The fitness industry has experienced a significant impact as governments mandate the closure of all non-essential public places, including gyms. Although many health clubs have taken the brunt of it, a few have managed to find creative ways to stay relevant.
Very few companies were prepared for the prolonged closure of gyms this past month, many brands have used this time to push the boundaries of what the fitness industry can deliver through an online format. The improvement of fitness content, accessibility, and online support are just a few silver linings that have accompanied these trying times.
The economic downturn has left a lasting impact on the fitness industry as many personal trainers and gym staff find themselves out of work. Solidcore, a pilates studio in New York, laid off 98% of its workforce due to the damaging effects COVID-19 had on sales.
Amid the coronavirus outbreak, Peloton and other digital fitness brands have found themselves in a more fortunate position than their brick-and-mortar counterparts. This is because they are already equipped to offer remote fitness to customers, and have naturally seen an uptick in demand as a result of people being prevented from working out in-person. Several companies have found new ways to reach their audience with a digital push. Many gyms are going virtual with online classes, live streams and conducting personal training sessions via Zoom. The fitness company Beachbody has reportedly experienced a 200% growth in subscribers (approximately 1.5 million subscribers) since shifting to online classes.
Brands staying proactive:
Equinox, which also owns PureYoga, SoulCycle, and Precision Run, recently launched a new fitness app called Variis. Members can find everything from 30-minute intense cardio to meditative yoga lessons. Although the fitness brand is typically members only, they understand many people need fitness now more than ever. Equinox introduced weekly workout classes though IGTV on the Variis Instagram page. The weekly class schedule is released every Sunday and users can often find the brand live streaming creative, high-energy workouts.
The sports apparel company wasted little time making a $2 million donation to support struggling communities across America. The fitness brand pledged $1 million to the charity Feeding America and another $1 million to the launch of a 30-day healthy at-home fitness challenge on the company’s MyFitnessPal app.
Additionally, Under Armour has teamed up with Good Sports Inc. promising to donate $1 for every sign up on the MyFitnessPal 30-day challenge. The donations will go towards ensuring that youth sports leagues have the necessary equipment, footwear, and apparel for upcoming seasons.