penetration: Lessons from Corporate Wellness to Get People Active” seminar at IHRSA at 8:30 a.m., Saturday, March 17. Napolitano will discuss how the fitness industry can better motivate people to get moving and get healthy. 

Napolitano is a fitness industry veteran who transitioned into corporate wellness when he joined GlobalFit in 2006. Now he's bringing lessons learned from corporate wellness and discussing how the fitness industry can implement them.

A large number of people are too intimidated to set foot in the gym, Napolitano said, and many of them are part of a demographic that's at risk for diseases preventable by good lifestyle choices.

According to Napolitano, the United States spent approximately $1.1 trillion (about 7 percent of GDP) on managing diseases related to lifestyle choices.

“That’s more than we spent on all healthcare 10 years earlier,” Napolitano explained.

In his seminar, Napolitano will discuss ways club owners can recruit from this population — and make money while doing so.

“Offer programs that get people active in an organized and social way,” Napolitano advises. “There are a couple of really interesting examples out there. There are some walking programs that have been put together and other activity programs that are tracked by accelerometer devices.”

Napolitano notes that gyms (and specialty retailers, if they have the resources) could organize such groups, charge participants $10 a month, get them hooked on the benefits of exercise — and then when the time comes for participants to want to workout indoors, they'll think of that gym or specialty retailer.

“They have to literally think outside the box,” Napolitano said, encouraging industry insiders to think about how customers stay active outside the gym. Specialty retailers have an advantage there, he added.

“One of the advantages they have is their products end up in someone’s home,” Napolitano said. But the key to keeping customers (and members for gyms) is to keep those people interested in working out.

With all the tracking technology available to clubs, including the brand-new technology called MyZone which will also be at IHRSA, designing or implementing these programs shouldn’t be too hard.

“Historically technology hadn’t caught up to those ideas,” Napolitano said. “You need a strong technological bond to keep people connected and some of the programs that exist now in the market allow you to create a meaningful challenge environment.”

GlobalFit focuses on corporate wellness and helps corporations it works with to change the lives of employees through physical activity.

--Ana Trujillo

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