The Story of Rochester Athletic Club
Rochester Athletic Club (RAC) is one of the largest Multipurpose Clubs in the US. Featuring Fitness, Tennis, Swimming, Basketball, Squash, Group Exercise, Yoga, Pilates, Studio Cycling, and more, they offer a high-level experience to their members to help them live healthier, more active lives.
On the Front Lines of Technology
Always on the lookout for new ways to add value to their service level, they regularly visit trade shows to keep tabs on new industry developments. At IHRSA, they came across Virtuagym.
"We were really intrigued, as we felt this could be a great tool for our members," said Matt Remick, President at Rochester Athletic Club.
With the increase in club technology options that RAC members have access to, Virtuagym offered the option to combine all-in-one technology. "Every day, we witness members using their mobile phones as part of their fitness routines," said Brent Frueh, General Manager at RAC. "To now have one app that compiled all the tools was a brilliant solution."
The RAC prides itself on being cutting-edge when it comes to technology. "We're using several other systems for several other parts of our business, and it's great that Virtuagym offers seamless integration," Frueh explained. "Since it plays well with all these other offerings, we can deliver these tools through Virtuagym in one environment that's completely branded to the RAC."
We were waiting for the right product and Virtuagym answered the call.
General Manager Rochester Athletic Club.
Flexible communication tools and a retention-boosting community.
Branded Mobile App
A branded fitness app, customized for the RAC.
Customizable workout plan templates for all types of goals.
Virtuagym is implemented in every step of the member journey: from class scheduling to the RAC rewards program, everything is available in the RAC's branded app. Hardware connections to cardio machines enable members to easily log performed sessions. Meanwhile, Virtuagym's thousands of 3D-animated exercises support the multi-purpose services of the RAC, from weightlifting to swimming and yoga.
To help nurture member relationships, the RAC implemented Virtuagym's community module. Through interest groups, social media feeds and club challenges, the RAC can easily add a branded digital layer to their client communication.
"The option to create various groups was very useful," Remick explained. "This should enhance our communication to members with specific interests. It'll also offer a social opportunity for many of our members on their device."
Implementation & Launch
In the pre-launch stage, staff was introduced to the system and trained in its usage to a very positive response. As with any service or tool in a health club, the staff needs to be able to answer member queries. To that end, Virtuagym supports the RAC on an ongoing basis, providing support and training materials when needed.
To generate awareness among the member base, the RAC promoted the club app via multiple channels, including social media and their website. After launch, the customizable app tiles make channel promotion works both ways. Said Frueh: "We linked one of our tiles on the app to our website. In the app itself, we highlighted our new digital schedule via marketing banners."
The RAC is happy with initial member reception. "Some love it for our group fitness schedule, others love being able to get workouts from their personal trainer," Frueh explained. "We strongly feel that this product undoubtedly enhances the value of membership and should lead to better retention."