February 1, 2023

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COVID caused significant change in gym-goers’ habits. Here are some ways to target this shifting industry.
By Sara Lavenduski

COVID has brought massive change to the fitness industry. Just as workers around the world got used to virtual calls and meetings, gym-goers got more comfortable with virtual classes and investing in home equipment when facilities’ doors were closed.
fitness woman on floor using laptop
Now that large gyms and boutique studios – those that survived COVID – are open, data shows that clients still appreciate hybrid opportunities: working out in person or virtually as they see fit. And that’s creating sales opportunities for industries like promo that target the market.
According to the Global Wellness Institute, the hybrid fitness market is expected to hit $1.2 trillion in revenue by 2025. And consulting firm McKinsey reports that 70% of those who worked out online during the pandemic intend to maintain or increase the frequency moving forward.
Here are six ways to target this changing market.
Encourage gyms and studios to distribute new member kits that contain items they can use both in person at the gym and at home. Pack a branded duffel bag with products like a unisex tank top, towel, water bottle, resistance band, exercise ball and notebook for tracking progress.
Velour fitness towel (TSBT500) from imprintID (asi/73651)
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Talk to local studios about launching athleisure clothing lines that clients can use while exercising (either at the gym or home) and when they’re out and about. Start small – consider fashion-forward yoga pants, shorts, T-shirts and tanks, and build from there as demand grows. Keep it fresh each season, and have your client display them at the front of their brick-and-mortar location and sell them online.
High-waist athletic shorts (GOB2254) from Goldentop Gifts Corp. (asi/79532)
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Pitch to gyms the idea of encouraging member loyalty with an incentives program. Have them reward clients who have attended a certain number of in-person and/or virtual classes with items they can choose from, like high-end tumblers, bags, yoga mats and smart watches.
smart fitness watch
Smart watch (H7953) from Promosmart Inc. (asi/80026)
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Studios building a following can encourage clients to promote their brand with smaller products that identify them as part of the “family” or “tribe.” Think customized stickers for water bottles and laptops featuring the company’s name and/or logo, as well as bumper stickers, headbands, socks, silicone wristbands, and tech accessories like power banks and phone cases.
holographic stickers
Holographic die-cut stickers (SY-HDCS) from StickerYou (asi/89791)
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Consider presenting to equipment retailers the idea of offering gifts with purchase for new owners. Whether it’s a bike, elliptical or treadmill, the company can thank customers with branded items like wicking T-shirts, keychains, cycling gloves and sunglasses.
fitness gloves
Half-finger cycling gloves (VPHXRM122) from VIP Logo (asi/93173)
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Suggest that gyms and studios provide items that clients can use for working out aside from in-person and virtual classes. In addition to smart watches to track fitness levels and vital signs, those getting fresh air while being active could use athletic full-zips for layering, fanny packs for smaller items like keys and phones, and personal safety alarms.
alarm keychain
Personal safety alarm (TR102SA) with LED lights from HPG (asi/61966)
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