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Inside Instinctive Insights

Client Spotlight: WestFit Clubs

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Deneen LapradeDeneen Laprade

WestFit Clubs, (fka Westford Racquet & Fitness Club) was opened by the Shyjan family in 1970. In 1972, the family opened The Westford Swim and Tennis Club, 2.5 miles down the road from the fitness-based facility. Today, the Shyjan family and their clubs have served Westford and its surrounding communities for 45+ years. Those in the health and fitness club industry know the achievement this level of longevity represents. General Manager, Patrick Duffy, comments, "We have loyal members who've been with us for 30+ years. Local outreach is important to the Shyjan's, and for all this time, we've successfully maintained our core values."

WestFit is a 60,000 square foot, year-round club with a fitness center, five indoor hard courts and an indoor pool. This mature club is undergoing facility renovations, beginning with locker rooms, followed up by a 10,000 square foot expansion of the fitness center. Duffy explains, "In 2014, we embarked on a rebranding project that started with a fresh name, WestFit Clubs. The facilities were dated, and we needed a competitive brand. We knew it was time to reinvent ourselves and create a modern-day club that is understood for what it is in today's market. We tackled facility and programming renovations to reach our goal."

The Challenges

With all the positive changes and improvements, Instinctive Insights wanted to know what challenges they faced along the way. According to Duffy, "It's always been about how to invent new marketing strategies and new ways to create new memberships, not just new bodies, but quality members." He continued saying, "Allocating marketing dollars that lead to ROI has always been a challenge. Times have changed. We knew we had to move away from our traditional print and paper strategies, but there was no clear direction for us to take."

Direct mail has always been part of the mix for WestFit Clubs, and over the years, Duffy has worked with multiple direct mail companies who, according to him, all lead with the same two questions: (1) What's your budget? And, (2) What are the mail routes? Duffy adds, "From there, a number was set, postcards were slung out there, and we waited to see what returned. Typically, not much, maybe two or three new members on a $10,000 direct mail spend. Tracking where new members come from is difficult. We've struggled to know where and how to focus our efforts to drive membership, and we have been completely unable to quantify what's working."

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