Joining IHRSA in Spreading a Valuable Message

By Aaron Eisberg

The Covid-19 pandemic has rocked the world. It's also rocked the fitness industry. The lockdowns that began in March left many fitness clubs in distress and wondering how to move forward. The good news? They've got a dedicated ally in their corner: the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA). Here's a closer look at this organization, the critical message it's delivering to the world, and how fitness businesses can do their part to help amplify its voice at this pivotal time.

About the IHRSA

According to its website, the IHRSA's mission is "to grow, protect, and promote the health and fitness industry, and to provide its members with the benefits that will help them be more successful." Together with its member organizations, the IHRSA comprises a global community of health and fitness professionals working to build their businesses while supporting community health and wellbeing. 

The IHRSA and its members share the goal of helping more people get active. Unfortunately, the pandemic not only directly interfered with this goal but also compromised the wellbeing of countless health clubs and fitness facilities, gyms, spas, sports clubs, and industry suppliers in the process. Enter the IHRSA's fitness industry PR update, aimed at informing the public about the current state of the fitness industry.

A Trifold Message

Released on July 29, 2020, the IHRSA PR update brings together three major PR messages that it's been promoting since the coronavirus took hold of the country nearly six months ago. These include the following:

1. Clubs not only need to reopen, but they also need relief.

Not intended for consumers or the industry, this message is instead directed at the media with the goal of reaching lawmakers in a position to recognize how badly the industry is hurting in order to drive financial relief and stimulus within the industry. Additionally, the message implores government entities at all levels to permit clubs to reopen their doors. 

This message includes the assertion that clubs are clean, safe, and prepared for the return of their members. According to the IHRSA, this message played a role in prompting President Trump to include gyms in the first phase of his opening plan. 

2. Health clubs are safe and clean.

Because of uncertainties about Covid-19 and how it spreads, stakeholders are right to have concerns about the cleanliness and safety of the places they go, including health clubs. In addition to targeting governments in the push to allow clubs to open, this message is also aimed at consumers themselves.  

This message covers a number of issues, including revamped cleaning routines, the moving of equipment, marked safety zones, retraining staff, and more. 

This second message also addresses the ownership of fitness businesses in the imperative. Said Jason Reinhardt, owner of five Go M.A.D. (Make a Difference) Fitness Centers, "Those of us who chose the fitness industry as a career believe in the health benefits of exercise and want to deliver a healthy option to our communities. Therefore, the health and safety of our members, staff, and community is our top priority."

One last thing to keep in mind? Talking about keeping your fitness business safe and clean is one thing. Making it a priority is another, and can be the differentiating factor that encourages reluctant members to again cross your threshold. Of course, this also relies on making sure people know about your heightened cleaning practices and protocols. 

3. Exercise and Fitness Clubs are Vital

IHRSA proposes that, if the world had fully recognized the importance of health clubs, the pandemic might not have had such a catastrophic impact on people. Furthermore, if the fitness industry was valued more, then keeping fitness businesses open would have been a greater priority. Therefore, not only is it essential to deliver this message now, but to continue delivering it moving forward. 

What Your Fitness Business Can Do

IHRSA is committed to spreading these messages. However, gyms can also do their part to get the word out. Specifically, you can do this by sharing IHRSA's content on your business's social media accounts, website, and with local media outlets.

Man shouting into a megaphone.

While the fitness industry has been detrimentally impacted by Covid-19, there's hope for recovery -- especially if everyone pitches in. IHRSA is doing its part; are you doing yours?  Speaking of doing what you can to welcome both new and returning members, keeping up with the latest technology can also be an invaluable member recruitment and retention initiative.   Download the catalog today to learn what the AccuroFit System can do for your fitness business.