New opportunity Hussle is offering operators the opportunity to take part in a pilot for its new MAP service to enable them to secure new members without upfront costs. Hussle’s Jamie Owens tells us more about the insights that drove this initiative
amie Owens has been busy this summer and with a unique perspective on the market, having worked for operators such as Nuffield Health and Virgin Active prior to his appointment as head of sales at Hussle, he’s experienced the aggregation model from both sides. His brief on joining the company last year was to bring an operator mindset to the services provided and better align them to the needs of the industry. The pandemic has turned the fitness industry on its head and Owens has spent the last few months hosting a series of virtual roundtables with gym operators from across the sector to get their views on what happens next. With the insights gained from these conversations, he’s recently released a three-part blog series discussing the impact of lockdown on operator revenues and pioneered a new service from Hussle called MAP. More on that later.
The need to shift strategies PHOTO: HUSSLE
We’re creating a new joiner channel for gyms Jamie Owens
October 2020 ©Cybertrek 2020
“Most operators I’ve spoken to hit their revised membership targets by the second week of August,” he says, “but the general consensus is that this pent-up demand is comparable to the minibubble being reported in the housing market. “The sustainability of this demand is the bigger challenge for operators, with September results proving to be sobering for many. Operators I’ve spoken to are reporting losses of as many as 40 per cent of pre-lockdown members.” Owens’ discussions reflect a consistent experience from fitness facilities across the sector. Everyone’s experiencing a chunk of members who have not yet renewed or returned. As well as cancellations, operators are also reporting a big shift in usage patterns. While a proportion of customers have moved towards digital home workouts, there’s also a difference when it comes to which clubs are getting used and when they’re busy. “Operators I’ve spoken to during our roundtables have reported that although overall member usage is creeping up to around 60 per cent of visits, compared