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Can sports companies and gyms benefit more through collaboration?

Source:China Sport ShowRelease time:23-Dec-2019Clicks:

Currently going to gym has become a social event, which raises the willingness of customers to exercise in fitness center and convinces sports brands’involvement as they see these venues as an untapped marketplace.
Recently Canadian sports brand Lululemon opened its first global gym in Chicago, the US. At present, American sports brands such as Reebok and Under Armour attach importance to fitness center. They integrate their retail stores with gyms to enhance shopping experience and expand their influence among fitness-loving people.
A new trend generated by integrating retail stores and gyms
Lululemon opened its gym at the second floor of its retail store. The gym consists of a yoga room, a high-intensity intermittent training room and a meditation room. To build an all-in-one sports and living place, Lululemon also provides a cafe serving body-building food and a casual workplace for the gym.
It is worth mentioning that Lululemon is committed to experiential retail. Many of its stores offer yoga classes for customers and it had hired professional body builders forpromoting its products as brand ambassadors. Lululemon disclosed a plan of opening more gyms in the future, an attempt to dedicate 10% of its store fleet to the gym concept.
Reebok adopts a different strategy from opening gyms and chooses to collaborate with fitness centers. 2018 saw Reebok opening its first Asia-Pacific flagship store in Shanghai. The store tries to integrate retail and exercising experience by offering some of its floor area to a CrossFit gym.
According to media reports, the first floor of the flagship store features Reebok’s sporting products, including CrossFit series, Les Mills series, basic training series and classic series. The CrossFit Box gym opens at the B1 floor of the store and offersCrossFit physical training and Les Mills training.
Reebok Brand Director Asia Pacific and Vice President and General Manager GCA Chad Wittman defined the flagship store as FitHub 3.0 and pointed out the new strategy helps its customers shaping a deeper understanding to its products. Reebok will open more such stores in the future.

Under Armour also tapped into the gym sector and it partnered with Mutant. The gym jointly built by Under Armour and Mutant opened in Nanjing this May. Its officialdocument said that this gym is licensed by Canadian sports nutrition brand Mutant, jointly built by Shanghai Really Fitness Equipment Co., Ltd. and International Personal Training Academy. Most of its members are professional body builders and its on-site trainers have contested in international competitions. A lot of Armour fitness facilities are offered at the gym.
Sports companies improving their brand awareness by  partnering  with  gyms 
Why would these sports companies open gyms or work with fitness institutions? An expert of China National GarmentAssociation pointed out from the perspectiveof sports brand that their collaboration depends on how these sports companies position themselves.
The predominant products of these sports companies which partner with fitness centers are fitness garment. For example, Lululemon is a yoga clothes provider, Under Armour mostly offers quick drying clothes and Reebok has tapped into fitness garment. The expert above believed that these gyms are the best places to promote their products and build brand awareness as most of gym goers match the target customers of these sports companies.
Senior fitness we-media owner and founderof Lazy Snail Xie Liangkai believes that the fastest and most effective way to improve brand awareness among customers for these sports companies is to find other companies with same brand positioning and target customers, and collaborate with them to promote their products and riding on the decisions of the customers. According to a staff member of Reebok, the company’s collaboration with fitness institution is also an attempt of scenario marketing.

Scenario marketing is based on special scenarios, supported by environment and atmosphere, to provide relevant products and services, which relates to the customers emotionally and inspires their desire to buy. Reebok expects to put such a concept into practice by providing fitness professionals with professional clothes and footwear, so as to trigger actual shopping. From the perspective of customers, with thegeneral trend of consumption upgrading, more and more fitness enthusiasts prefer to dress in style for exercising. This demand also drives the sports companies eyeing the gyms as an untapped market.
According to gym goers, exercising at fitness center could be embarrassing in the past because they feel ashamed to be seen by others when they wear hideous and unfit shirts and are soaking wet. For today’s younger generation, gym is not only a place to exercise, but also an important social occasion. Everyone wants to wear fitting, stylish and quick drying clothes in gym. Xie Liangkai pointed out that fitness club is a place of social event. Gym goers interact with each other frequently there and they learn about sports brands and improve their loyalty to sports brands by mingling with others.
(Text source: Xinhuanet.com)

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