Bally Total Fitness Marketing Audit Essays and Papers

This essay has a total of 3786 words and 18 pages.

Bally Total Fitness Marketing Audit

Bally Total Fitness Marketing Audit

Bally Total Fitness is the largest, and only nationwide, commercial operator of fitness
centers. Bally's has approximately four million members and 420 facilities across the
United States and around the globe. (, 2004) A marketing audit was
performed on the company in order to assess their total marketing program to see what was
and was not working to increase business. The following will summarize key findings of
environmental aspects and marketing. Finally, any recommended actions that may be
considered for future planning will be discussed.

The environmental aspects that were considered for the Bally Total Fitness audit were
demographics, markets and competition. Demographic trends have shown that the older
segments of the United States (ages 45-65 ) are growing the fastest. Bally Total Fitness
would be wise to consider marketing towards this age group as their needs change. An
estimated 50 million people will be members to a fitness center in just six years, the
year 2010. This is due to an increased desire towards healthy living. The general
population is becoming more aware of the benefits of exercise to promote health and

The Markets part of the audit shows that there is three major trends that health clubs
should be attentive of. These major trends are insurance paid weight-loss, a global battle
against obesity and an end to low-carb confusion. Health clubs are part of the solution
and should promote themselves as such. Bally Total Fitness can be a guide towards losing
weight and increased education on obesity and to guide people through the low-carb

24 Hour Fitness and Gold's Gym are Bally's top two competitors. While both companies have
been successful, Bally Total Fitness still boasts more members and more facilities than
either one. However, both competitors of Bally's are not too far behind. Bally's should
strive hard to stay on top of the competition. This can be achieved by analyzing the
competitors' strengths and weaknesses. If any similar weaknesses exist, changes can be
made to improve on those to differentiate Bally's from the rest.

Bally's has an excellent product. It is something that all people, no matter what their
size or shape, can benefit from. The current "Every Body Needs Something" campaign is an
excellent idea to get this message across. Also, growing the Marketing Department by
adding seasoned executives was a good choice. Since many of these executives are highly
experienced they can all collaborate and ultimately come up with sound ideas that will
help the company grow.

Bally Total Fitness' objectives are reasonable and go along with their mission statement
of being a Total Fitness Resource. It is important that all levels of the company are
aware of the objectives and strategies that are being used to meet those objectives. While
Bally's has been doing well at this, they should never get complacent and always be
attentive to what is going on with all of their staff and all of their members. Effective
training and constant evaluation of staff members will insure top-notch customer service.

In short, Bally Total Fitness has been faring well in the fitness industry. First quarter
results of 2004 have shown that net revenue has increased from the previous year's first
quarter but by only 2%. By more aggressive marketing this number can increase more by the
next year. Both a market penetration strategy and a market expansion strategy should be
utilized to further this objective. These strategies will ensure that current and
potential consumers will be aware of the product Bally Total Fitness has to offer. The
current campaign says it best, "Every Body Needs Something" and Bally Total Fitness has
just what that body needs.


Environm ental Aspects

4PS p. 12
SALES p. 14

Conclusion p. 15

Works Cited p. 16

Environmental Aspects


Of an estimated 30 million members to fitness centers in the United States, one out of
five belongs to Bally's. Bally Total Fitness mainly targets the 18-49 year old range with
a male to female ration of 1:1. The average household income of their members is $52,000 a
year. 76% of Bally members are Internet enabled. (, 2004)

According to the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), there
are approximately 30 million adult members of fitness centers in the United States. By the
year 2010, this number is likely to grow to 50 million. This is due in large part to the
increasing awareness amongst the population of the importance of exercise to promote
health and wellness. This trend coupled with the major demographic shifts should produce
an increased demand for fitness services and products.

Although Bally Total Fitness mainly targets the 18-49 year old range, knowledge of a major
trend should be brought into consideration. The "graying of America" is a trend in the
United States where the oldest segments of the population (45-65 ) are growing fastest.
(Churchill, Jr. and Peter 296) Since people's needs and tastes changes as they get older,
Bally Total Fitness can capitalize on the Baby Boomers. More of this will be discussed in
the Markets segment of the audit.


According to an IHRSA trend report, there are three major milestones that may be of major
interest to health clubs. These three things are:

· Insurance paid weight loss
· Global battle against obesity
· End to low-carb confusion
"American s strongly support action by health insurance providers, employers and
government to promote physical fitness and a healthy lifestyle, according to a January
2004 survey conducted for IHRSA by Ketchum Global Research Network." (, 2004) The
Workforce Health Improvement Program, or WHIP, would be a step in the right direction. If
Congress passes WHIP, it would allow employers to deduct the cost of providing or
subsidizing health club benefits to their workers.

The study also indicates that 61% of Americans would like to see Congress do more to
control obesity, as it is at an all-time high with an estimated 64% of Americans
considered overweight or obese. Considering this year to be a Presidential election year,
over half of the American population believes that candidates should have a position on

Bally Total Fitness has already signed on with the President's Council on Physical Fitness
and Sports to sponsor the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA). The "Fitness Runs in
the Family" program was created to encourage Americans to take the President's Challenge
and work towards the PALA. (, 2004) By promoting towards the parents of
the younger generation, it may create role models for youth. If the younger generation
sees the benefits of exercise, they may remain loyal customers for years to come and will
pass this on to the next generations.

Health clubs should also heavily consider the other two major milestones, the global
battle against obesity and an end to low-carb confusion. Worldwide, people are
increasingly aware of the obesity factor and so there will be increased international
efforts to curb this problem. Health clubs are part of the solution and could promote
themselves as such. As for the low-carb confusion, there are so many food companies that
are jumping on the low-carb bandwagon. Health clubs could provide guidelines or "helpful
hints" to help members with the confusion of the entire different low-carb lingo that
appears on different packaging. (, 2004)


Bally Total Fitness's top two competitors are 24 Hour Fitness and Gold's Gym. 24 Hour
Fitness started as a one-club operation in 1983. Today, it has more than 2.7 million
members and 300 gyms worldwide. 24 Hour Fitness is the largest privately owned and
operated fitness center chain in the United States and world. (, 2004)
Gold's Gym was founded in 1965 in Venice, California and was deemed "the Mecca of
Bodybuilding". Today, Gold's Gym still maintains its core weight lifting tradition but has
expanded its profile by adding services such as group exercise, personal training and
cardiovascular equipment. Gold's Gym boasts 2.5 million members worldwide and is the
largest co-ed gym chain in the world with over 550 facilities in 43 states and 25
countries. (,2004)

24 Hour Fitness offers their services and facilities 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Centers are located in 16 states in the US as well as in Asia and Europe. 24 recently
announced their sponsorship of the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team and are also participating in a
program called Get Active America!, similar to the program Bally undertook with the
President's Council and the PALA. 24 Hour Fitness' latest advertisements have pushed the
Xpress Zone, series of exercises designed in a specific order to maximize a full-body
workout in a short amount of time. This was brought about due to Americans being at their
most obese, but also their busiest. (, 2004)

Gold's Gym is famous for originating at the site of America's most famous muscle beach and
being featured in the movie "Pumping Iron" starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou
Ferrigno. Gold's Gym is currently in rapid growth phase, and are pushing for expanding
their current portfolio by buying smaller regional health clubs and converting them to
Gold's Gym. The company also licenses the Gold's Gym name for products such as fitness
equipment and accessories, sports luggage, t-shirts, and men's and women's sportswear.
Gold's Gym boasts instant brand awareness, 39 years of achievement and recognition in the
fitness industry and award winning local & national marketing and advertising programs.
The company was recently named in Entrepreneur Magazine's "Franchise 500", which ranks the
top franchising companies in the world. (, 2004)

Both 24 Hour Fitness and Gold's Gym are certainly qualified top competitors. However,
according to, a website that offers pros and cons of certain
establishments, 24 Hour Fitness has a problem with overcrowding as well as high membership
prices. Also some have complained that 24 Hour Fitness is a "meat market" which makes it
uncomfortable to work out in. The same site states that members of Gold's Gym dislike that
the gym is more targeted to people already in shape and accustomed to using a gym
facility. Due to this, some members feel it is an intimidating atmosphere. Bally Total
Fitness should look into concerns such as these and make any changes if members are making
similar complaints about their gym.



Bally Total Fitness mission statement is as follows:
To be your Total Fitness Resource by providing quality service, outstanding facilities and
effective nutrition products to help you achieve quick and long term results your way.
Only Bally Total Fitness combines:

· Dynamic Personal TrainingSM
· Rapid Results® Diet System
· Our new Weight Management Program to create a fitness program specifically for you
Bally is the best fitness value available anywhere.
Let us help you choose the fitness membership program that is right for you. (, 2004)
According to a press release, Bally's objectives are continuing the momentum in new
membership sales, generating free cash flow, increasing products and service revenue and
Continues for 9 more pages >>

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