gym partnership

Stronger Together: New Gym Partnerships to Consider this Fall

The fall season is the perfect time to start developing new gym partnerships. Here are four benefits and ten ideas to help you get started today!

Monica Hilton
August 25, 2023
The fall season is the perfect time to start developing new gym partnerships. Here are four benefits and ten ideas to help you get started today!

Word-of-mouth is king when it comes to growing your fitness business. You’ve seen it when members recommend your gym, prompting friends and family to give it a try. And the same can be true on a larger scale by developing strong gym partnerships.

There’s no time like the present to start building and cultivating relationships with local businesses. The new school year and fall routine bring that “fresh start” feeling, which makes the timing even better to seek out new opportunities.

Gym partnerships drive revenue and retention
Gym partnerships drive revenue and retention. Here are some benefits and ideas to implement today!

So today, we’re talking about why these gym partnerships are beneficial and sharing some new ideas for you. Then, we’ve got a challenge for you to get the ball rolling in your gym today!

Four Benefits of Establishing Gym Partnerships:

As you explore the various options for fostering partnerships, start by focusing on the goals you’re looking to achieve. This can help you to either pare down a list that’s too long, or come up with new ideas. Here are four benefits to acknowledge:

1. Add Value to Your Member Experience.

While your first inclination might be to focus on how gym partnerships are going to benefit your gym, consider a help-first approach for your members. Creating partnerships that benefit your members is part of designing the ultimate member experience, ultimately helping you increase gym retention.

Think of it this way: If your members get a discount or perk at a local business simply by being a member of your gym, that’s a big win. It might not be the reason they join, but it goes a long way in creating a community of ambassadors for your brand.

2. Exponentially Increase Your Reach.

Spreading the word about your fitness business to prospective clients can be a lofty task, especially if it’s all on you. By developing strong gym partnerships, you’re enlisting the help of other local businesses to bring your brand to the forefront. Then you’re doing the same for them in return.

Statistically, potential members need to see your gym’s branding multiple times before they actually take action. Imagine one of your paid gym ads pops up in front of them. How much more impact will it make when they’ve been seeing your logo at local businesses around town recently?

3. Provide Credibility.

While advertising is an effective way to market your business, the credibility that comes from gym partnerships will generally feel more genuine to a customer. It’s the same way a recommendation from a friend packs more punch than any ad ever will.

If other local businesses know and trust you, their referrals will simply be more powerful. It’s one thing for you to tell people why they should join your gym. But it’s next-level when someone else says the same thing.

QR code cross-promotion
Build credibility with genuine referrals from other local businesses.

4. Generate Results for Both Parties.

It’s important for gym partnerships to be beneficial to both parties. If the relationship is one-sided, so is the motivation, and the whole thing may end up being short-lived.

Therefore, both parties should go into the partnership with clearly-outlined goals. This includes clarification around what each expects of the other, and what success looks like. That way, if either side doesn’t feel they’re getting what they expected, you can refer back to the outline and figure out how to resolve any issues.

One thing to note: Revenue isn’t always the main goal for both parties. From sales to brand awareness to Google Reviews, each company may be interested in different results. So the key is to first determine those goals, then create a strategy to achieve them for both organizations.

Ten Local Businesses to Consider Partnering With.

With that in mind, whether you’re aiming to increase gym revenue or drive brand awareness, here are 10 ideas for new gym partnerships to explore:

  1. Supplement Stores. In exchange for offering your members a discount on products, you’ll promote their business. Include a promo card in a new member’s welcome packet or share offers in your gym newsletter.
  2. Sports Recovery. Your athletes will benefit from recovery options like saunas, cryotherapy, etc. Instead of offering them in your gym, develop a partnership with a local recovery business. In return, their clientele will hear about your gym and hopefully you’ll have a few new members coming through your doors.
  3. Coffee Shop or Protein Smoothie Bar. With a simple QR code setup at your gym, your members can pre-order their morning caffeine or post-workout smoothie as they’re headed out the door. In exchange for the orders you’re gaining them, perhaps you and your coaches get free coffee or smoothies.
  4. Meal Prep and Delivery. Formalize a partnership with a local meal prep company and offer to make your gym location a delivery hub. Members can order meals that they pick up at the gym weekly, and you get a percentage of sales.
  5. Health Practitioners. This has historically been one of the best gym partnerships for gyms to explore. Because physical activity brings the need for mobility, pre-hab and rehab work, partnering with chiropractors, physical therapists, nutritionists, etc. works out well. While discounts are unlikely with this type of partnership, a two-way referral is a great starting place. You can also consider organizing a mutually-beneficial referral payout setup.
  6. Grocery Stores. You can get creative with some fun grocery store partnership ideas. Your lowest-hanging fruit will likely be healthy food stores like Whole Foods or Fresh Thyme. Consider fun options like gym field trips to teach members about nutrition. Or ask the grocery store to share a “healthy shopping list, brought to you by [Your Gym Name].”
  7. Local Realtors. For people whose lifestyle includes fitness, one of the first things they’ll be looking for when moving to a new area is a gym. Get a leg up on the competition by partnering with local realtors. Ask them to include a flyer or QR code for your gym in their “welcome home” packets. Create a referral payout system to make the partnership beneficial on both sides.
  8. Apartment Complexes. Along those same lines, people buying houses aren’t the only ones in the market for a new gym. Ask nearby apartment complexes to include your gym’s information in their new-tenant welcome packets. Or offer to host a group workout for the apartment community!
  9. Kids Daycare or Play Center. If a childcare option happens to be nearby, consider negotiating a reduced-rate for members of your fitness business. In return, perhaps provide the owner or staff members with a gym membership.
  10. Unconventional Partnerships. Sometimes the best gym partnerships come from thinking outside the box. For example, set up a creative cross-promotion with a mobile car wash or beauty salon. Just because a local business isn’t the first thing that comes to mind as a logical partnership, doesn’t mean creativity can’t spark a wildly-successful combination.
Coffee shop collaboration and promotion
Help your members get their caffeine fix with a mutually-beneficial coffee shop collaboration.
Pro Tip: Once you’ve set up various partnerships for your gym, create a PushPress Grow workflow to inform and educate your members! Book a demo with our team today to find out how Grow can save you time and help you run your gym better through the power of automation!

Get Started Today: A Challenge for You

Ready to get started forming some great partnerships for your gym this fall?

Here’s our challenge to you: Use the ideas above to make a list of 20 (or more) local businesses that you could potentially collaborate with. Some of them might seem to be a perfect fit, others might be categorized as “maybe.”

Once you’ve made your list, reach out to three of them today. The best option would be to stop in, support their business in person and introduce yourself. If that’s not possible, give them a call and send a follow-up email. Then, set a goal of reaching out to the remainder of your list over the next week.

Once you’re working together and helping each other reach your goals, we want to hear about it! Share your successes on the PushPress Community Facebook page!

Monica Hilton

Monica is our Content Manager extraordinaire for PushPress. She also owns her gym in Indianapolis, Together We Rise CrossFit, which she opened in 2014 and previously worked in IndyCar racing.

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