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Last week, we announced that McDonald’s is collaborating with Hussle to offer a fitness-based prize as part of its annual McDonald’s Monopoly game, played by more than seven million people.  The deal will give McDonald’s customers the chance to win access to any of Hussle’s 2000+ partner health clubs and leisure centres. 

Collaborating with thousands of gym operators across the UK enables Hussle to create partnerships with brands keen to introduce fitness to their customers.

It’s a win/win scenario. The brand partner can provide its customers with genuinely national reach as well as variety, whilst participating gyms benefit from the new customers these companies bring.

When combined with Hussle’s Membership Conversion Service, brand partnerships are a highly effective way for gym operators to reduce marketing costs and increase membership numbers.

McDonald’s is not just any old partner though.

As arguably the world’s leading fast-food chain, people have strong opinions on the merit of a fitness brand collaboration. You only have to think back to Cristiano Ronaldo and his interaction with a bottle of Coca-Cola at the Euros to get an idea of the polarised views people have, and accusations of ‘sport-washing’ often come with the territory.

When deciding to work with McDonald’s, Hussle had to take all of this into consideration; it wasn’t a decision we took lightly.

Our conclusion was that, ultimately, we support ukactive’s goal to get more people, more active, more often and it’s in the spirt of this mission that we feel a partnership with McDonald’s has such merit.

More people
To truly reach more people we, as a sector, must be willing to try new things and test new channels. If we continue to present broadly the same message through the same channels, we will only ever reach the same people.

McDonald’s Monopoly is one of the largest consumer marketing campaigns in the UK. It therefore presents a unique opportunity for our industry to reach a lot of people quickly. People we may not reach otherwise.

Whereas traditional mainstream marketing campaigns have prioritised rewards with free coffee, cheap cinema tickets or half price pizza, we felt it was about time that fitness benefited from the investment that brands make in these campaigns.

More active
Hussle wasn’t the only fitness brand to think this way. As part of a highly competitive tender process, we had to prove the national reach of our gym partners was a more compelling offer than a single gym chain collaboration.

Our argument was that each time a McDonald’s customer won the opportunity to visit a gym, it was crucially important there was a viable gym nearby. Without this, the offer would go unused and the opportunity to increase activity would be missed.

McDonald’s selecting Hussle achieved two goals.

Firstly, more customers will be able to act on the promotion and engage in physical activity than if a single gym chain had been selected as there are more collaborating gym venues within the Hussle marketplace than any single operator provides.

Secondly, we feel the campaign has been democratised for the benefit of thousands of operators rather than one single chain and therefore positively impacts more gyms and health clubs in helping get more people active.

More often
The open question to this campaign is whether any lasting changes in activity levels will really be achieved. It’s not a question Hussle can answer alone as, ultimately, we rely on the service provided by the gym partners that McDonald’s customers go on to visit.

But with calls for a ‘work out to help out’ initiative gathering momentum, and a rallying call from ukactive Chair Tanni Grey-Thompson for the UK to become the most active nation in the world by 2030, partnerships with mainstream brands like McDonald’s have an ever more important place in the sector.

In fact, we believe they are crucial to reach more people and to help them become more active, more often.

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.