In 2004, Bally Total Fitness club was a leading firm in the U.S, Health Club industry. From a single modest club in 1962, the company had grown to the largest and only national wide commercial operator of fitness center in the United States. The aims of this club were to meet the health concerns that resulted from lifestyle among the United States society.
According to health club industry analyst, there exist several key trend and growth opportunities for fitness clubs. These trend and opportunities vary in time and across the targeted age. The first trend involves some of the health trends going public and others consolidating. In 2004 for example most observers believed that health clubs would become more diverse as they strived to cater to certain demographic needs.
Also the number of children and teenagers belonging to health clubs is noted to have doubled between 1993 and 2003 while the prevalence of childhood obesity concern also went high. Thus the great demand for health club services among the children and teenagers has open new opportunities in the industry. As such most analysts have suggested that the next great Bonanza market for health club industries has to be kids.
In addition, analyst sees baby boomers as another bonanza market. This is because the number of individual over 55 years and who belonged to health clubs increased by 275% between 1993 and 2003. Thus the national concerns about obesity, the desire for overall mind and body wellness, combined with consumer dissatisfaction with myriad diet programs provides great opportunities for the health club industry. Thus to benefit from this new social need, many clubs have responded to diet dissatisfaction by incorporating weight management program into their portfolio of offering. The Bally health club under the leadership of Toback for example exploited this opportunity launched a comprehensive nutritional and exercise program which was customized to individual's unique metabolism. The aim of the new health package was offering consultation to members who had weight loss goals and to construct for each member a tailored combination of an exercise regime.
At the same time the Bally's management embraced marketing strategies that targeted clients of various age, size and ethnicity. However despite the change of strategies, Bally health club faced stiff competition from various Health clubs among which included the following: 24 Hour fitness: a health club that was founded in 1983 by Mark S. and which is known for generating more revenue than other for profit Heath Club. In this club the enrollment fee depends on type and location of the club in which the member enrolled.
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Curves international: this club was opened in 1992 by Gary and Dian Heavin. This club found its niche by targeting older women, those new to exercise and women who were not comfortable in coed gyms. Because the club used franchises, then the patrons were offered a comfortable and supportive environment in which they performed Curves 30- minute circuit training using hydraulic resistance machines.
YMCA: This club was founded in London England in 1884 as response to unhealthy social conditions in big cities at the end of the industrial revolution. It was the largest Health Club operator by 2004 even though it was a community service organization. By 2004 it had 2,500 location many of which offered exercise facilities thus increasing competition in the club industry even though it was nonprofit making.
Gold's gym: this club was established in Venice California in 1965. It received international attention after featuring in the 1977 movie pumping iron starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. It expanded by means of franchising. It offered body building cervices, group exercise, personal training, cardio vascular equipment, Pilates and yoga thus making it a great market competitor in health club business.
Thus the above health clubs have increased market challenges to the Bally Total Fitness club and seem to have great influence on it marketing plans. The Bally's new marketing strategies and operational efforts by Toback for example appeared to yield mixing results. Through this strategy there was a surge in new membership as well as increase of total membership fee although competition and capital market pressure were intense. Thus from the above discussion one would advice Toback to continual with his marketing strategies because they were enhancing the production of the club rather than selling the health club.
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