Insight Update

DW Fitness First: The Vision For 2018 And Beyond

DW Fitness First has a host of exciting partnerships and changes in 2018, designed to take them closer to their vision to be the UK’s largest sports participation brand.

Following successful acquisition, DW Sports and Fitness First became the DW Fitness First group in September 2016. Now with over 120 gyms and 90 retail stores they are the second largest operator of gyms in the UK with a core aim of harnessing the strength of the group to reinvent the health and fitness sector. From serious sports players to those just looking to move a little more, the DW Fitness First group now offers the products, environment and encouragement people need to become as active as possible. 2018 also promises more collaborations for both the gym and retail side of the business, with the aim of merging the two offerings to bring a seamless customer experience, for example by rolling out a click and collect service across DW Fitness First gyms across the country.

Sky Sports Mix Sponsorship
As the first ever channel sponsor of Sky Sports Mix, DW Fitness First will take end-to- end participation to a nation of sports lovers. Alongside audience synergies the two brands share the common goal of inspiring the nation to exercise more; whether you already play a sport, watch it or are aiming to become more active. The partnership will add value to both audiences; DW Fitness First gym goers and sportswear shoppers will receive Sky package incentives and Sky Sports Mix watchers will be able to access gym and retail discounts. Beyond financial benefits, the partnership will flourish through ambassador lead TV Ads, social content, program pre-roll, live activations and much more.

Partnerships with National Governing Bodies
DW Fitness First is now the official retail and fitness partner of the four athletics and running Home Nations (England Athletics, Scottish Athletics, NI Athletics and Welsh Athletics). Aimed at creating an ecosystem of exercise this partnership will add unprecedented value to their leisure and retail customers whilst at the same time giving back to the organisations at the heart of community fitness from the grassroots. First focussing on running, DW Fitness First is working with top running athletes and has become the lead partner of RunTogether, successfully motivating thousands of new and enthusiastic runners to join their local running group whilst also establishing new running groups across their network of gyms and retail stores nationwide. The next focus is dance as DW Fitness First join Exercise Move Dance UK, the NGB for group exercise in their goal to create a healthier nation through exercise and specifically, group exercise.

All NGB activity is supported by an action packed in-store and in-gym calendar enabling consumers to get close to their favourite athletes as they pass on their exercise and performance wear tips and tricks. Kicking off with British Triathlon’s Sport Relief partnership – DW Fitness First’s across the country hosted this year’s challenge that saw the nation come together to beat one billion steps a day every day.

New store designs
A key focus for DW Fitness First is using the developments within the group to blur the boundaries between leisure and retail, bringing the dynamism of the gym into stores, whilst making performance wear shoppable in gym. New concept DW Sports stores, with softer and less masculine designs and layouts, will feature interactive elements such as Run Labs – where customers can have their gait analysis taken. Plus in 2018 DW are planning to launch ‘pop up’ style gym classes and workouts within their retail stores – a market first. In gym features such as a roll out of click and collect pick up points and more in-gym point of sale will ensure gym-goers are never without the right performance wear and advice needed for their varying workout needs.

Brand new ecommerce platform
Migration to an all new e-commerce platform sees all three brands come together under one roof, offering seamless customer pathways between leisure and retail the new website ensures sportswear is situated in expert advice. Customers can navigate between gym and store to match their training regime to their performance wear needs. Expert advice and content from their in-house experts and partners feature on the blog and will soon be integrated into the retail product specifications. Imagine being able to sense check your product against your workout regime whilst being reassured by professional bodies that the choice you’re making is the  ight one for your needs. This is the future of the group.

CORE Reward Programme
The DW Sports Group launch new reward programme and brand new app across their retail and leisure businesses- a market first. In the three months since launch, DW Fitness First’s CORE has received over 50,000 app downloads so far.

The programme, named CORE, is a demonstration of their commitment to deliver their mission in the ultimate personalised way: “From serious sports players to those just looking to move a little more, we offer the products, the environments and the encouragement people need to be all kinds of active.”

CORE sits as the centre of the DW Fitness First customer experience and is targeted at anyone with sports and fitness in their lives: whether they already play a sport, watch it or are aiming to become more active.
It will reward its customers, both shoppers and gym members, with added value and is designed to bridge the gap between leisure and retail, enabling the user to seamlessly incorporate exercise into their life whether in gym or beyond.

It’s free to join, there are no points to collect and the benefits start straightaway when you shop with DW Sports or train with DW Fitness First.

The programme is accessed via registering for a CORE card (retail) and also a free app (initially available to gym customers only). The latter offering an ‘in pocket expert’ for a nation in need.

Customers registering with the programme will enjoy retail discounts, access to exclusive in-store offers and exclusives, competitions and ‘money can’t buy’ experiences. Gym customers will be able to book classes, invite friends for a free workout, track their workouts, access training programmes and more.

As the official retail and fitness partner to the four home nations of athletics and running in the UK (England Athletics, Scottish Athletics, NI Athletics and Welsh Athletics), the app will also be a platform to provide members with challenges in partnership with the National Governing Bodies, allowing the shy or the not so shy to join national leader boards and set times against top athlete’s benchmarks.

In gym experience

Seeking to go one step further in inspiring their customers to move more, DW Fitness First has carried out extensive research alongside behavioural psychologists, with the goal of taking a personal approach to inspiring and supporting members ensuring more of them can create an exercise habit and maintain motivation. Working with these psychologists they have created bespoke classes to fit different levels of skill and ability, and its set to continue throughout 2018.

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