Apple made an announcement today that it has started a program called Apple Watch Connected that gives benefits to people who go to the gym on a regular basis.
According to a report by CNBC, the incentives will be different at each of the specific fitness centers that Apple has collaborated with. Working out inside or outside of the gym can both contribute to accomplishing the goals.
As of this moment, Crunch Fitness, Basecamp Fitness, Orangetheory Fitness, and the YMCA are the four fitness franchises that have signed up to participate in this program.
According to CNBC, Basecamp plans to roll out Apple Watch Connected to all of its clubs over the course of the next year.
This week, the YMCA will begin expanding by opening facilities in and around the greater Twin Cities area. In the following weeks, 22 additional YMCA branches will open, and then the organization will expand even further. This week, Crunch Fitness will be the first gym in Manhattan to offer Apple Watch Connected, and additional locations are on the way. Last but not least, Orange Theory is going to implement it in all of its U.S. facilities in 2020, beginning with two locations in Manhattan on Thursday.
Apple is hoping to sign up as many gyms as possible for its new fitness program by waiving the required enrollment fee. However, gyms will be required to fulfill certain conditions, such as supporting Apple Pay and having workout tracking applications that are compatible with iPhones.
And it goes without saying that they will have to provide users with some sort of incentive. For example, Crunch Fitness is providing its customers with the opportunity to save up to $4 a week on the cost of their membership if they meet certain predetermined fitness goals.
The integration process needs to be simplified for fitness centers that have Apple Gymkit-enabled apparatus. GymKit was introduced a few years ago, and it enables users to pair their smartphone directly to cardio machines such as treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes, or stair steppers with just a tap of the screen. This means that data on both ends, like heart rate, speed, distance, and incline, will sync, resulting in more precise measurements.
Apple Watch Connected undoubtedly appears to be a valuable program, and participation in it may provide a competitive advantage for fitness centers. There is little doubt that there will be an increase in demand for establishments that support Apple Pay and can better connect with Apple Health. Not to mention the fact that knocking a few bucks off of the monthly gym membership fee in addition to offering other workout-related discounts could further encourage people to sign up.
There is no doubt in my mind that this will assist in the retention of members and maintain members’ active participation and engagement.