Hussle’s CEO, Jamie Ward, spoke to Matthew Januszek, host of the industry-acclaimed Escape Your Limits podcast, about how Hussle’s collaboration with McDonald’s is encouraging the sector to think outside the box, to try new things and to consider using unexpected partners to create a completely unique take on marketing.
Asking Jamie about what he termed ‘a well-executed brand mash up’, host Matthew said: “McDonald’s might not be the first brand fitness would think of connecting with, but the more surprising collaborations are, often the more successful they’ll be. Sometimes we must think a little bit out of the box. Having the confidence to partner with a brand not everyone would necessarily see as a clean fit – is it win win from a marketing perspective?”
Jamie explained that McDonald’s spoke to several other big players before choosing to work with Hussle, as it has the biggest fitness network in the UK.
Jamie then asked: “Why would we work with McDonald’s? Am I driving more customers to McDonald’s or am I driving more to be aware of fitness?”
“My job is to get the 90-95% of the population that don’t use a gym into fitness. Where am I going to get them? Going to fitness expos? No. Where I am going to get to them is places like McDonald’s.”
“There’s a moral question here. Am I driving value to McDonald’s? Of course not. With all the will in the world we’re nowhere near the size of McDonald’s. When I balance this up, the fitness industry is going to get a lot more value from being advertised in McDonald’s than they are going to get from us working with them.”
‘It’s bringing value. Bringing new people in. This is an amazing channel for us to achieve that. We don’t have all the results yet but if it brings 100s or thousands of people into the gyms we partner with, that’s absolutely excellent. Job done, I’m a very happy man.”
Outlining his ultimate goal, Jamie went on to explain that Hussle isn’t about getting to the 5-10% of the population who are already gym super users; it’s about introducing the remaining 90-95% to exercise.
“The term gym-timidation is real. Customers starting on their fitness journey genuinely feel this. They assume everyone is going to be super, uber fit and they’ll feel embarrassed.”
“I firmly believe the best medicine in the world is fitness, so how do we get that out to the masses?”
“For me it’s all about the data. Understanding what the customer wants and trying to match them to the best facility for them. This is what a good marketplace should do, match supply with demand. There’s no one size fits all in this market.”
“Yes, it’s a marketing challenge but our marketing is very sophisticated – essentially, it’s matchmaking for the win, win, win. The customer must be getting value, gyms have to be getting customers and we as a business have to be making revenue.”
“We are a facilitator; we facilitate the interaction and facilitate the individual’s journey to find the right facility for them. We understand the data, what their customer is doing and when they’re doing it, when to interact, how to motivate and engage.”
Asked how he believes the sector must evolve to stay relevant, Jamie said he expects to see a “dispersement of demand”, with fragmentation in terms of what type of physical fitness people do and how they engage, and a merging of digital offers and physical venues with intelligent data sources like the Fitbit or Apple Watch.
For Jamie’s thoughts on how marketing will evolve in the post-pandemic sector and how to retain members in an ever-evolving and incredibly fast-paced market, as well as his insight into early-stage funding and investment, listen to the full Escape Your Limits podcast at https://apple.co/3oc5Kt7 or watch via https://youtu.be/VCvPGiugn94
To find out more about how Hussle could provide you with a low-cost, new member joining channel with leads from partnerships like this one with McDonald’s, click here.