Marketing guru Martin Pazzani departs Bally

A little over a year after coming aboard at Bally Total Fitness as chief marketing officer, Martin Pazzani has departed the Chicago, Ill.-based, health club chain.
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A little over a year after coming aboard at Bally Total Fitness as chief marketing officer, Martin Pazzani has departed the Chicago, Ill.-based, health club chain.

Pazzani, who arrived in August 2003 with much fanfare, immediately shook up the chain's advertising and creative with campaign messages that embraced various ages and ethnic groups (see SNEWS® story, March 19, 2004, "Bally Fitness broadens reach with full-scale marketing"). They included the most recent "Every Body needs something" spots.

At this time, his departure is being classified as one of those in the "for personal reasons" category.

According to Ad Week, Bally spent $80 million on measured media in 2003 and nearly $70 million during the first 10 months of 2004, as cited by Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

"I see nothing but opportunity," Pazzani told us in an early 2004 interview. "I look at this industry and see one that is ripe to be a super growth industry and one to have fun with."

SNEWS® View: Looks like Bally's troubles took some of the fun out of the playground. We suspect that Pazzani, since he told us on several occasions he loves the industry so much, will be back -- either with another company or on his own. He is obviously a talent who knows how to think outside of the marketing box and that is exactly what the fitness industry so desperately needs.

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