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 In January many of us make new year’s resolutions, a new goal or target to achieve going into the new calendar year. Whether it’s to kick a habit, learn a new skill or set a challenge, or even learn a new language. For most of us, we all land on the same goal after a festive period of indulgence – to lose weight and get back into our fitness regimes.

January has become a notorious time of the year for both gym and exercise classes to see record numbers and attendance figures skyrocket.

Unfortunately, though this impact doesn’t last for long, for most resolutions are broken before February and many people quitting those memberships in March and April.

So, what can fitness brands do to make sure they maximise their brand awareness for this competitive period and keep new customers and retained engaged all year round?

Building up to JanuaryTom Inskip,quote

Breaking into the fitness market at any time of the year can be a daunting prospect but trying to crack it in the build-up to the January rush is a real challenge. Tom Inskip, Associate Director says ‘The fitness market remains an incredibly crowded environment, so it is of absolute importance that you have one USP that differentiates yourself from the competition.

The latest craze and one which certainly differentiates itself from the competition is Rowbots. The class combines the rower with explosive floor-work and mental conditioning leaving you with the complete workout for both body and mind.

But for Rowbots to be a success come January, planning and preparation is required. You can’t expect an offering to be at maximum capacity at the turn of the year, if consumers don’t know what it is you have to offer and in turn how to access it.

Rowbots, which is still relatively new to the market,  have begun offering new members enticing deals such as unlimited classes for a week for just £25. It’s much more than just discounted workouts, it’s a strategy. By offering incentives and promotions will ultimately increase their brand awareness and boost signups for the new year when the ‘get fit’ rush hits in January.

Hiring a PR agency

We might be biased, but we’re also honest too. Working with a PR agency will give your business the best opportunity to maximise the moment.

The fitness industry is a saturated market, with hundreds of different offerings available to consumers. Using a PR agency allows you to extend your communications resources, have access to unrivalled contacts books and include other creative minds in your strategy. Most agencies are in touch with health and fitness journalists on a regular basis so know exactly who to put you in touch with and how to deliver the results you want for your business.

For example when we worked with Xercise4less, the leading low cost gym chain brand in the UK, our dedicated team spread the news of Xercise4less’s January 5 day free gym pass offer. Aware of time constraints the team gained coverage ahead of the Christmas and New Year slot. Key pieces featured in the likes of Men’s Health, Daily Express Cosmopolitan. There was also a prime time mention on This Morning where money saving expert Martin Lewis promoted the 5-day free gym pass.

Great content is key

Plateauing results can be a popular reason as to why people cancel their gym memberships. This typically happens when people start repeating the same workout without increasing intensity and frequency. Without correct knowledge or expertise of gym equipment, gym-goers are likely to stick to what they know.

In recent years fitness businesses like LDN Muscle and Maximuscle have blown the market wide open and helped to empower consumers to take control of their workouts by providing online libraries full of exercises, tips and useful advice.

maximuscle infographic

LDN Muscle infographic

Gym brands should note the power testimonials, transformation stories, and training guides and how they play a valuable role in keeping consumers engaged and enthused.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate social responsibility has become one of the standard business practices of our time. Consumers now demand that companies start playing an active role in addressing social, cultural and environmental issues. Telling the story of how your fitness brand is helping the community or environment provides a great opportunity to enhance your profile in the media spotlight whilst also promoting a positive message to your customers.

For example, Europe’s leading health, sports and leisure group, David Lloyd Clubs has recently launched its charity initiative, ‘DL Giving’ which focuses on volunteering and fundraising in local areas. They have reduced their CO2 emissions and is the only company in its sector to have held the Carbon Trust Double Standard award.

Would you like to discuss creative ideas for your business and plan your next campaign? Speak to a member of our team today, to find out how we could help deliver your best sales figures yet.

 Four key ways fitness brands can capitalise on the New Year boom

With the Ashes wrapped up for another two years, and the little urn unfortunately on its way back to Australia, it’s time to switch our attention to the next sporting fixture in the calendar, and it’s not a small one either.

The 2019 Rugby World Cup gets underway this week in Japan, and the English will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of their cricketing counterparts who etched themselves into sporting folklore just a few months ago after claiming a first World Cup victory.

But whilst Eddie and the boys are busy taking on the likes of Argentina and France in the group stages. We’re going to go on a whistle-stop tour of what you and your business can be doing over the next month to make sure you capitalise on the Rugby World Cup.

Social media content creation

Whether it’s a feel-good status in preparation to one of England’s games, or a bespoke animation, make sure your social followers know you’ll be cheering them on.

Sporting events offer businesses a unique opportunity to show off their personality whilst creating content that they wouldn’t usually be able to get involved with.

It’s vital for brands to engage with audiences during major sporting events on social media – not least because it presents an opportunity to engage with an online community that they might not necessarily reach with their wider strategy. It’s important not to shoehorn your brand into conversation, but to immerse in conversation from a natural and sincere angle.

Joe Toal, Social Media Manager at The PHA Group

Social media has clearly evolved since the 2015 World Cup, community managers now have multiple tools up their sleeves such as creating polls, live streaming or even Instagram stories.

The main points to remember here is to make sure you continue to engage your audience, use hashtags and emojis to keep your posts creative.

CSR

Corporate social responsibility has become one of the standard business practices of our time. Consumers now demand that companies start playing an active role in addressing social, cultural and environmental issues. Global sporting events give businesses a great opportunity to do some good in the world whilst also enhancing their profile in the media spotlight.

For example, during the fifth and final test of the recent Ashes series, lyricist and big-time cricket fan, Sir Tim Rice, decided to donate £15,000 for every hundred scored and every five-wicket haul taken and £5,000 for every fifty and three-wicket haul achieved by England to cricketing charity, Chance to Shine.

Could your businesses offer an hour of charity work for every point that Owen Farrell scores during the World Cup? Or a donation for every try that Jonny May finishes?

Spontaneous moments

Any sporting event inevitably offers drama, excitement and unpredictability if it didn’t, we probably wouldn’t watch it. So, during this World Cup, we’re bound to see a few surprises, scares and maybe even an England win! So, use these moments to direct traffic to your site where possible. If you run an e-commerce site, why not offer a 10% discount code such as ENG10 if they progress through the semi-finals to the final?

Email marketing

Implementing an email marketing strategy around an event can run the risk of losing a potentially willing customer, who unsubscribes from your content as they aren’t interested in the event in question.

So why not start small? An idea from email marketing specialists Kickdynamic, is creating live countdown timers for a specific game.

This allows your business to mention that you’ll be supporting [insert your favourite team here] during the World Cup, whilst continuing with your normal communication. Like previously mentioned, events allow an opportunity for businesses to get creative and jump on the news agenda, but it’s key to remember where the line is.

If you’re interested in learning more about how your business can hijack the news agenda most often, get in touch with us today

Are you ready to capitalise on the Rugby World Cup?

If a brand can grow its market share within their core sector, fantastic. But it goes without saying that looking beyond those core markets can provide even greater potential for growth.

When we started working with outdoor brand dryrobe, producers of the world’s most advanced change robe, they already had a presence second to none across the surfing sector. With their product also catering for a whole host of other outdoor pursuits though, their growth potential was obvious.

For us, it’s simply been about unlocking it. Here’s how we do it…

Act as an extension of the business

 In the initial instance, it was paramount that we took the time to fully understand not only dryrobe’s target audiences for growth, but the technicalities of the product inside out.

By combing over this information to obtain a level of knowledge that you’d expect a member of the dryrobe team itself to have, it placed us in the perfect position to communicate the product to the right sectors, most effectively.

Doing our homework

As much as it pays to know your client it pays to know your media, and the results we’ve been able to achieve so far for dryrobe are certainly relative to us having a detailed understanding of the various sectors they speak out to.

If a given publication produces content that lends itself to a detailed review of the product, then tailor your approach to mimic that. If the only conceivable way a title may feature the product is through a competition, then likewise be specific.

Passion and enthusiasm

This one is a major contributor to our success…being passionate and genuinely interested in the sector. I come from a running background and would have loved a dryrobe to keep warm after a tough cross-country race back in my competition days. As a team that are all into our sport and fitness, this personal interest is definitely something that helps us achieve the results we do. Passion drives engagement and you’ll naturally come across as more genuine.

Don’t be one dimensional

Through our work with dryrobe, the product has now been featured across swimming, OCR (obstacle course racing), running, rugby, biking, triathlon, camping, canoeing, kayaking and rowing media. But we also reached out to tech media to communicate the innovation behind the product. As a result, we’ve secured them pieces in tech outlets, including in leading consumer tech magazine, Stuff (the article that they featured within actually made the front cover).

Having taken the time to invest ourselves in the business too, we saw dryrobe’s business story as another opportunity to drive traction for the brand. As a result, they’ve seen some great pieces of business coverage across the likes of the Daily Express and more recently on Forbes Online.

With each opportunity, it’s important to think about the finer details too, with conversion for dryrobe the ultimate goal. We had a competition with Trail Running magazine’s online ‘Win’ section that received close to 60,000 entries, while a similar competition we ran with Cool Camping left us with over two thousand potential customers that opted in to receive newsletter updates from dryrobe.

We maximise assets

 dryrobe are regularly announcing exciting new partnerships, whether that be with brands or individuals, and we use this an opportunity not only to engage sports/activity specific outlets, but respective trade media.

Once we’ve announced them, the job doesn’t stop there though. I’d argue our credentials activating brand ambassadors are second to none and we always ensure we deliver as much value as possible from the relationships.

dryrobe brand ambassador Jonathan Albon won the World Trail Running Championships last month. Within one week, we had several fantastic opportunities confirmed with him across the national health and fitness/lifestyle media.

As well as paying attention to the ambassador’s personal schedules to ensure we don’t miss opportunities, we also keep in mind the general news and events calendar. For example, we recently secured dryrobe a standout inclusion in the Mail Online’s Father’s Day gift guide as one of just a handful of products in the over £50 price bracket.

 Through following the above approach, we’ve been able to deliver our KPIs originally agreed with dryrobe ahead of schedule and open numerous doors of opportunity for them.

If you would like to find out more about what our specialist sport and fitness team public relations team can do for you, speak to one of our award-winning team today.

How PR can be key in unlocking the door to new audiences

The recent State of the UK Fitness Industry Report revealed that the health club industry is continuing to grow with more clubs, more members and a greater market value than ever before (£4.7bn). And this is just the health club sector. With each sector of the fitness industry becoming more and more crowded, what do fitness brands need to do in order to position themselves as market leaders? Here, we take a look at five great ways to do just that.

1) Sharing success stories
Consumers will always be drawn to fitness brands if they can see that the product or service is having a positive impact on people’s lives. The leading gym chain in the UK, Xercise4less, has been very successful in placing case studies, which show off how the gym chain has helped to change members’ lives for the better.

Some examples:
A member who has used Xercise4Less facilities to lose weight
A member who is using exercise to fight off mental health problems
A personal trainer duo who launched a class for mental health

2) Utilising Instagram Influencers
In a recent survey by One Poll, Instagram was voted one of the biggest influencers, when it comes to consumer behaviour, ahead of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Every month we are witnessing more and more influential Instagram users pop up on the scene, users who inform and educate their followers about health, fitness and nutrition through their Instagram channels.

These individuals are all part of a new generation of online influencer, which the savviest fitness brands are already tapping into.

Although an online health and fitness influencer may have a smaller reach than traditional media outlets, their followers are likely to be precisely the target audience that fitness brands are looking to attract.

Fitness clothing brand Gymshark, which was founded just over two years, has clearly invested a lot of its marketing budget on engaging with online influencers. Now Gymshark is a market leader in the “trendy” gym clothing sector. Through effectively engaging with online influencers, the brand has built up a social following of over 1.5m on Facebook and over 2.7m on Instagram.

Here are some great examples of social media influencers that health and fitness brands should look to engage with:

  • Lydia Millen and Ali Gordon: They are known as ‘The Lifestyle Couple’ of social media with over 1m followers between them. They currently work with the likes of GymShark, a leading supplement brand and the camera brand Olympus.
  • The Harrison Twins: Owen and Lewis Harrison have over 1.25m followers between them and are the face of leading sports nutrition brand ESN.
  • Zanna Van Dijk: Zanna has attracted a great deal of attention for documenting her body transformation on Instagram. She now has 240k Instagram followers and works with a number of brands including Adidas.

3) Becoming a voice of authority
If yours is a fitness brand which focuses on the wellbeing of its customers then it is important that consumers believe in, and respect, the advice and opinion of individuals within your organisation. Positioning these individuals as voices of authority within the media is a great way of gaining respect from consumers and also cementing the reputation of your brand as a trustworthy industry leader.

In order to gain that respect, key spokespeople from your organisation should be writing thought leadership pieces on a regular basis on the subject(s) that they specialise in. It is also important to keep on top of the news agenda, as this will help to provide your spokespeople with the opportunity to react and respond to relevant news stories which are been covered in the media.

LDN Muscle, a business which produces downloadable e-guides, are regularly featured in this way in the media. Often, this even goes as far as providing them with the opportunity to use negative stories, as a way of promoting their own products and services in a positive way:

Here are some examples:

https://www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle/health/8-ways-to-stay-motivated-to-workout-regularly-a3732246.html

When TOWIE star Gemma Collins discussed her use of juice diets, LDN Muscle provided comment on the dangers of such diets and explained how to get in shape using their Bikini Guides, instead.

4) Securing celebrity ambassadors
Many brands within the health and fitness space choose to utilise celebrity ambassadors to help build the profile of their brand and promote their products or services.

When it comes to brands identifying a suitable celebrity ambassador, it is imperative that they choose someone who their target market can relate to, and will respond to.

One of the best celebrity partnerships was launched by clothing label Ellesse with Lucy Mecklenburgh. The partnership was designed to promote Ellesse’s range of fitness clothing. Lucy is incredibly popular amongst young females and has shown an incredible passion for fitness in recent years. As such, this was a brand ambassador relationship which was believable, and which effectively targeted the correct end user.

5) Exploring cross promotion
With so many different markets in the fitness industry, there are many opportunities for brands to cross-promote their services with other brands operating in the same sector.

This tactic not only enables both brands to gain access to the database and social media channels of the other but, in doing so, it also allows both businesses gain a greater level of exposure amongst a new audience.

Specialist food company MuscleFood has carried out cross-promotional activity with brands in the running events sector and protein market, as well as with gyms and online personal trainers. MuscleFood always offers strong promotional discounts and competition prizes when it does this type of activity. Both brands, meanwhile, benefit from a greater level of exposure. Like GymShark, MuscleFood has, through cross-promotional activity such as this, been able to gain a very strong presence on social media, including 270K followers on Instagram.

If you’re interested in learning more about how PR can make your fitness brand stand out, get in touch with us today

Make your fitness brand stand out

There is no doubt that women’s sport is having something of a ‘moment’ right now. Barely a day goes by without a major development being announced, be that about a new sponsorship relationship, new broadcast deal, new media launch or other significant investment of some type. It’s truly fantastic to see so much progress being made in such a short space of time, and long may it continue. The positive impact the increased visibility of women’s sport will have, particularly on young girls being inspired to get active and discover their own passions, is a major achievement and one that should be celebrated.

The growing interest and investment in women’s sport also presents a major opportunity for brands, and it is one that we have been able to capitalise on for a number of our clients. OPRO, the maker of the world’s most technically advanced mouthguards, is the official mouthguard partner of a number of professional sporting organisations including England Rugby, the UFC and Great Britain Hockey. They also have several athletes signed as brand ambassadors, including Taekwondo World Champion Bianca Walkden, England rugby player Vicky Fleetwood and GBR Hockey player, Shona McCallin.

Brands investing in women’s sport is a story in itself at the moment, and we have been able to leverage that to help secure coverage in business and trade media for OPRO, but it’s in the sports pages where the increased opportunities are most demonstrable. The number of journalists writing about women’s sport and the pages and sections dedicated to covering it have increased significantly in recent months. Most notably, the launch of the Telegraph women’s sport coverage has taken the space and prominence given to female athletes and their achievements in a national newspaper to a whole new level, but the space being made for women’s sporting achievements at most of the national press has increased. We were able to capitalise on this for OPRO during the recent women’s Six Nations tournament, placing interviews with Vicky Fleetwood in both the Independent and Mail Online.

The Independent online - Vicky Fleetwood Mail Online

There is also an opportunity for brands to use their relationships in women’s sport to encourage participation at the grassroots level, and in turn to secure media coverage for those initiatives. In January, in partnership with OPRO, Bianca Walkden hosted some taekwondo classes for school children as part of her mission to encourage thousands of girls to give martial arts a go. We invited BBC North West, ITV Granada and the Liverpool Echo down to take a look which resulted in the below coverage.

BBC News North West - Bianca Walkden

ITV News Granada Reports - Bianca Walkden

As female sporting success is increasingly celebrated and the profiles of our top female athletes grow, there are also more opportunities for coverage away from the sports pages, in profile slots, set piece interviews and Q&As. Again, we have had success for OPRO here, lining up interviews for their female athletes in the likes of the FT and the Sunday Times.

FT - 'I lost my phone - with all my photos from the 2014 World Cup on it.' - Tamara Taylor, Rugby player

The Sunday Times Magazine 28.10.18

For brands involved in women’s sport – or for those about to step in to a women’s sport sponsorship partnership for the first time – the opportunities have never been greater. If you would like to find out how our award-winning sports team can help you make the most of these relationships, you can contact a member of the team here.

How to make the most of the growing interest in women’s sport

We all know the health benefits that come with exercising and being active, it helps to strengthen the heart, it reduces blood sugar levels and helps to control weight – the positives are endless. But what about those who don’t want to exercise and have little interest in sport?

Earlier this year Nuffield Trust published a report on obesity in the UK, the results didn’t make for pretty reading. In 2017 the UK adult population was made up of 65% who were classed as either overweight or obese. The percentage of people specifically obese in 2017 was 29%, 11% more than in 1997 and 5% more than in 2007. This trend suggests that by 2027 we could be looking at well over 30% of the UK adult population classified as obese.

Even more worrying is that this trend has started to reflect in adolescents in the UK.

A Sport England survey released at the end of 2018, found that 1 in 3 children (32.9%) do less than 30 minutes of physical activity a day, and girls fare particularly poorly. Whilst research conducted by the Women in Sport found that only 8% of girls aged 13-15 were achieving their daily exercise recommendations.

What can be done about this alarming problem? How do we engage with younger generations and inspire them to want to participate in sport and stay active?

We’ve looked at the organisations that are helping and supporting girls to take part in sport.

Women in Sport

The facts don’t lie, 1.5 million more men play sport than women each week and only 8% of girls are meeting recommended exercise guidelines. Meet the organisation determined to change that. Women in Sport exists so that every women and girl in the UK can experience the lifelong rewards of sport. Their vision is that they want to help create a society where women and men have equal opportunities. Whether it’s campaigning for more women in the boardroom or equal pay, the organisation is continually looking to drive change for the better through commissioned research and creating insights which focus on women and girl’s participation in sport.

UK Coaching

Leading the way in coaching excellence. UK Coaching have been around for more than 30 years equipping coaches in the UK with the required skills and knowledge they need to make a positive difference.

In the expert opinion section of their website, several researchers have articulated about the drop off rate among females from when they transition from primary school to secondary school.

As this has been identified as a key area of improvement, UK Coaching have created an excellent hub of resources from podcasts to guides all available to coaches and teachers to help them inspire children and stay in sport for longer.

Chance to Shine

Focusing more on giving all children the opportunity to play and learn through cricket. Chance to Shine are actively encouraging children to play cricket through visits to schools and working with 39 County Cricket Boards across England and Wales.

The charity believes that cricket can help to develop children’s personal, social and physical skills. The promising news is that since the charity’s inception in 2005, of the 4 million children reached, 46% are girls with this figure still rising. Inspiring and giving children more playing opportunities are at the forefront of how they measure impact.

Youth Sport Trust

Established in 1995, the national children’s charity is passionate about improving children’s lives and creating a future where every child enjoys the life-changing benefits that come from play and sport.

Last year, the Youth Sport Trust launched its new five-year strategy that focuses on the development of children’s sport, the key objective at the heart of the strategy is to tackle the disturbing decline in young people’s wellbeing. Youth Sport Trust are ready to support schools, teachers, parents and coaches to help young people discover the joy of movement and nurture happy active lifestyles.

If you’re interested in finding out more about what our team could achieve for you and how we could raise your profile, please reach out and speak to one of our experts today.

Participation in sport – the organisations helping to promote it

A flurry of recent client wins has seen the Sport & Fitness team onboard several new sports tech, fitness and lifestyle products. The team have been busy planning their approaches and drawing up their media targets.

But, with a multitude of brands and products claiming to be the most innovative, the most technologically advanced, how can you stand out in a busy market place?

Be an expert

 To be able to sell a product at any level, it’s imperative that you first understand your product inside out. By having an in-depth understanding of the USPs of the product, its journey and the latest innovations you’ll put yourself in prime position to educate your target audience effectively.

With client, SIXPAD, we did just that by trying out the product first-hand. This allowed us to drill down into the science behind its EMS technology, providing us with the platform to build a complete understanding of the key messages we wanted to convey in our outreach.

Be strategic

 The number one thing you must identify first in your outreach is your target audience. You want to leverage your product with the goal to drive sales, so you have to make sure you’re getting your product in front of the right people.

With clients such as OPRO and dryrobe who cater for such varied and sometimes niche audiences, we’ve shown an aptitude to do this time and time again, but it’s only achieved by a meticulous level of planning in the initial instance.

Once you’ve identified your media targets, it’s naïve to think the job is done. In what is a constantly changing media landscape, as a team we conduct regular audits of the media to identify new opportunities for our clients.

Finally, it’s important to look at the bigger picture when planning any product focused outreach. What events can I tap into to get the product recognised in the media? What are the key sales windows for the product?

With mouthguard provider OPRO, we always use events such as the Six Nations to get media engaging with the product.

For SIXPAD, we helped them increase store sales by 98% in December compared with November 2018. During January, SIXPAD saw three times as many online sales on Amazon against October’s numbers.

Tell a story

 In an environment of ever-increasing competition, if you can tell a story through your product this will only give your campaign another dimension.

With OPRO, we’ve done this to great affect achieving widespread coverage across the national business media including BBC News and Forbes.

Treat yourself as an extension of the business and take the time to understand how you can use that business’ assets to maximise brand exposure.

New partnerships announced, both on a corporate and ambassador level are an opportunity to engage with media. By looking for the talking points within these, you will only unlock further opportunity.

With OPRO ambassador and England Rugby International, Vicky Fleetwood, we used International Women’s Day and the recent Six Nations to generate some incredible exposure for the brand across national media.

Within each piece of coverage, in order to inspire more girls into sport we communicated OPRO’s ethos to reinforce that point.

Be meticulous

 To secure this level of detail, you must be meticulous in managing each opportunity you secure. This starts right from the initial approach to media.

Think about how the product can excite them and how you can tap into the emotions of the writer and your target audience.

Never lose sight of the goal

 Finally, never lose sight of the goal of the campaign. Evaluate success regularly and use it to shape your approach.

 

If you’re interested in finding out more about what our team could achieve for you in the press, or you’d simply like to know more about our product placement expertise please reach out today. We’re here to help you achieve your business goals.

Product PR – The art of selling

January is a key time for fitness product placement. Being able to break through the noise and drive sales during the festive period can be make or break for many brands.

Our Sport & Fitness Team worked with SIXPAD to help them do just that.

The brief

SIXPAD brought The PHA Group onboard to help their manufacturer, MTG, leverage earned media channels to increase traffic to the SIXPAD UK website. Additionally, we were tasked with supporting the wider sales drive ahead of the key sales periods of Christmas and New Year. There was also a long-term ambition to position SIXPAD as an essential part of the consumer’s exercise routine, promoting the real benefits of having SIXPAD as part of your health and fitness regime.

The challenge

SIXPAD had started to suffer from a lack of brand visibility, with less people talking about, or being aware of, their range of products and the benefits of using them.

SIXPAD were losing ground in the EMS category to rival brands on the market, who were owning the influencer space on social media with their low-quality high volume approach.

More broadly, innovations in the fitness product market were providing consumers with more choice and making the sector ever more competitive.

SIXPAD needed to find a way to increase brand recognition and to reach more consumers to help them stay competitive and own the market once more.

 Our strategy

We targeted a broad range of media titles to increase visibility amongst a varied audience base and to reach new potential SIXPAD customers.

We launched the new EMS range to consumer media and gained several highly sought after placements in Christmas gift guides, which enabled us to put the product range front of mind for many of our potential target audience.

The team also set out driving journalist reviews to secure positive write-ups during the festive period.

We also secured inclusion for the product as a must-have training aid for those looking to kickstart their fitness goals in January. This kind of exposure, at this time of year, is hugely valuable for any fitness brand and it proved to be the case for SIXPAD.

Finally, we undertook an influencer marketing campaign to enhance product reputation and to educate potential customers about the benefits of the SIXPAD products.

 The results

In terms of sales impact – store sales were especially high, with an increase of 98% in December compared with November 2018. During January, SIXPAD saw three times as many online sales on Amazon against October’s numbers which was an outstanding achievement.

The team secured more than 15 pieces of coverage over the crucial festive period, with a further 15 coming out in January and February during the busy New Year fitness period buzz.

SIXPAD was featured across national news, lifestyle, technology and sport industry-specific titles including: The IndependentMetroDaily Express, Daily Star Sunday, Harper’s Bazaar and BALANCE magazine.

A piece of standout coverage was SIXPAD’s Body Fit product featuring in the highly sought-after Lust List product slot in Metro – the UK’s most read national daily newspaper.

If you’re interested in finding out more about what our team could achieve for you, or you’d simply like to know more about our product placement expertise please reach out today. We’d love to find out how we can work with you to help you achieve your business goals.

Product placement PR with SIXPAD

Last weekend, the number one obstacle course racer in the world Jonathan Albon had an opportunity to win a $1 million. At the start of the year, Spartan Founder Joe De Sena vowed to give $1 million to any athlete who won all three Spartan World Championship Races – dubbed the “Million Dollar Trifecta”.

Jonathan Albon Spartan Race

The Spartan race is a series of obstacle races of varying distances and difficulty ranging from 3 miles to marathon distances. Jonathan Albon is an all-round athlete who competes in both obstacle course racing and skyrunning; currently the undefeated OCR world champion, skyrunning world champion and winner of both the 2016 & 2017 skyrunning extreme series.

Jonathan was set the challenge to win the jackpot of $1 million if he were to win the third and final event of the series – a 24-hour Ultra World Championship in Iceland. It wasn’t as simple as just completing it, he would only win the prize if he were to complete the 100-mile race within the 24-hour time limit set for the course.

Spartan Race Iceland

Raising their profile

Spartan approached The PHA Group to help raise the profile of the Ultra World Championships in Iceland, by utilising Jonathan’s participation. Jonathan is probably the UK’s most unknown world number one and PHA were set the challenge of ensuring everyone knew who he was.

The deadline was set for just two weeks…

The team set to work and focused their efforts on putting together a communication strategy that would raise Jonathan’s profile, increase coverage about the Ultra World Championships and all in a very tight timeline. Their ability to turn something around quickly and their extensive media relations experience and a large network of key sport and fitness journalists ensured great results with coverage across a wide range of publications and networks.

Tom Inskip, Sport & Fitness Senior Account Director said “We have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to working with mass participation events such as Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon, Total Warrior and Mo Running. We also have a fantastic track record of championing athletes who don’t have the profiles they deserve. With this combined experience and contacts book, we were able to turn around and deliver quality coverage in a matter of days”

The results

Our experienced PR team managed to place 18 news stories around the event on major outlets including BBC Sportsday, Telegraph Online, BBC online, Mail Online, Sports Bible, Runner’s WorldThe I, Square Mile and Talk Sport. As well as a five-page feature on the event that was published on December 29th in Saturday Times Magazine.

Unfortunately, Jonathan didn’t manage the feat, but it made for a fantastic story and an incredible achievement nonetheless to participate and be in for a chance to take the top spot.

Interested in hearing about how we might be able to help you promote your mass participation event? Speak to a member of our award-winning team today to find out how we can support your event.

Two weeks, $1 million prize and only one winner – Spartan Race

Whatever the industry, brands will continue to battle it out for top spot until the end of time. It’s rare that we see a brand blow away its competitors for a sustained period and completely monopolize the industry in the process but that is exactly what global tech giant Fitbit did.

In less than a decade Fitbit went from being a hopeful startup that almost died seven times in the initial stages according to CEO James Park, to a tech powerhouse worth over $4 billion.

So how exactly did Fitbit dominate the wearables industry? We take a look at the strategies that turned the once-faltering startup into one of the most recognisable global brands on the market.

Product development

Fitbit decided to incorporate a process that saw them strive for improvement rather than perfection on all their products. There’s been a constant stream of new gadgets released ever since the very first Fitbit model launched at the end of 2009. The Ultra followed soon after in 2011, which included an altimeter, digital clock and stopwatch feature. The following year, Fitbit launched the One and Zip which were the first fitness trackers to be completely wireless.

In total, Fitbit have produced 18 different fitness trackers in just nine years, what makes it even more impressive is in 2015 they didn’t launch anything and still sold 18 million fitness trackers.

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Today is no ordinary Monday. Make the most of this Fitbit sale with up to $70 OFF—major discount-snagging endorphins coming your way. Ends tonight! Link in bio.

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Explaining the data

Over the years Fitbit’s sleek desktop dashboard has helped to provide consumers with an extra level of reassurance and knowledge to their workouts. Before Fitbit was around, there was very limited information available to consumers regarding their heartbeat and fitness levels, calories burnt during exercise, all whilst tracking your daily steps. Fitbit empowered people to take ownership of their exercise.

This was a key strategy for the wearables brand and helped to cement Fitbit’s position as a giant in the fit-tech industry. By creating and building an environment where friends and family could compete against each other this led to an influx of fitness communities all around the globe. It became part of people’s fitness regime and the communities began to share and engage with each other over their results.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BdvqIlBgzRl/

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A little sibling rivalry goes a long way to hitting those step goals. #NationalSiblingsDay

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Tactical partnerships

Fitbit took the decision to partner up with leading fitness and wellness businesses, realising that challenger brands in the industry could strengthen their position in the market. Fitbit could begin to target a larger demographic they wouldn’t have been able to reach.

They teamed up with Habit the world’s first complete personalised nutrition solution. Habit use Fitbit data to create tailored food recommendations and nutrition plans for consumers.

Another partnership was formed with Peloton, a company that makes peddling at home so realistic you’d think you were taking part in the Tour De France. The use of Fitbit data enabled Peloton customers to monitor their improvement and progress all in one app.

Fitbit’s data partnerships have resulted in a 37% growth of their active user community grew.

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Fitbit has partnered with three leading brands in the #health and #fitness market – VirZOOM, Peloton and Habit – to make it even easier for users to reach their personal fitness and #wellness goals!  #nutrition

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Branching out

Park realised they had to revamp the brand and find a new revenue away from the tough consumer market if they wanted to continue their growth, it was decided corporate wellness was the answer. Fitbit Care was designed to promote wellness, and improve disease management and prevention through health coaching, digital interventions and personalised care plans.

Health care costs pose a challenge to employers, so a platform that could help employees with conditions like obesity, diabetes and heart disease could turn out to be a great success for Fitbit.

The Fitbit Care launched in September, so it will be interesting to see if Fitbit’s latest move can help continue their success.

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The weekend is almost in sight, but it's important to look after yourself throughout the week too. Find the time to kick back and relax with some meditation using the Relax feature on your Fitbit. #SelfCare

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If you would like to find out more about our sport and fitness public relations services, or how we worked with some of the UK’s top sporting brands speak to a member of our team today.

Dominating the market: Fitbit