Research Study: The Impact of Virtual on an Existing Group Fitness Program

How Does Virtual Impact an Existing Group Fitness Program?

RAC Research Study Volume 1, Release A

August 2018

The Rochester Athletic Club (RAC)–located in Rochester, Minnesota, home of the world famous Mayo Clinic–is one of the largest multi-purpose clubs in the United States. With over 60,000 club visits per month and three group fitness studios, the RAC knows the importance of offering members leading fitness programming that’s diverse and accessible.

In 2017, The RAC agreed to participate in the first ever quantitative, controlled, research study tracking the impact of virtual fitness on key performance indicators across live programming, virtual programming, and financial club dimensions. The study is being conducted over a period of 12 months and includes three years of historical data comparison.

Day 1: RAC Adds Virtual

FOD was installed in all three group fitness studios at the RAC, and virtual fitness was formally launched to members in January 2018. Prior to the launch, RAC was offering well over 400 live instructor-led classes each month, but 0 virtual classes.

Day 30: Gap Analysis

With the addition of the surplus of new virtual classes, a heat mapping exercise was performed to identify oversupply and demand gaps in both live and virtual programming.

Figure 1: Cost Per Class Decreases

Historical average to a deliver class = $19.23. Reduced to $4.48 after implementation of virtual.

Day 45: Tertiary Classes are Optimized

RAC was able to maintain the same popular live classes their members enjoyed, while supplementing with virtual options.

Figure 2: Live Class Head Count Increases

Some third-tier classes were targeted and removed resulting in increased density per live class, spreading out human resources and maximizing marginal gain.

Day 90+: Broader Group Fitness Engagement

90 days following the implementation of FitnessOnDemand, early indications suggest a measurable impact on club visits, overall group fitness participation, and customer engagement. At the time of this release, RAC was now offering just under 400 live instructor-led classes each month, while supplementing with over 1,300 virtual classes.

Figure 3: Monthly GX Club Visits Increases

RAC saw their club visits for group fitness increase by 39.5% in March of 2018 over March of 2017.

Figure 4: Visits for Virtual Takes Off

People counter technology installed in the RAC group fitness studios recorded over 3,500 attendees of virtual group fitness classes during the month of March.

Figure 5: One Out of Three Attend Virtual

Of the member visits to RAC during the month of March, 2018, 5.7% attended a virtual fitness class and approximately one out of three visits for all group fitness were for virtual.

Research Study Information

The RAC Research Study Volume 1 Release B will be published in Q4 of 2018. The full research data can be requested by contacting FitnessOnDemand.


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