ccd news update - California Clubs of Distinction



ccd news update - California Clubs of Distinction
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Second Quarter • 2015
Star Trac: David Summers, Rick Nelson,
Nicole Harper & Mike Westcott
ABC Financial: Clay Whittaker & Steve Ayers
Life Fitness: Brendan McGury, Paris Gaines, Mike
Pooler, Nathan Green, Craig Spence & Nathan Berti
Fitness Pak Insurance: Michael Farris, Tony Posas
Ken McKay, Matt Bauer & Cody Conway
Debit Success: Shaun Quincey
Helix: Ken Carpenter & Scott Logan
Precor: Greg Dearholt, Jason Blair,
Jarred Willis & Adam Guier
Power Systems: Jason Eason, Andrew
Hunt, Emily Currence & Brian Fowler
Sports & Fitness Insurance:
Jennifer Urmston Lowe
Looking Forward With Retrospective Eyes
14 What To Consider Before Acquiring That New Club
Club Industry Financials: A Tone Of Optimism
16 Are Your Independent Contractors Actually Employees?
Exploring The Service Fallacy
18 Launch A Summer Referral Program Now!
10 Marketing Yourself Out Of Business
12 How To Design A Corporate Wellness Program
20 Your Sales And Retention Software Can Save Money
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Message From The Executive Director
Lin Conrad
Executive Director
I encourage you to take a good look at the
front page of the UpDate this quarter.
CCD and our sister organizations
(NEHRSA, MACMA, FitLife) are proud
and thankful for the support these vendor
members donated to make the Regional
Reception at the IHRSA convention
a success. Without their generosity, this
event would not happen. When you speak
to any of these vendors, please tell them
how much YOU appreciate their support.
In addition, I would like to remind our
very loyal readers of the CCD News UpDate that this publication
could not reach your club without the continuous support of our
Associate Member advertisers. Please support them when you
purchase products. Be sure to tell the sales people who contact you
just how much you appreciate their support of this CCD publication.
e UpDate has been sent to your club for thirteen years now and it
is solely thanks to the advertisers in this issue.
American With Disabilities Act’s Legal
Requirements For Service Animals
I have received several phone calls from club owners requesting
information on “service animals”. It’s time to review the ADA legal
requirements for service animals. Remember, the worst thing you can
do is say NO to anyone. Have an interactive dialogue with the person
requesting accommodation. NO is a recipe for disaster.
What qualifies as a “service animal”? Under the ADA, a dog
or miniature horse that “is individually trained to do work or perform
tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability” qualifies as a
service animal. e “work” or “tasks” performed by a service animal
must be directly related to the individual’s disability. For example, the
service animal might pull a wheelchair, guide a visually impaired
person, or assist an individual with psychiatric disabilities. Comfort
animals and pets are NOT service animals. Comfort animals merely
provide emotional support and are not individually trained to assist
with a disability.
What can you ask a customer who enters your club with
an animal? Businesses and their representatives who come in
contact with the public may ask only two questions of individuals
regarding their service animals:
1. Is the animal required because of a disability?
2. What work or task has the animal been trained to perform?
What businesses may NOT ask (for example):
1. For proof of training or license for the service animal;
2. For the guest to explain or verify his/her disability;
3. For a demonstration of the service animal’s training or abilities.
What you can and can’t ask almost makes it impossible to
say anything. It’s a “catch 22” situation when you ask if the animal is
required due to a disability but can’t ask the person what disability
that would be (assuming it isn’t apparent). e ADA definition of a
disability is complicated: qualifying mental disability; qualifying
physical disability; history (record) of having a disability; condition
that is perceived as a disability; or relationship (family, social, or other)
with a disabled person. Yet, you don’t want you facility overrun by
miniature horses or dogs.
Do you have to alter your establishment to
accommodate service animals? A public accommodation is
not required to accommodate a service animal when doing so would
result in a fundamental alteration to the nature of the business.
e following examples DO NOT qualify as fundamental alterations:
(1) Accommodation of a service animal at a location that serves food
(even if health codes prohibit animals). (2) Accommodation at a busy
sports facility. e following would qualify as a “fundamental
alteration” and does not have to be accommodated: A service dog that
is actively barking at a cinema or theater.
Common questions and answers about service animals:
1. Allergies: Can we deny service animals if others are allergic? NO.
2. Fear: Can we deny service animals if others are afraid of dogs
in general? NO.
3. Care: Is my club required to provide service animal care such as
food or a place for the animal to relieve itself? NO.
is information does not replace a legal opinion when you have
an issue. See the attorneys who work with CCD under "Legal" on
page 27.
FYI: In the next few months, I’ll be moving from Northern
California to Southern California. e only change will be our
address (TBA). e service, email, and phone number will remain
the same. Over the last 5 years I have been commuting back and forth
from North to South. Now I will be commuting from South to North.
The Trade Association of Health, Racquet & Fitness Clubs in California
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Looking Forward With Retrospective Eyes
Back in the late 70’s and early 80’s, we
created and professed to be in the fitness
business. We thought that, by being more
fit, people would be healthier. We honestly
believed that we would have a major effect
on the then-growing obesity problem. We
made it our mission to make America fitter.
We’ve had good intentions. Unfortunately,
we’ve fallen short in the “delivery system”
part of the business. ere are two very
By Michael Scott
evidence-based facts that
cannot be over looked. (1) We have yet to
eclipse the apparent glass ceiling of 17% of the population being
members of health clubs. Presently, that percentage sits at just about
16.5% and our industry annually turns over 40% of its consumer
base. Since 1991, we have sold well over 300 million memberships,
but show only 16% of that number now on the national membership
books. (2) Our business is rapidly being taken over by “the bigs.”
Assessing membership ownership of the top 100 results in a
realization that slightly under 10% of national health clubs control
more than 40% of memberships. at number is advancing every
year. Predictably, at the present rate, by 2017 the bigs will control one
of every two U.S. memberships - leaving it to the remaining 28,000
plus independent clubs to divvy up 30 million memberships.
What happened? Honestly, a lot of things. But to put it in perspective,
there are really five causatives to investigate if we are to arrive at
workable, going-forward solutions. (1) e original “fitness/exercise
business” too rapidly became the “membership business.” (2) e
membership model became broken but nobody paid attention.
(3) “Build it they will come” didn’t work. (4) We restricted our
operating paradigm to physicality. (5)We have lagged way behind in
effective use of technology.
The Original Fitness/Exercise Business
Became The Membership Business
Initially, industry pioneers were marketing fitness and exercise.
We weren’t very sophisticated. We just believed that what we had
learned for ourselves would apply to everybody. We stood on street
corners and at commuter-train stations and handed out flyers and free
passes and business cards. We begged people to come and take a look
at what we were doing. We did most of it without the blessings of
medical practitioners or other social influencers.
e introduction of electronic funds transfer “EFT” changed our
game from “prepaid” every-3-months or annual memberships to a
monthly-debit model. While it was definitely a positive turn for the
industry, at the same time we lost sight of the objective. It became
about "selling memberships.” And it’s remained there for over 30
years. What’s wrong with that, you ask? Perhaps an analogy will work
here. ere’s a story about the irascible automobile entrepreneur
Henry Ford being interviewed by an up-and-coming national
newspaper reporter. e reporter kept insisting on asking questions
about car sales. Finally, exasperated, Ford blasted out: “Young man,
this business is not about selling cars! It is
about providing affordable transportation to
the average American!”
The Membership Model
Became Broken
As early as the late 80’s, some companies
experimented with low-price memberships,
non-contract agreements, and even selling
short-term programs to consumers who
balked at constrictive membership policies.
Rather than embracing “give the people
what they want”, our industry dominantly
offered only “do it our way” options
for consumer participation. We rode the
coat-tails of other businesses that wrapped
their operations around ongoing memberships at mid-level pricing. We failed to look
at price points, and we set ourselves up for
the early 2000’s influx of “budget clubs” that
now make up better than ¼ of all facilities.
Inherent in the fixed membership model was
a promise of “results” that simply could not
be realistically fulfilled. How can a club of
several thousand members, with a ratio of
members-to-staff of 50 or 60 to 1 possibly
execute workable programming for each
individual? How the public has obviously
viewed the above is at best skeptical. And
they are increasingly voting with their feet.
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“Build It They Will Come” Didn’t Work
Unfortunately, most of the major industry influencers have
inadvertently promoted the building of more and more facilities as
the method to get more people interested in fitness-within-4-walls.
e “Field of Dreams” theory just hasn’t played out very well. Some
industry experts say that our industry is in a maturation phase, where
supply exceeds demand, prices decline, and an eventual consolidation
occurs (many businesses close their doors). ere are more mergers
and buyouts of good players causing the fragmentation of industry
sectors. at is certainly evident in our business at present. A few
gurus even say that bricks-and-mortar fitness is a thing of the past yet
waiting to happen. ey illustrate increased usage of fitness apps,
online training and exercise services, and the exponentially
developing wearables industry as evidence that fitness is entering a
new phase which will not be dominated by clubs.
We Restricted Our Operating Paradigm
One of the tenents of our business has been the insistence on
“physical fitness.” While a worthy prototype, it has proven to be
incredibly limiting on a longer-term basis. As America has aged, there
is less and less personal emphasis on the physical and greater interest
in the multiple elements that contribute to an individual being well.
Our advertising and programming attest to an overall industry that is
out-of-step with the masses. A recent review of the major industry
magazines showed three of every four ads being about young,
good-looking, fit hard bodies. Walk into just about any club in the
country and you’re likely to see exercise classes and group protocols
aimed at and organized around a constituency (under 40’s and fit)
that now makes up less than half of national membership rolls.
Way back in the late 80’s there were people trying to influence our
business to include “wellness.” It seems as though we either could not
comprehend the inclusion of emotional, intellectual, social,
environmental, vocational and spiritual factors into our endeavors - or
that we thought we had such a good thing going that we opted not to
change it. For most of the last three decades, certifying agencies have
concentrated 90% of their curriculum on the physical. We have
notably been short-sighted in keeping up with the other factors
leading to changes in the wants and needs of our populations.
We’ve Lagged Behind In Technology Effectiveness
As one tech expert from outside our industry noted to me in a recent
call: “Michael, it appears as though your industry is technophobic!
Club operators are pretty much limiting their techno-operations to
checking people in and collecting money.” Club management
databases came into being with the EFT revolution. Elementary LCD
readouts on equipment came a little later. Tie-ins of workouts with
data collection and distribution arrived in the late 90’s and is still in
“captive” form rather than “open-access” across various brands of
equipment. Results of recent surveys show that our industry is
considerably behind in marketing to our constituents. Consider the
findings in a just-completed Fitness Business Council survey of over
400 clubs. (1) Over 80% of respondents agreed that “fitness facilities
must use apps and other smart technologies to grow their businesses,”
but only 50% reported they presently use apps and 30% incorporate
wearables into their facility offerings. (2). Less than a third of clubs
have a written bring-your-own-device policy for members and staff,
leaving the protection of data and identities wide open. (3) In only
30% of facilities can members buy
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Club Industry Financials: A Tone Of Optimism
Apparently, the club industry has put the
thoughts of the recession behind it.
Clubs of all types are seemingly pleased
with recent results and optimistic about the
remainder of 2015. New builds are
flourishing. e ease of entry has always
been there, but more current club
companies are adding to their portfolio
along with a variety of newcomers.
Few clubs are closing. e U.S. economy
By Rick Caro
is improving and unemployment rates
continue to decline. Consumer confidence
gets stronger. e club industry is aligned with a series of positive
trends and underlying factors.
returned to the 2006-2007 levels. e total number of members in the
overall club industry grew, as did the number of total commercial
clubs in the U.S.
2014 Headlines
Data from a variety of sources, including IHRSA, highlights the key
club metrics in an upward direction. e comparison of same club
revenues versus the previous year shows a slightly improved direction.
Non-dues revenue has increased, in contrast to a year ago. Net
memberships overall are improving over the previous year, with
control over attrition rates playing a major role. ere is still a
challenge to the predictability to a specific month’s total versus the
previous year. EBITDA (Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation
and amortization) margins continue to improve, especially over the
recession years of 2009-2011. However, these margins have still not
Debt Financing A Major Resource
For the last two years, debt financing has been very available for
financing and re-financing purposes. It has still been difficult for new
builds by club developers with no previous track record. Both local
banks and SBA approvals have been difficult to obtain for such
start-ups. Cash-flow based lending has reached to new levels of
multiples of EBITDA dollars. Leverage has led more private equity
firms to enter the industry and pay higher values for groups of clubs.
Asset-based lending to existing club owners has been offered at very
attractive interest rates and terms and with respectable loan-to-value
ratios. is has been an ideal time to access debt for club operators,
franchisors and even franchisees and private equity firms.
ere have been several segments showing continued facility
acceleration including the niche studio sector, HV/LP (high-volume,
low-priced) clubs and 24-hour, 7-day a week, all-access clubs.
e studio segments who showed substantial increases were the barre
classes, boot camps, HITT (high-intensity interval training) facilities,
yoga, Pilates, group cycling, boxing/kick boxing and small-group
training. Many of these utilized the franchise concept. Landlords have
continued to be attracted to the health club industry with more
attractive real estate deals than previously. 2014 saw construction costs
start to increase after a series of flat years.
The Trade Association of Health, Racquet & Fitness Clubs in California
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Active Club Transaction Market
2014 has seen a substantial increase in the number and types of
club deals. ere is always talk of the movement for serious club
consolidation. But, there has never been a year where even 1% of the
total commercial clubs were sold to other clubs. Often, one private
equity firm buys out another. In one case in 2013, one club company
(Club Corp.) went public. e past year saw the Millennium Clubs
(dba Sports Club/LA), Sport & Health, e RUSH, Atlanta Fitness
and Bally Total Fitness (30 Clubs) all sold to other club companies.
After this Bally sale, it now may mark the shutting down of what was
the largest club company going back to the 1960s and 1970s.
Other sales of note included two managed companies of in-house
fitness facilities (Medifit and L&T Health & Fitness), a regional
franchise group of Planet Fitness, 24 Hour Fitness (2nd largest club
company), two yoga companies (Yoga Works and Core Power Yoga)
and some other specialty companies (Flywheel). High-end companies
were sold (e Bay Club Company) as well as HV/LP companies
(YOU FIT). Norwest Equity Partners, who previously owned
LifeTime Fitness before it went public, has returned to invest in e
Edge clubs in Connecticut. LNK Partners, who presently own Beach
Body and Fitness Connection, are now buying in 2015 part of
LifeTime Fitness when it goes back private. Private equity was drawn
to the HV/LP segment (VASA clubs and EOS clubs) as well as the
all-access clubs (Anytime Fitness). is has been a heavy period of
club transactions, which has not been witnessed previously. Even local
clubs are finding buyers, although the process can be difficult.
Many privately owned clubs are still hoping for values, which may
have been possible in 2007 but not since then. Independents still
struggle to understand their practical valuation levels today and then
do not know how to execute a proper sales process. is leads to favor
third-party sales from this segment.
ere have been no international companies investing in the club
industry in the U.S. and only Equinox and LA Fitness are venturing
into Canada. Equinox has only one unit in London. Several
franchisors have been recently growing their market share in
other countries. e market continues to be receptive to regional
players expanding their footprints by both acquisitions and new
builds. No strategic partners from analogous industries have been
investors in the club industry.
Other Relevant News
e club industry always is concerned about the theoretical quick-fix
solution to weight loss. But, commercial diet centers are still lacking
long-term success with an exercise component. e proverbial diet
pill has not been a serious threat yet, as several have garnered FDA
acceptance or are still going through trial stages.
Many club owners feel the threat of competition from the non-profit
sector. But in recent years the components of this sector have seen
little growth, including hospital wellness centers, parks, recreation
centers, JCCs, military base centers and member-owned clubs.
e one category which has seen major growth is the university fitness
center, with typical buildings costing $60-$80 million. ey are
intentionally overbuilt for today’s student enrollment. e key
concern is whether they choose to open them up to the local
community, at below-market rates.
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Exploring The Service Fallacy
By Bill McBride
I’m an advocate of great customer service
and technology as a tool to solve problems.
Technology for technology sake is not a
strategy. Using technology to solve issues
coupled with human touch can be a game
changer. Don’t fall into “e Technology
Fallacy” in the belief that technology in and
of itself is a strategy. e old adage “What’s
in it for me?” from a customer’s perspective
will always hold true. I want to focus on a
specific arena of customer service to shed
some light on the fallacy of overly scripted
“service attempts”.
First, let’s review some definitions: From Wikipedia: Customer
service is the provision of service to customers before, during and after
a purchase. According to Turban et al. (2002), "Customer service is a
series of activities designed to enhance the level of customer satisfaction.
at is the feeling that a product or service has met the customer
expectation." e perception of success of such interactions will be
dependent on employees "who can adjust themselves to the personality of
the guest," according to Micah Solomon. Customer service can also refer
to the culture of the organization. e priority the organization assigns to
customer service relative to other components, such as product innovation
or low price. In this sense, an organization that values good customer
service may spend more money in training employees than the average
organization, or proactively interview customers for feedback.
Customer service plays an important role in an organization's ability to
generate income and revenue. From that perspective, customer service
should be included as part of an overall approach to systematic
improvement. A customer’s service experience can change the entire
perception a customer has of the organization.
From Wikipedia: Customer experience is the sum of all experiences
at various touch-points a customer has with a supplier of goods and/or
services, over the duration of their relationship. is can include
awareness, discovery, attraction, interaction, purchase, use, cultivation
and advocacy. It can also be used to mean an individual experience over
one transaction; the distinction is usually clear in context. As the economics
of customer experience hang on the 'distinct economic offer' definition, one
conclusion some commentators have made is that the 'experience as
everything' definition is in fact a reworking of 'service excellence'.
Analysts and commentators who write about customer experience and
customer relationship management have increasingly recognized the
importance of managing the customer's experience. A company's ability
to deliver an experience that sets it apart in the eyes of its customers, serves
to increase the amount of consumer spending with the company and,
optimally, inspire loyalty to its brand. "Loyalty," says Jessica Sebor, "is now
driven primarily by a company's interaction with its customers and how
well it delivers on their wants and needs." (2008).
My take: customer service is personal. It’s about personality and
wowing someone with how much you care about them and their
experience. Customer experience is more global in approach. So by
definition, service has to start with company culture, including who
you hire, how you train and then add in the benefits of technologies
to help service flourish across the customer base.
“The perception of success of such interactions will be
dependent on employees who can adjust themselves to
the personality of the guest." - Wikipedia
How do you measure how well you’re doing with customer service
and customer experience? We know that whatever you measure, you
get more of. So, if you measure service and customer experience, you’ll
get more of “it”. To get “it”, companies have started to script how they
want service delivered to every customer. Let’s not forget what the data
tells us, if you respond and rectify a customer complaint/issue quickly,
then loyalty goes up. We survey and measure and in many cases are
getting better at responding. Now that we have the background on
service, experience, measurement, response, and rectifying, let’s share
some examples of what can go wrong.
I have long been a customer of “Big Bank”. ey are very successful
and view themselves as a “business” not a “bank”. eir increased
focus on customer service shows some serious issues from my
experience: (1) e “system” of their customer service and (2) how
they handled a branch error on my account. I realize that they are not
as customer service oriented culturally as they are superficial and
systematic. ey are using a strategy/initiative for customer service
versus establishing a true culture of service. e ironic part of this
analogy is that the employees seem to be service oriented, but the
system is actually thwarting their efforts.
For a long time, when you enter a branch, “Big Bank” has been over
the top in scripted “service”. Someone greets you; tellers ask about
your weekend and if they exceeded your expectations, but it’s always
the same scripted drill and in many cases, creates an awkward,
intrusive dialogue for the customer, but equally awkward for the
employee. It comes off as “phony”. I just want friendly, personal
interactions and accurate transactions.
I detest form letters/emails and auto response email. at’s not
service, that’s technology pretending to be service. It’s not natural or
organic and it has no personality or specialness. e employees of “Big
Bank” are trained to follow the script exactly. Tellers tell me that they
were coached not to deviate into a more personal, organic, natural
exchange. “Big Bank” is trying to use “service” to “sell” more bank
product and to upsell products versus making sure every customer
leaves extremely satisfied and happy with their encounter.
Recently, I made a $3,000 deposit in one account and a $7.46 deposit
into another account. My receipts were accurate as to the amounts
that were deposited into each account. In checking my accounts a
week later, I learned that they took $3,000 out of my account due to
a “deposit adjustment”. I called the customer service line, went to the
branch, called the business department for business accounts, obtained
copies of my account data and was told that the $3,000 check was
actually the $7.46 check. What happened (that I had to figure out for
them) was they scanned the $7.46 check twice, deposited the same
check into both accounts and never scanned the $3,000 check.
I understand how a teller could make this mistake. What baffled me
was no one could fix it until they found the $3,000 check.
ey decided they could take my money out of my account even
though they received it and had “lost” it. Even though I had receipts,
when there was a mistake, it was
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Marketing Yourself Out Of Business
You have engaged on an aggressive
marketing campaign, and you’re attracting
a lot of interest in your club. You decide
that you will follow up with all those folks
who toured your facility by sending a
pre-recorded invitation to their cell phone
inviting them to come back in for a special
offer. Next thing you know, you’re hit with
a multi-million dollar class action.
is type of nightmare a club owner can
By Anthony Ellrod
experience if he fails to comply with the
Telephone Consumer Protection Act
(TCPA). It’s crucial that club owners familiarize themselves with these
laws and pay close attention to what they can and can’t do. e
following is a discussion of the TCPA, and its application to different
factual scenarios common to health club solicitation practices.
Please note that the TCPA does not apply to email solicitation,
however the California Business and Professions Code (B&P) does, so
a brief analysis of those laws are included as well. Also, note that you
must maintain a “do not call list” and honor any request not to be
called again. When such a request is received, the requester may not
be called again. One error is allowed in a twelve month period.
After that you are subject to penalties. A person’s name must be kept
on the “do not call list” indefinitely.
1. Missed Guests: (prospects who toured the facility and received
a guest pass). We’re working under the assumption that the prospect
has given express, written, unambiguous consent to be contacted.
(A) Phone call from individual regarding joining club. Okay to either
landline or cell phone (consent not required). (B) Text from
individual regarding joining club (same rules as phone calls). Okay to
text, consent not required. (C) Email from individual regarding
joining club. e TCPA does not address email solicitation. Okay
pursuant to B&P so long as the recipient has provided direct consent
to receive advertisements from you, has made an inquiry and provided
his/her e-mail, or has made an application, purchase, or transaction,
with or without consideration, regarding products or services offered
by you. (B&P § 17529.1 and § 17529.2). (D) Automated phone call
blast to all missed guests regarding joining club. Automatic dialing to
a residence is okay without consent. Artificial or pre-recorded voice to
a residential landline (between 8 am and 9 pm) and either artificial or
pre-recorded voice or automatic dialing to a cell require consent.
Caller identity must be stated at the beginning of the message, give the
address and phone number of the caller and include an interactive
opt-out mechanism permitting the recipient to opt out of receiving
additional calls at any time during the call. is needs to automatically
add the consumer’s number to the seller’s do-not-call list and
immediately disconnect the call. A record of abandoned calls must be
kept. Prerecorded telemarketing messages left on answering machines
or voicemail services must include a toll-free number that consumers
can subsequently call back in order to connect directly to an
automated opt-out mechanism. (E) Automated text blast to all missed
guests regarding joining club. Okay to text cell but only with consent.
(F) Automated email blast to all missed guests regarding joining club.
e TCPA does not address email solicitation. Okay pursuant to B&P
so long as the recipient has provided direct consent to receive
advertisements from you or has made an inquiry and has provided his
/her e-mail address, or has made an application, purchase, or
transaction, with or without consideration, regarding products
or services offered by you. (B&P § 17529.1 and § 17529.2).
(G) Automated but personalized (to individual appearing to be sent
by individual at club) email blast to all missed guests regarding
joining club. e TCPA does not address email solicitation.
Okay pursuant to B&P so long as the recipient has provided direct
consent to receive advertisements from you or made an inquiry and
provided his/her e-mail address, or has made an application, purchase,
or transaction, with or without consideration, regarding products or
services offered by you. (B&P § 17529.1 and § 17529.2).
2. Existing Members: All rules are the same as for Missed
Guests above in 1.
3. Leads: Individuals who provide their information and have
agreed to receive information. All rules are the same as for Missed
Guests above in 1.
4. Cold Calls: Businesses offering group discounts, etc. All the
rules are the same as Missed Guests, except one (D). Automated
phone call blast to multiple businesses regarding group discounts.
Either artificial, pre-recorded voice or automatic dialing to a cell
require consent. Must state the identity of the caller at the beginning
of the message, give the address and phone number of the caller
during the call, include an interactive opt-out mechanism permitting
the recipient to opt out of receiving additional calls at any time
during the call. A record of abandoned calls must be kept. May not use
an automatic phone dialing system in such a way that two or more
phone lines of a multi-line business are engaged simultaneously.
All of the TCPA rules apply to businesses as well as consumers.
Consumer consent as discussed above must be unambiguous,
meaning that the consumer must receive a “clear and conspicuous
disclosure” that he/she will receive future calls that deliver autodialed
and/or prerecorded telemarketing messages on behalf of a specific
advertiser; that his/her consent is not a condition of purchase; and
he/she must designate a phone number at which to be reached (which
should not be pre-populated by the advertiser in an online form).
Limited exceptions apply to this requirement, such as calls/texts from
the consumer’s cellular carrier, debt collectors, schools, informational
notices and healthcare-related calls.
e foregoing is merely a general discussion of the law, and does not
take the place of express, direct legal counsel and should not be relied
upon as such. We have seen our clients engage in marketing programs
that they had no idea were improper or illegal, only to find that they
have subjected themselves to tens of millions of dollars in liability.
It’s prudent for any business to consult competent counsel before
embarking on any marketing plan. Otherwise all the years spent
building your business, and indeed your own personal wealth, could
evaporate overnight and leave you devastated.
Anthony Ellrod, is a partner with Manning & Kass, Ellrod, Ramirez,
Trester, LLP's LA office where he heads up the firm's Sports, Recreation
and Attractions Litigation Team.Tony can be reached at 213.624.6900
or [email protected] All information provided is of general nature
and is not intended nor represented to replace professional, specialized
legal advice, nor should the information be relied upon as same.
The Trade Association of Health, Racquet & Fitness Clubs in California
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How To Design A Corporate Wellness Program
By Dr. Kevin Steele
For years, the health club industry has been
discussing corporate wellness opportunities
and its potential impact on new member
sales. We all have felt that our clubs are
uniquely positioned to capitalize on the
market but just haven’t been able to obtain
the level of success that we know
is possible. In 2013, 87% of employers in
the United States offered some level of
employee wellness. is degree of
acceptance means that the time is right for
clubs to finally take advantage of this trend
and tap into the corporate market.
Companies now know the cost of an unfit workforce. It is decreased
productivity, high absenteeism, mounting workers compensation
claims and an overall lack of “presenteeism”, all of which lead to a
significant decrease in profitability. Corporate America and the
majority of small business focus on profits. It goes without saying that
a fit and healthy work force, with a robust employee wellness
program, lowers health care costs and increases profitability via
increased productivity with less absenteeism and reduced workers’
comp claims. is begs the question: Since various types of corporate
wellness programs have been available for over two decades, why
haven’t more of our clubs “cracked the code” and successfully
participated in this market segment?
First, the depth and scope of these programs has been limited and
often not financially feasible for most health club operators to offer.
Second, it has been challenging to demonstrate outcomes and return
on investment (ROI) to corporate clients until recently. We now have
solid financial research, improved models, and sophisticated tracking
technology that can be used.
Today, the macro-economic climate of the last five years has fostered
significant increases in health care costs across the board; from the
primary care providers; to third party administrators (TPA’s); to major
insurance companies. ese costs are then passed on to employers and
employees, where benefits are typically second only to payroll as an
expense to all businesses. Now, more than ever, the components on
both sides of this equation are in place; businesses acknowledge the
importance of getting and keeping their employees healthy and clubs
have the resources and motivation to focus on this very large market.
ere are some fundamental steps that you must take in order to
prepare for, and execute a successful corporate wellness program.
It starts with the club establishing a vision. Your vision should include
defining what “your” program consists of and looks like. Your vision
is the beacon of your business plan and works in conjunction with a
mission statement which is tactical and integrated into your club’s core
philosophy. Identify your primary and secondary objectives for the
corporate wellness program. Of course, these should be aligned with
your club’s over-all strategic initiatives. Once you have your vision and
mission statements established for your new program, it is time to
draft your business plan.
Your preliminary business plan should have some essential elements,
these include: timelines, roles and responsibilities, budget, marketing
strategies, and your evaluation process. Setting timelines will do two
primary things: (1) ey will provide your plan with a structure to
assign the various tasks you have identified. (2) ey will give you a
mechanism for holding your team accountable for completing the
necessary tasks. For this program to be successful, you will need to
identify and assign “specific” roles and responsibilities to your team.
Ideally, these won’t change often.
When establishing your budget: it is recommended that you create a
separate department within your comprehensive club budget so that
you can easily assess the program’s P & L. Your marketing strategies
should include: an internal club messaging plan, a business-to-business
campaign in your local community, and an internal corporate client
campaign to increase employee penetration. Finally, you will want to
develop a protocol to assess progress and identify gaps in
your program.
Once you complete your business plan, it is time for you to do the
research and due diligence. I recommend that you start with your local
business community. ese are a few of the questions that you will
want to investigate: (1) What percentage of businesses in your
community provide some form of wellness benefits to their
employees? (2) Of those that do, what are the components of their
programs? (3) Do they offer the services that you will be providing, or
some that are similar? (4) Of the businesses that don’t offer wellness
benefits, do they have an interest in doing so?
The Trade Association of Health, Racquet & Fitness Clubs in California
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ese are just a few of the questions that you need to ask as you
dissect your market and assess your program’s potential. Although
often overlooked, good research is key to your short and long-term
client acquisition and the program’s success.
After you get a sense of your realistic opportunities, it is equally
important that you do a competitive analysis to understand what you
and your team will be up against. Specifically, you will need to know
the details of the products and services that your competitors are
providing. Another segment of your research will include the latest
health care statistics; some examples: the top five debilitating/fatal
diseases; the average number of employee lost work days; the average
number of employee restricted work days; bed-rest days; the average
over-all cost per employee, etc. Finally; once you have identified a few
prospective clients, then it is very important to research the specific
details of those companies so that you can effectively prepare your
proposals and eventually design their “custom” programs.
While all of these “structural components” of your program are
extremely important, your corporate wellness team will ultimately
determine the success or failure of the program.
Some considerations as you begin to formulate the complexion of your
team: (1) What are your current “in-club” needs in membership sales,
personal training, group exercise, etc.? (2) Can you afford to allocate
any of your existing team’s time to your new endeavor? (3) Do you
have budgetary parameters when it comes to compensation and/or
time spent working this program? (4) What will the compensation
plan for this program be: straight commission, base plus commission,
or a flat salary? (5) What is your access to additional talent if you need
to supplement your existing team? (6) Will your team consist of “pure
sales people”, “pure personal trainers” or a blend?
As you can see, a successful corporate wellness program takes a great
deal of thought and planning long before you get to the execution
phase. While I have touched on several of the major components and
there is considerable detail behind each of them, there are many other
aspects of a strong program that I haven’t mentioned.
If you don’t currently have a corporate wellness program,
I recommend that you consider offering one and if you do, that you
regularly review your portfolio of services and assess your team’s
performance to assure that you are taking all of the appropriate steps
to success.
Dr. Kevin Steele was the Vice President of Education and Programs at
Mad Dogg Athletics. He helped design Preventive Executive Healthcare
Programs for corporations throughout the United States. Dr. Steele was
Director of Education, Research, and Member Services for Health at
Tennis Corporation of America (now Bally Total Fitness); VP of Health
Services/Corporate Sales and Sports Marketing for 24 Hour Fitness, later
was VP of Research and Business Development for Life Time Fitness.
Dr. Steele earned his BS in Sports Medicine/Physical Education from
Pepperdine University and was on the faculty. His PHD in
Physiology with an emphasis in Exercise and Nutrition was from
Columbia University. Kevin can be reached at [email protected]
if you have questions about a corporate wellness program.
Come see us on the web at
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What To Consider Before Acquiring That New Club
ere’s something exciting about acquiring
a new club property. It’s thrilling to
think about a larger portfolio, more
opportunities for staff, and more income.
But, there is also a lot of risk. I’d like to
share some important lessons we’ve learned
when evaluating a new club acquisition.
We’ve not always been right, but it sure
helps the decision-making to have a formal
evaluation process. For the purpose of this
article, I’m assuming the current owner
hasn’t been successful and that’s the reason
he/she is selling.
By Ralph Rajs
1. Stay objective. We have found if we want it too much, we
run the risk of not seeing red flags or explain them away as trivial.
2. Slow down. Take time to comb through their financials until
you have a deep understanding of the numbers. Club companies
report their financials in different formats, so comparisons to your
clubs can be difficult. I’ll take the time to reformat the financials of the
club we are researching into our format. I’ll then compare our top
performing club and the mid-performer to see how they compare.
is can be a tedious process but is very telling in the end.
3. Get all the facts. Why is the current owner selling? If they are
failing, make an assessment as to why. Is it a condition you can fix or
is it beyond your control? Knowing the background, how strongly do
you believe you can run this business differently and more
successfully than the out-going owners?
4. Does the current demographic of the club match
your brand? If current membership is paying a lower dues rate,
then what will you charge? Be realistic about what the conversion rate
will be and how long it will take to ramp it back up.
5. Get a deep understanding of the demographics
around the club. We’ve used a third party firm for help with this
task. ey can very quickly and cost effectively put together a
comprehensive demographic report. is also helps with the
objectivity. Beyond household income, there are “tapestry maps” that
can tell you the type of person that lives in the area. e household
income may look good but if a high percentage of income is tied up
CCD News Update is published by
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CCD DISCLAIMER: CCD News Update contains facts, views, opinions, statements, recommendations, advertisements,
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by high mortgage rates there may not be enough disposable income
in the area to support a higher dues level club.
6. Do a competitor profile within a 3-mile radius of
the club. Once that is done, you can go a level deeper in your due
diligence. How many like properties are there to yours? How strong
are they? Among the competitors in the area is there a clear space for
you to differentiate your club?
7. Do your due diligence on the current membership rates and what members are actually paying.
What discounts are being offered and how many members are on
discounts? Further, what percentage of the last year’s sales are
discounted and what percentage were sold at full rate? If a high
percentage of the last year’s sales were discounted, this may make it
even more difficult to assimilate members at a higher rate. You will
also want to know what the sales practices have been within the sales
office. Have there been strong discount policies for the membership
reps to follow, or have they been allowed to discount as they wished.
8. How will the purchase affect your current staff?
Do you have the bench strength to take on a new club without
adversely affecting your current operation? Will you have to hire more
people at the corporate office to support the new property? If so, that
should be included as part of the decision process.
9. What is the opportunity cost of the purchase? at
is, if you didn’t make the purchase what could you do in your
existing clubs to grow revenue? What would be the rate of return on
that versus the new purchase? ere are a lot of good examples of club
companies that concentrated on growing their business through a
single unit rather than by multiple units. It can be more cost effective
and less risky to grow in this manner.
10. This last item is a big one. What does the
deferred maintenance look like? ere are easy ones like
carpet and lockers, but you have to look deeper. Are there any records
of preventive maintenance for HVAC units or pool equipment?
You can learn a lot by talking to the head engineer. If he has been
there a long time he should have a good knowledge of what needs to
be done to the building. If there has been high turn-over in that
position or it has been out sourced, it is likely things have not been
well maintained and it will be expensive to get things back in order.
It may be beneficial to hire a third party to look over the mechanical
parts of the building to get an objective assessment. is doesn’t
necessarily kill the deal, but it’s good to know going in so it can be
calculated into the deal.
In the end, I think we all want to grow, create opportunities for our
people, and make more money. While there are no guarantees, your
chances of success are increased when you really do your due diligence
in answering questions like these as objectively and thoroughly as
possible before you make your buying decision.
Ralph Rajs is the Senior Vice President for Leisure Sports Inc, the owners
and operators of the ClubSport, Renaissance ClubSport, e Studio, and
e Quad brands. You can follow him on Twitter @RalphRajs.
The Trade Association of Health, Racquet & Fitness Clubs in California
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Are Your Independent Contractors Actually Employees?
ank you to all the CCD
members who stopped by
our booth at IHRSA. It was
great meeting fellow
members. rough our
conversations, we found
that the most common
questions and misconceptions surrounded the use of
independent contractors.
By Jonathan Liu & Todd Scherwin ere are significant benefits
of classifying laborers as
independent contractors rather than employees including the
elimination of the need to pay payroll taxes, secure workers’
compensation insurance or make unemployment insurance
withholdings. Independent contractors also do not receive overtime
pay, or meal or rest breaks. Not surprisingly, many employers attempt
to classify as much of its workforce as independent contractors, and
simply assume that the classification is defensible. Most employers
believe that if an independent contractor classification is challenged,
a finding that the employee was misclassified will not cause any
serious harm. is assumption is wrong.
Failing to properly classify workers can subject the employer to
administrative enforcement actions, civil penalties, fines, unpaid
wages, class-action and representative-action lawsuits, and the
assessment of back taxes, premium payments, and related penalties.
Employers in California are particularly at risk because its wage and
hour laws allow attorneys to recover fees in a private lawsuit filed
against employers who misclassify workers. Plaintiff attorneys are
highly motivated to pursue claims on behalf of independent
contractors either on an individual or class basis. When these claims
are filed as class actions, every worker an employer hired as an
independent contractor over the past few years may join in and the
resulting damages can be catastrophic to a company.
Although the consequences of misclassifying employees can be
disastrous, it’s possible to avoid liability and lawfully classify service
providers as independent contractors. In order to do so, you must be
able to show that they satisfy the tests for determining independent
contractor status.
Various Independent Contractor Tests
ere are a number of different tests used by the Internal Revenue
Service (IRS), state agencies and courts, federal courts, and the U.S.
Department of Labor to decide if the service provider is a genuine
independent contractor. While the tests are all slightly different, they
contain three key similarities.
First, all of the tests use multiple factors to determine if someone is an
employee or a genuine independent contractor. Second, the tests all
agree that the existence of an independent contractor agreement will
not on its own establish that someone is an independent contractor.
ird, they all focus on the level of control that the employer has over
the worker. If the employer has significant control over the individual,
including how services are performed and treats that individual as
their employee, then that individual is most likely an employee.
But if the individual has a great deal of autonomy and is not subject
to the control of the employer, then the person likely will qualify as
an independent contractor.
In conducting their independent contractor tests, courts and
government agencies ask a number of key questions. No single
question will decide the issue, but the answers to each of these
questions will tilt the scale in favor of a finding that the individual is
an independent contractor or an employee. ese questions include:
1. Does the employer control how, where and when the
person performs the job? e more control you have over the
way someone does their job, the more likely that person is an
employee. For example, if you develop strict guidelines and provide
extensive training on those guidelines, the person doing the job is
more likely to be an employee. If you set the person’s work schedule
and hours, this weighs in favor of an employer-employee relationship.
If you control the location where the work must be performed,
this too will weigh in favor of the existence of an employee-employer
relationship. Specifically, if the service can be provided offsite or from
home but the individual is required to work from your facility, that
will be evidence of an employer-employee relationship.
2. Who provides the tools and materials? If you provide or
pay for all of the tools and materials necessary to do the work, then the
person performing the service is more likely to be an employee.
For example, if you are providing the music, the materials, and the
choreography for a fitness class, this would support the argument that
the individual is an employee and not an independent contractor.
The Trade Association of Health, Racquet & Fitness Clubs in California
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3. What is the length of the job? If the person performing the
service is hired for one short project, the person is likely an
independent contractor. But if the individual remains on staff for a
long period of time, the person is more likely to be an employee.
4. How is the person paid? People paid by the job are more likely
to be independent contractors. ose paid by the hour or a regular
salary are more likely to be employees.
5. Does the individual provide the type of service
normally provided by the employer? If the individual is hired
to provide the essential work offered by the company, the person is
typically going to be considered an employee. For example, if your
facility hires a personal trainer for your customers, because you are in
the business of fitness, this individual is most likely an employee.
6. Is the contractor working elsewhere? If those providing
the service work full time or close to full time for the employer and do
not work for other employers, they are more likely to be considered
employees. But if a person works for several companies at the same
time for just a few hours per week, that person is far more likely to be
found to be an independent contractor.
7. Did the parties create a written independent contractor
agreement? If there is a written agreement between the parties
stating that an independent contractor relationship exists, this will help
establish the existence of an independent contractor relationship.
But as explained above, the fact that the agreement exists, on its
own, is not enough to show that the service provider is an
independent contractor.
8. Does the company mandate training? Required training
sessions will be evidence of an employer-employee relationship.
9. Can the worker terminate the job without liability?
Absent an employment contract, an employee is free to quit or can be
fired at any time without liability to either party. A contractor can’t be
terminated at any time without violating the terms of a contract or
suffering consequences for the incomplete project.
10. Can the contractor lose money on the project? If the
project runs longer or involves higher material costs than anticipated,
a contractor can lose money on the project. Employees never have to
encounter this problem since they are paid the same regardless of the
material or labor costs. erefore, if the service provider takes on a
financial risk by taking the job, he or she is more likely to be an
independent contractor.
is list of questions is not exhaustive and each classification has to be
looked at on a case by case basis. Nonetheless, its a good place to start
when examining if your classification of labor providers as
independent contractors is correct.
Todd Scherwin is managing partner of the Los Angeles office of Fisher &
Phillips LLP. His practice involves representing employers in various
aspects of labor and employment law, including discrimination,
harassment, state and federal wage-hour matters, including class actions,
employment handbook preparation, trade-secret protection and day to day
employment matters. Todd can be reached at (213) 330-4450 or
[email protected] Jonathan Liu is in the San Diego office and
can be reached at (858) 597-9623 or [email protected]
Come see us on the web at
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Launch A Summer Referral Program Now!
Create some buzz in your club this
summer! e summer tends to be a little
slower for many clubs, but it doesn’t have
to be. It is a great opportunity to combine
a couple months of your marketing budget,
have some fun and get a ton of fresh leads
and new members.
Referral promotions are nothing new to
our industry, but unfortunately, too many
clubs don’t put enough time and effort into
By Chris Russo
getting the message out to members and
creating some excitement about their
promotion. A bike hanging from the ceiling or a grill against the wall
surrounded by posters, just isn’t going to cut it anymore. You need to
market your promotion and get your members talking and wanting to
be a part of it. First of all, there is a prevailing mentality among many
members that "I never win anything so I’m not going to bother?”
Here are a few ways to introduce a multi-pronged approach to your
summer referral and get some buzz happening.
Extend the time: Often a promotion runs for one month with
a mediocre prize and limited marketing. It starts off strong but fades
fast. By making it last for six or eight weeks you can double up your
marketing budget and use the extra time to build momentum.
The promotion: We used items such as B.B.Q. grills, bikes,
Vespas and more. You can pick whatever you like depending on your
budget, market and demographics, but here is a scenario using a grill
as the prize: Work with a local retailer to make a deal for the grill and
include their logo and store info on all your marketing. ey are
usually willing to cut you a great deal if you offer something in return
like a few thousand impressions to your member base! Once you have
the grill you can plan on how to dress up the display area. For those
of you with multiple clubs, here is an opportunity to create a little
friendly competition between your staff at each location.
One of the simplest ways to have members overcome their objections
is to make it as easy as possible for them to enter while rewarding them
for their effort. Enter the t-shirt as the motivation for referrals! It’s
amazing how people, regardless of income, will do just about
anything for a free t-shirt. Not just any shirt, this one needs to be
designed specifically for this promotion. You need to have referral
cards printed with room for members to put their information as well
as the name, phone and email of five friends. Once completed, they
get the shirt. is is the point where the fun and buzz begins.
Encourage everyone to wear their new shirt when they come to work
out because there will be random prizes given out every day throughout the promotion to those who are participating. Nothing too big.
I suggest internal things like smoothies, juice, bars, PT sessions,
coupons or small inexpensive items relating to the grand prize. en
weekly throughout the promotion, offer slightly larger prizes, drawing
from the names of members who have made referrals. Items like
supermarket gift cards, BBQ utensils, aprons, etc. are all good prizes.
e goal is to have as many people as possible wearing the shirts
around the club in order to get other members asking how they can
get one too, thus creating a domino effect. is will mean increased
referrals while member’s excitement level builds at the club.
To get your referral promotion message out, you can choose from a
variety of options, but try to mix them up as much as you can based
on what you can afford. e goal is to minimize your expenses while
putting the majority of your budget into the shirts and prizes.
Our recommendation would be to plaster the club with posters; large
ones (24” x 36”) in high traffic areas and smaller ones (11” x 17”)
throughout the club; stall doors, pillars, counters, doorways and
bulletin boards. Whatever number you think you need, double it, as
you can’t have too many.
Send an email using graphics that match your campaign materials to
all your members announcing when the promotion starts, telling them
what they need to do to be involved and win. You should
follow this up with other emails listing how many members have
gotten involved: what each week’s prize is going to be while
mentioning who won the previous week’s prize. Facebook is also a
brilliant tool for sharing this type of information, but if you’re using
Facebook, you need to have posts at least 3 times a week. If you don’t
have a good database of member email addresses, or depending on
the number of members, then you should look at a direct mail piece
in order to get the message to them in a cost effective format.
Cap Off Your Summer Referral Promotion
With A "Welcome Summer 2015” Party!
It’s always a great idea to cap off your promotion with a member
appreciation party or welcome summer party, right when summer
begins on June 21st, as the time and place for the premium drawings.
is generates energy during the six weeks to two months of your
promotion and importantly, the party should generate a last push for
new member referrals going into the summer. All members, and newly
joined referred members should be invited to the party. e BBQ grill
give-away or perhaps a grand prize drawing for a hammock can help
generate more attendance and more referrals right up until the party
deadline. e club energy will truly buzz if it is promoted well.
e point is make it fun for everybody by having a focal point
"Welcome Summer 2015 Party” kick off to end your spring member
referral promotion. at event will also help keep your club in the
members’ minds during the summer, too. Remember, promote,
promote, promote! Have little badges with the party name for each
staff member to wear saying something like: Don’t miss our
"Welcome to Summer Party on June 21st!” Be sure that all staff wears
them at all times. Also, remember to regularly schedule
announcements by PA, group exercise instructors and personal
trainers to help boost attendance. is in-house promotional effort
will enhance your other marketing efforts for the promotion.
e best part of a club referral promotion like this is the interaction
it creates between members and staff and between different members.
With a little early planning and strategy, it will be simple to manage
how and when you communicate your message to ensure you keep
the momentum strong during the life of the promotion. Now go have
some fun, fire up your staff and members, generate a bunch of new
leads and make it a profitable summer!
Chris Russo writes for Susan K. Bailey Marketing & Design.
For help with this project, SKB can be contacted at 888-349-4598 or
through Mary Beth Bradley or Deneen Laprade.
The Trade Association of Health, Racquet & Fitness Clubs in California
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Your Sales And Retention Software Can Save Money
Every month, health clubs spend large
amounts of money on lead generation.
I understand that you need to spend
money to make money and that bringing
in leads is vital to the success of any
business but do you know whether your
money was well spent or not?
I don’t want to waste my marketing dollars
by spending on campaigns that aren’t
reaping any rewards. I rely on our CRM
By Rachael Lai
software to tell me which marketing
campaigns are working so I can make informed budget decisions.
If you’re a health club manager, you can leverage your sales and
retention software to save your club valuable marketing dollars. (1)
Start by capturing all lead information including the lead source in
your sales and retention software. (2) Set the lead source field to be a
required field so that sales staff are prompted to ask the lead how they
heard about your club and enter it with the lead’s details. (3) Use a
drop down for the lead source field so your lead source responses are
standardized. (4) You should also check if your lead management
software can be hooked up to your website or Facebook page so that
all web leads flow right into the software, with the lead source,
pre-populated and are automatically scheduled for follow-up.
Next, ensure that every lead is followed-up and proactively sold to.
Use your sales and retention software to set up scheduled emails, text
messages and calls to ensure your sales team is actively reaching out to
each lead. On average, it takes 7-11 points of contact to make a sale,
so having a follow-up plan for each new lead helps staff not let any lead
that you’ve spent money to acquire, get missed in the selling process.
Lastly, run reports to check which marketing campaigns are yielding
the best results. Because your leads have been entered into your sales
and retention software, you can pull a report which lets you see which
lead source brought in the most leads. You should also be able to see
which campaigns result in the most sales from your reports.
By following the steps above, you'll know exactly which marketing
activities are generating not only the most leads but also, quality leads
that convert to sales. Armed with this information, you can make
informed decisions about which campaigns to cut back on and where
you should spend more money. Because your sales staff should be
logging all their activities in your CRM software, you can be sure
you’re not throwing marketing dollars away by generating leads that
never get followed up.
Rachel Lai is the Marketing Manager for InTouch Follow-Up, the
leading health club sales and retention software. Rachel has over 10 years
of marketing experience helping companies develop brand recognition and
market share. As a social media fanatic, she specializes in using social
media and content marketing to engage prospective and current customers,
build community and gain customer insight. She can be reached at
206.395.3616 or by email at [email protected]
The Trade Association of Health, Racquet & Fitness Clubs in California
CCD_2nd_2015_Layout 1 5/1/15 6:18 PM Page 21
Come see us on the web at
CCD_2nd_2015_Layout 1 5/1/15 6:18 PM Page 22
Club Industry Financials...
e key challenge for the club industry in the past 2-3 years has been
to take advantage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). All elements of
the local community are trying to figure out the opportunities,
including insurance companies and brokers, employers, medical
practices and hospitals. e club industry is trying to determine its
role, but it is still struggling to benefit from this opportunity.
Legislative issues continue, especially at the state level. All clubs need
to monitor pending legislation which may affect them.
Key Thoughts From The Financial Panel
is year’s IHRSA panel included York Capital, Roark Capital,
Catterton (all private equity firms) and Benefit Street Partners (a debt
institution). ey were highlighting that the club industry has a
“tailwind” at its back for fundamental reasons. ey see the industry
as attractive for so many reasons, including its membership oriented,
recurring revenue basis and foundational, long-term demographics.
ey like the different segments as it affords customization and choices
to the consumer. ey like the stickiness of the industry and its strong
word-of-mouth. e Panel thinks that the industry will drive the
health and wellness movement, especially amongst local corporations.
e advent of the niche studios suggests they are getting an increased
share of the fitness wallet. More consumers are being wooed into the
industry at large. eir key market question is how the middle
segment would respond to growth at both the higher and lower ends.
ey reinforced the opportunity for growth of the HV/LP segment,
as it may lead to sales amongst first-time industry users as well as
former club members. e elements of a convenient location and an
array of fitness equipment at a minimal price is more likely, over time,
to attract a middle income prospect than previously. e panel cited
the value of the franchise concept, impressive unit economies,
reasonable start-up costs and the opportunity to attract in the future
“professional franchisees.” ey highlighted the very attractive debt
environment which may become less so as interest rates begin to rise.
e favorable debt climate with a reservoir of capacity and at most
attractive terms is ideal for current and future club companies. For
asset-based borrowers, the panel stressed the importance of screening
for a real debt “partner.” When asked about the future, the panelists
all talked about the need for reducing an attrition rate overall, lower
acquisition costs to attract new members, the importance of making
favorable real estate deals, the pressure to re-invest annually in the
physical plant and equipment, proof that each of the new segments is
working, the need for successful club exits and an ideal public
company “poster child.” ey all saw the need for a consumeroriented, growth business over time. More predictability and better
industry data will help the club industry “story” going forward.
Most of the industry is optimistic about the remainder of 2015,
with continuing development of the studios and HV/LP clubs.
e challenge to benefit from the ACA is still there. Expectations are
that current clubs will have increasingly successful 2015 results.
But, this is tampered with many outsiders reminding the industry that
it still may not reach the peak levels of success from 2007.
Rick Caro is president of Management Vision, a club consulting company
with expertise in helping with financials, valuations, market feasibility
studies, expert witness testimony and sales/purchases. Management Vision
can be contacted at 800.778.4411 or [email protected]
The Trade Association of Health, Racquet & Fitness Clubs in California
CCD_2nd_2015_Layout 1 5/1/15 6:18 PM Page 23
With the formation of John F.
Kennedy’s President’s Council
on Physical Fitness in the
1960s, a new era in exercise
science and technology began.
America’s early obsession with
physical fitness had people
jogging, bicycling, swimming
and weight lifting. By the
1980s, the fitness evolution
was in full swing and “fitness”
had become an industry.
Even as health clubs
continued to pop up across
the country, traditional
Jennifer Urmston Lowe
insurance providers viewed
clubs as a highly speculative,
niche market. As owners struggled to insure their clubs, a man named
Glynne Simpson stepped in to fill the void. With a small staff of two,
Simpson’s company was the original insurer for the manufacturer of
Nautilus brand exercise equipment. With the help of Nautilus’ Vice
President of Sales and Marketing, John Urmston, Simpson designed
the first policies that would be sold by his new company, Sports &
Fitness Insurance Corporation, founded in 1985.
When the Nautilus salespeople began recommending this new
company as a preferred insurer to their clients, Simpson began to
realize the potential of this new industry. He headed to New York City
and the first conference of the International Racquet Sports
Association (IRSA now IHRSA) to see what other business he could
drum up. He showed up at the Hilton with nothing but a card table
and a white poster board with the word Insurance written on it.
at humble tactic paid off in a big way. For more than a decade,
Sports and Fitness Insurance Company was the only general liability
provider recommended by what is now known as the International
Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA).
Today, Sport & Fitness Insurance Company is one of the largest
fitness underwriting companies in the nation. It has about 25 people
on staff at the company headquarters in Madison, Mississippi as well
as an office in Charlotte, North Carolina. e company is licensed in
all 50 states, has over 14,000 active policies for health clubs and
individual trainers and yoga instructors nationwide, and is endorsed
by a number of industry partners and franchises, including Curves
for Women.
John Urmston’s daughter, Jennifer Urmston Lowe, remains with SFIC
as their National Accounts Manager, and Simpson is still active in the
business he started.
For 30 years now, SFIC has focused solely on the health and fitness
industry. Simpson has developed and continuously refined a unique
comprehensive general liability policy for fitness professionals, as well
as, fitness studios and full service health clubs that is tailored to the
unique needs of our industry. Sports and Fitness Insurance Company
is the Managing General Agent for Liberty Mutual Insurance for the
fitness industry, working with both Liberty Agents and Independent
agents across the country.
For additional information, contact [email protected],
800.844.0536 ext12333 or visit
Come see us on the web at
CCD_2nd_2015_Layout 1 5/1/15 6:18 PM Page 24
Looking Forward...
memberships, programs, and specialty classes online. (4) While
owners universally subscribe to the importance of personal training
as a profit-making staple of their business, in only 24% of clubs can
members buy training online. 60% of facilities report people can buy
nothing online and in half of the clubs, members can’t web-schedule
for club activities.
(1) Offer variable options for participation. Make it easier for
customers to buy. How about short-term, premium-priced programs
that emphasize guided, step-graded accomplishments? (Premium price
for non-members, discounts for members.) (2) Consider
“unbundling” and “shrink-wrapping” various services. “Have it your
way” might be a good motto to endorse. (“Have it your way” usually
includes reasonably-priced and predictably-profitable program offers.)
(3). Embrace wellness. It’s coming and it’s coming fast. Wellness
initiatives and reimbursement programs will demand interactivity of
multiple facets of individual health and well-being. (Limiting your
facility programming to physicality automatically limits your
potential audience.) (4) Get on the technology train and soon!
ere are incredible branded apps available at low cost, some of which
integrate with other databases. Scrolling websites where members can
have “experiences” are becoming standard. Online buying and
scheduling are a modern must have. Like it or not, wearables are here
to stay and they’re just in their infancy. (Move away from “static” to
“dynamic” technologies.) You’ll have to spend more time on your
business and not be busied-to-death in your business.
Michael Scott Scudder is founder/CEO of Fitness Business Council, the
national network for independent facilities. He’ll open Wellness Business
Council later this year. To contact Michael, call 575-751-1212 or email
[email protected]
2015 Event Calendar
All 1 Hour Webinars Begin At 12 PM
Register Online At
If you are interested in speaking for CCD via a webinar
contact Lin Conrad, [email protected]"
May 20
Webinar: Updates On Child Care And Kid's Programming
October 14
Webinar: Make Your Club Bullet Proof To e
Competitive Environment
Supervisor Sexual Harassment Training
CCD provides in-house, industry specific training which has been
proven to be the most effective means of subject comprehension,
allowing for lively discussion and questions.
Contact Lin Conrad for information and registration:
510-243-1532, [email protected]
Webinars are $39 for CCD members and $79 for non-members.
CCD Webinars sponsored by
Exploring The Service Fallacy
assumed to be on me, the customer. After almost two weeks, they
returned it, but without any apology or explanation of why they took
my money in the first place. is was an example of corporate
business not customer service as a culture.
e right approach would have been to credit my account when
I challenged their actions (or not taken my money in the first place
until they researched it), asked for my help in what might have
happened and given me the benefit of the doubt since I had proof
I had given them the money. Various individuals cared, but couldn’t
fix it. So there was no ability to solve the issue until they found what
they had lost. Had they never found the check, what might have
happened? A $3,000 error against me does cause concern of “trust”
and the way it was handled caused more “brand disloyalty”.
Another example: For the last few years, a “Major Grocery” would
ask me to donate my change or to make a donation to a charity that
they chose. I still have to opt out and take extra steps to not donate
money to their charities at the transaction terminal. I know their
corporate leadership thought it would be great to donate millions to
charity under their brand. I imagine their goal was social
conscientious and community goodwill. However, the result is I have
to be asked, peer pressured and go through extra steps, NOT to
donate. To me, their desire to donate, is actually becoming a brand
deterrent to customer service and loyalty.
So what is my point? My point is you can’t completely script and use
technologies with regard to customer and community service. It’s got
to be personal, real, and authentic with staff. As our industry embarks
on greater customer experience management tools such as NPS,
Medallia, Listen 360, Retention Management, e Retention People
and others, it is imperative to take their lead on the importance of
service orientation and individual training. We have to first hire
service-oriented individuals and then train them to understand
customer service and the customer experience. At the end of the day,
it’s about the customer and what’s in it for them. It all starts with
leadership and company culture. I believe in the tools, but let’s
remember tools are used to build on the design and the vision. Focus
on the culture and then layer on systems and processes that support
the goal of excellent customer service and customer experience. If you
have the right culture, recruit and train the right people, then these
tools can change the game. But without the culture and people, you
are, as we say in the south, “paving the swamp”.
Bill McBride is President & Chief Executive Officer of Active Sports Clubs
& BMC3. He’s an industry veteran with over 25 years of experience
leading and managing all aspects of commercial health clubs, medical
fitness centers, community centers and corporate fitness centers. He owns
BMC3, a health club consulting company and recently with partners
launched Active Sports Clubs in 2014. Bill has served as Chairman of the
IHRSA Board of Directors and is actively engaged in industry education
and speaking on industry topics. You can reach Bill at
[email protected],
415.299.9482,, Twitter: billmcbride65.
To be placed on the email list for notification of these events contact
Lin Conrad, tel:510-243-1532 mail to:[email protected]
The Trade Association of Health, Racquet & Fitness Clubs in California
CCD_2nd_2015_Layout 1 5/1/15 6:18 PM Page 25
CCD Associate Members
Architects/Interior Design/Club Art
Joel B. Cantor - AIA Architect
415-957-9755 • [email protected]•
Serving the fitness industry since 1977, offers a full range of architectural, planning
& consulting services for new facilities, additions & extensive remodeling.
Fabiano & Associates •
Rudy Fabiano • 973-746-5100 • [email protected]
Architects and interior designers providing smart, efficient and creative designs that
will help your club’s project or renovation to be successful and within your budget.
Our services are affordable and our experienced staff of 20 years will develop design
solutions that will satisfy your business plan as well as your programming needs.
Our spaces are designed to keep people motivated, happy and most
importantly healthy.
Maxion Design •
Cindy Maxion • 619-668-5678 • [email protected]
Maxion Design has designed more than 300 fitness facilities across the country and
abroad. Relying on our vast experience as artists, interior designers, graphic artists
and color specialists, we make clubs real showstoppers. New technology makes it
possible to present everything electronically to our clients from anywhere in the
world. Clients can see what they're buying before they buy it. We have printed on
vinyl, sheer fabric, paper, window film, wood, metal and acrylic. Our art can come
in any size, style or color. It can be three dimensional, integrating play or fitness
equipment, cutting edge lighting and movement.
★ IDEA Health & Fitness Association
Kelly Nakai • 858-535-8979 • [email protected] • For info visit
e world’s leading membership organization of fitness and wellness professionals
with over 23,000 members in over 80 countries. Since 1982, IDEA has provided
personal trainers, group exercise instructors, fitness program directors, mind-body
teachers, health club owners and fitness center managers with pertinent information,
educational opportunities, career development programs and industry leadership.
★ IHRSA • 800-228-4277
Pam O’Donnell, Member Services • [email protected] •
e international non-profit association of Health, Racquet and Sports Clubs.
NEW! Medical Fitness Network•
Lisa Dougherty • 949-378-4505 • [email protected]
Medical Fitness Network is a free national referral service for those with chronic
disease/medical conditions looking for fitness and health facilities. We have over 100
national businesses supporting this project. If you would like to have your facility
and all those who work at it listed on our website please contact us for more details.
★ ACE (American Council on Exercise)
Comron Yahyapour • 800-825-3636 ext 771 • [email protected]
ACE has created a path for facilities that starts with ensuring your team has the
knowledge and skills to empower members to long-term change. Rooted in 30 years
of science from ACE, our NCCA-accredited certifications and specialty
certifications are trusted by 55,000 professionals and tens of thousands of clubs.
Learn more at
National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
800-460-6276 • [email protected]
Brad Tucker, VP Sales • [email protected]
David Correia • 818-595-1210 • [email protected]
NASM also offers a progressive career track with access to specializations in
FitnessNutrition (FNS), Sports Performance (PES), and Injury Prevention (CES),
Continuing Education courses, accredited Bachelor and Master Degree programs.
Bill McBride (BMC3)
415-299-9482 • [email protected] •
BMC3 is an agency specializing in consulting, coaching and club management.
We focus on operational strategy, operational excellence, sales & marketing, fitness
program design, class schedule optimization and staff training.
Premium Performance Training • 303-417-0653
Karen Woodard-Chavez • [email protected]
Karen has owned & operated clubs since 1985 and now consults and trains club
staff worldwide in marketing, selling, service and management skills.
Services available on-site, online, by phone, books, tapes, and manuals.
★ CCD Partnership discount
Come see us on the web at
CCD_2nd_2015_Layout 1 5/1/15 6:18 PM Page 26
CCD Associate Members
Court/Club Equipment
Athletix Products • 610-659-9924
John O’Donnell • [email protected]
Disinfectant Wipes and Sprays (kills MRSA),
Equipment Cleaning Wipes, Lubrication and
Maintenance Wipes, Odor Neutralizers for locker
room environments.
★ First Service • 800-227-1742
Dan Goldblatt • [email protected]
First Service is privileged to be a longstanding CCD
associate member and preferred supplier. Look to us
for top quality athletic equipment (tennis, basketball,
volleyball, wall padding, gym curtains and scoreboards), specialty flooring (weight room, gymnasium,
aerobic, water draining, locker room and protective
floor covers), and club furnishings (lockers, bleachers,
benches, stools, outdoor tables and benches). Take
advantage of our 35 years of industry experience!
Communication Consultants WBS, Inc.
Take It Off weight loss • Casey Conrad
401-932-9407 • takeitoff[email protected]
is is a complete, turn-key, in-club weight
loss program.
Diet-to-Go • 800-743-7546
Lauren Hartung • [email protected]
Jennifer Brody • [email protected]
Diet-to-Go is a food based, turnkey, nutritional
program offering everything a premier fitness club
needs to launch a lucrative profit center. With
commercial kitchens in Virginia and LA, we have a 23
year proven track record of providing an effective and
affordable nutrition option for customers nationwide.
We offer traditional, vegetarian or low carb menu
options. Diet-to-Go partners with fitness clubs to
deliver their food options to members at the clubs
Fitness Equipment
Balanced Body Pilates • 800-PILATES (745-2837)
Tony Tran 800-745-2837 x 206 •
[email protected] •
Balanced Body believes that mindful movement can
change your members' lives. We are the leading resource for Pilates and mindful movement equipment,
information and training for CCD member clubs.
Start or expand your programming with Pilates,
MOTR™, Bodhi Suspension System™, Balanced Body
Barre™ or CoreAlign®. Call and get started today.
NEW! Core Health and Fitness
Rick Nelson, Dir. Western Regional Sales
714-801-5527 • [email protected]
Mike Westcott, Nor CA Territory Manager
714- 936-1027 • [email protected]
David Summers, So CA Territory
480-584-9638 • [email protected]
Nicole Hagar, Territory Representative
562-522-5548 • [email protected]
Core Health and Fitness is the world’s fifth largest
marketer and distributor of commercial fitness
products to health clubs, community recreational
centers, hotels, government, educational facilities and
more. Core markets its products under the Star Trac,
Spinning®, StairMaster, Schwinn and Nautilus brands.
Headquartered in Vancouver, Washington, we employ
over 400 people worldwide and serve a global
customer base. Core maintains sales, engineering
service offices throughout the U.S. (Vancouver, WA;
Irvine, CA; Independence, VA as well as in the United
Kingdom (High Wycombe); Germany (Munich);
Spain (Madrid) and Brazil (Sao Paulo). We operate our
primary warehouses in the U.S., the Netherlands and
China. Visit and
Helix Lateral Trainer
Scott Logan • 425-526-6779 • [email protected]
Helix Lateral Trainer is not only the first lateral trainer
but it established a totally new direction for cardio
fitness. It employs a counter-rotational "figure 8"
motion. Helix delivers 43% greater lower body
activation, 44% greater core activation and 23%
more effective heart rate training.
Keiser Equipment • 800-253-6568
Gary Klein • [email protected]
Keiser air powered exercise machines create the power
in human performance via strength training and
functional training. We offer group cycling rear wheel
drive bikes, the Total Body Trainer, M5 Strider,
M3+Megnetic bike with front to back adjustable bars
and back-lit display, Air Power Racks, special programs
for senior training (STEP) and athletic performance
plus power testing for athletes. Keiser is known for our
Institute on Aging and Xpress 30 minute workouts.
Life Fitness
Joel Pigott, West Coast Director of Sales
949-702-1313 • [email protected]
Michael Pooler, SW Regional Sales Manager
714-393-7139 • [email protected]
Nathan Green, San Diego Area Sales Rep
619-550-6788 • [email protected]
Brendan McGury , LA Area Sales Rep
310-753-4932 • [email protected]
Nathan Berti, SF Bay Area Sales Rep
707-616-0231 • [email protected]
Craig Spence, N. California Area Sales Rep.
916-705-5973 • [email protected]
Over 30 years of research, development and expertise
in the fitness world has put Life Fitness in the unique
position to offer you what no other company can innovative products with unparalleled support. As the
leader in commercial exercise equipment, we’re able to
provide over 300 different cardiovascular and
strength-training products, including the renowned
Hammer Strength brand.
Power Systems • 800-321-6975 ext 7893
Patty Daugherty • [email protected]
Power Systems was founded by Bruno and Julie
Pauletto over 25 years ago and we are a leading
supplier of fitness and sports performance training
equipment. Our product line covers over 2000
strength and conditioning products for Health and
Fitness Clubs pertaining to Group Fitness, Functional
Training and Personal Training. We are located in
Knoxville, TN and utilize over 300,000 sq. ft. of office
and warehouse space. Our Mission is to advance
health, fitness and physical performance for everyone.
Jason Blair (Central California)
866-205-2063 • [email protected]
Jarred Willis, Sr. Key Account Manager
503-528-6061 • [email protected]
Adam Guier (Southern California )
619.315.9914 • [email protected]
Precor designs and builds premium fitness equipment
for effective workouts that feel smooth and natural.
Our equipment is chosen by health clubs, hotels, spas,
universities, and individuals all over the world. For
nearly three decades, we've driven fitness forward with
a passionate focus on ergonomic motion, proven
science, and superior engineering. We constantly study
and anticipate the needs of the people and
organizations we serve, and continually redefine the
levels of innovation, quality, and service necessary to
deliver the very best fitness experiences – all with the
goal of improving the ways people improve themselves.
NEW! SPRI Products, Inc.
Andy Hubbard • 865-919-1696
[email protected]
SPRI is the leading manufacturer of rubberized
resistance exercise products. SPRI continues to expand
into related markets such as functional and strength
training accessories. SPRI line of products has grown
to include educational materials and videos.
SportsArt •
Brian Jamison, National Sales Manager
405-888-3306 • [email protected]
SportsArt is an established industry leader leveraging
over 37 years of innovative design and manufacturing
excellence. e company consistently seeks to advance
industry standards, positioning itself as one of the
most creative manufacturers of premium quality
fitness, medical, performance and residential
equipment. SportsArt is one of the largest single brand
manufacturers in the world and is sold in over 70
countries worldwide. With over 500,000 square feet of
state-of-the art manufacturing space; SportsArt
designs, manufactures and tests all equipment to
rigorous TÜV quality standards. With hundreds of
patents worldwide for innovative technologies; such
as the award winning ICARE™ system or the newly
relaunched ECO-POWR™ Series, SportsArt is the
leading green fitness partner, developing products that
are instrumental to rebuilding and sustaining lives.
NEW! Technogym • 800-804-0952
Northern California: Joe Harris • 925-584-5077
[email protected]
Southern California: Justin Saunders • 949-679-11815
[email protected]
West Coast Manager: Tony Kowalczyk
847-922-7191 • [email protected]
Technogym is a fitness and wellness equipment
manufacturer headquartered in Italy. Technogym is
known for innovation, design and technology.
Technogym has an extensive product line which
includes: cardio, strength, flexability and functional
Total Gym •
Bonnie Lee • 858-764-0004 • [email protected]
Total Gym® is the world's leading privately-held
manufacturer of functional and bodyweight training
equipment for home consumers, fitness professionals,
athletic trainers and rehabilitation specialists.
Founded in 1974, the San Diego-based company's
Total Gym® equipment is used in 14,000 physical
therapy clinics, athletic training facilities, hospitals,
universities,professional sports teams and health clubs
worldwide. Total Gym continues to lead the industry
with innovative functional training products and the
award-winning GRAVITYSystem® commercial
fitness program.
NEW! TRX Training •
888-878-5348 • [email protected]
Created by the U.S. Navy SEALS as a means to staying
fit on missions, TRX training uses tools like the TRX
Suspension Trainer™ and the TRX Rip Trainer™ to
leverage bodyweight to build strength, lose weight and
increase flexibility. TRX is dedicated to leading the way
in functional training, offering an array of high-quality
products that includes the TRX Suspension Trainer™,
the TRX Rip Trainer™, education courses, commercial
business solutions, and comprehensive programming.
★ CCD Partnership discount
The Trade Association of Health, Racquet & Fitness Clubs in California
CCD_2nd_2015_Layout 1 5/1/15 6:18 PM Page 27
CCD Associate Members
NEW! Used Gym Equipment, LLC
Austin Hai • 310-570-6612
[email protected]
New, demo and remanufactured gym equipment
supplier. Bumper to bumper preventive maintenance
contracts. We custom remanufacture top commercial
gym equipment brands.
★ FitnessPak: CCD Endorsed Provider
Jim Foley • 800-873-3725 • [email protected]
Ken McKay • 800-444-4134 • [email protected]
Tony Pozas • 530-895-1010 • [email protected]
Matt Bauer • 800-873-3725 • [email protected]
Club insurance specialists.
Sports & Fitness Insurance Corp
Jennifer Urmston Lowe • 800-844-0536 X 12333
[email protected]
General liability, property and professional insurance.
★ Bradley & Gmelich • 818-243-5200
Tom Gmelich • [email protected]
Gary Bradley • [email protected]
General counsel for health and fitness centers
throughout California. Bradley & Gmelich specializes
in membership agreements, employment matters,
business counseling and litigation, and general liability
matters. Our holistic approach to practicing law
benefits your entire operation. Please call for a
free consultation.
Fisher & Phillips LLP
Todd B. Scherwin • 213-330-4500
[email protected]
444 S. Flower St., Suite 1590, Los Angeles, CA 90071
We are a law firm committed to taking a practical,
business-like approach to solving labor and
employment problems for employers. Labor and
employment law is all the firm does, offering deep and
broad knowledge and experience in the area of the law
their attorneys know best. We help clients avoid legal
problems, are dedicated to providing exceptional client
service, and are there when you need them. We have
advised health clubs and fitness facilities on wage-hour
related issues, including pay plans and compensation
agreements, discrimination/harassment claims from
employees and members and general employment
policies in the industry. In California, the firm has
offices in Irvine, L.A., San Diego and San Francisco.
Manning & Kass, Ellrod, Ramirez, Trester LLP
Anthony Ellrod • 213-624-6900 •
[email protected] •
Legal counsel with a focus on the health club industry,
including drafting membership agreements and other
contracts, providing risk management and general
counsel services, advising on and litigating business,
commercial, personal injury, employment, and workers
compensation matters. Offices in L.A., Orange
County, San Diego, San Francisco, and Phoenix.
★ LeVangie Law Group: CCD Endorsed Provider
916-443-4849 •
Jeffery Long • jeff[email protected]
Specializing in conducting risk management analysis
for health clubs, preparing valid waiver and releases,
and general health club litigation.
Locker Room Amenities
★ Petra Hygienic Systems: CCD Endorsed Provider
John Mickelson • 775-530-7133
[email protected]
Matt Anderson • 877-888-6655 ext 6
[email protected]
Personal care products for the locker room and club.
Royal Blue Textiles
Sam Kahen • 800-693-5426 • 310-888-0156
[email protected] •
Royal Blue Textiles is a family owned and operated
direct importer for all types of Athletic towels based
out of Los Angeles, CA. As a SPECIAL PROMO: on
all purchases made for the remainder of 2014, we
will be offering all CCD members a 7 % discount
off our price lists for all towels used in the gym,
shower and locker rooms. All orders in CA will be
delivered within 24-48 hours. Please contact us for
pricing so that we can show you how Royal Blue's
success thrives on providing the very best to
our customers!
Reach Media Network •
Brent Arnold • 541-915-8428
[email protected]
Reach has its own digital signage network that is in
over 500 athletic, health and fitness clubs, university
fitness and recreation centers, ice arenas, YMCAs and
JCCs throughout the United States. e
advertising-supported Reach Network features large
high-definition flat screen digital televisions, with flash
screen technology, that inform, entertain and educate
members and visitors at partner facilities.
Susan K Bailey • 888-349-4598 •
MaryBeth Bradley • [email protected]
Creates effective direct marketing pieces that cut
through the clutter and let you target market.
Advertising that works out!
Retention & Reward Programs
Retention Management • 800-951-8048
Billy Dawson • [email protected]
Retention Management helps fitness centers increase
retention, ancillary revenues, sales and profitability.
Our Email Services deliver automated email targeting
every segment of their membership and marketing
broadcast emails to promote club services and program
utilization. Our Social Media Services create and
actively manage a club’s Social Media presence;
maximizing fan recruitment and interaction,
marketing initiatives and profitability.
★ e Retention People
Sophie Adams • 647-248-9831
[email protected]
e Retention People are the leading providers of
Customer Experience Management software &
solutions to the fitness industry. We invest heavily on
retention studies and research and use this to drive
product development of our cloud-based technology
solutions, retention consultancy, professional
education and coaching. We extend membership
life spans.
Software/Internet Programs
ABC Financial Services • 800.622.6290 ext 1166
Steve Ayers, Chief Revenue Officer
1-800-551-9733 sales • 501-515-5066 direct
[email protected]
ABC Financial is the leading service provider of key
financial services including software, billing, payment
processing, and merchant services for the health and
fitness industry. In addition, ABC provides
comprehensive on-site training and club marketing.
Club Automation
Noah Dreyer • 847-597-1758
[email protected]
Club Automation is an innovative online club
management solution that helps you streamline and
automate a variety of both common and complex
processes involved in running health and fitness
facility. Our fully integrated solution is scaled for small
to large tennis, health and fitness facilities with one or
multiple locations. e Club Automation suite was
designed from the ground up to help club operators
reduce operating costs, grow revenues, and delight
your members.
NEW! Debit Success USA
Shaun Quincey • 415-269-0529
[email protected]
Full service billing and club management system.
Credit cards and ACH
In Touch Technology •
Rachael Lai • 888-741-6408
[email protected]
InTouch Follow-Up is sales and retention software that
has been built specifically for health clubs. We help
clubs capture all their leads and proactively
communicate with them so they sell more
memberships and personal training. Health clubs
define their own lead and member follow-up to fit
their own sales process. All sales activities are tracked
in InTouch Follow-Up so owners and managers can
hold staff accountable. Over 900 health clubs in
17 countries use InTouch Follow-Up to drive their
revenue by increasing membership sales and
member retention.
Jonas Fitness • 801-501-9673
Jan Harms • [email protected]
A comprehensive and scalable solution that combines
the best of club management software, managed
member data services and payment services. When
these three vital club functions are fully integrated,
your club reaches the peak in profitability and
operational efficiency.
MembersFirst • 508-310-2360
Dawn Taylor • 401-289-0745
[email protected]
Internet-based marketing and member communication
solutions to the Health & Fitness Industry. We build,
design and manage club web sites to support all aspects
of membership from acquisition, activation,
engagement and retention.
★ Revvim: CCD Endorsed Provider
Matt LeBaron • [email protected]
Revvim is a critical component of a well run website. It
continuously monitors your site and the search engine
landscape, recommending improvements that not only
optimize your organic search traffic, but maximize
your organic search revenue. It leverages your staff and
focuses them on the big picture.
Twin Oaks
Carole Oat • 860-829-6000 x281 • [email protected]
Eric Claman • x273 • [email protected]
Joanna Truong • x293 • [email protected]
Brian Bugnacki • x292 • [email protected]
Twin Oaks Software has been named the IHRSA
2015, Associate Member of the Year. Developed by
former club owners and serving the industry since
1991. Focused on delivering reliable products and
services, offering both a web or desktop software,
processing billing, and following up with
returns management.
Come see us on the web at
★ CCD Partnership discount
CCD_2nd_2015_Layout 1 5/1/15 6:18 PM Page 28
California Clubs of Distinction
5382 Coach Drive
El Sobrante, CA 94803
Membership Application
Membership in CCD is open to health, racquet, and fitness facilities which pay
property taxes and do not accept tax-deductible contributions of capital or
operating costs, e.g., 501 c(3)’s, government agencies and their subsidiaries.
Applicant facilities must sign the Pledge below to activate a membership. Your club
will be reviewed by the Executive Director upon application, change of ownership,
or if a questionable ethic is brought before the Board. If you have any questions,
please contact Lin Conrad, the Executive Director, at 510-243-1532. CCD reserves
the right to make final decisions on applications for membership.
Membership Pledge
As a member of CCD, I agree to operate my club in the best interest of the
consumer and the industry by: • Assuring that my club is a service driven club
• Abiding by all federal, state, and local consumer protection laws and all other
applicable legislation • Engaging in a positive sales approach
• Opening membership to persons of all races, creeds and places of origin.
I agree to abide by this Membership Pledge:
Please mark the appropriate box for annual dues:
Club Name:
Street Address:
Zip Code:
e-mail address (for CCD use only):
1 club with 2,000 sq. ft. or less = $225
1-4 clubs = $360 each facility (all clubs must be members)
5-9 clubs = $300 each facility (all clubs must be members)
10-14 clubs = $280 each facility (all clubs must be members)
15+ clubs = corporate membership (contact CCD for dues)
IHRSA Members receive a 5% discount.
Web site: www.
Number of Clubs:
Amount enclosed: $
Mail check to: CCD, 5382 Coach Drive, El Sobrante, CA 94803
CCD, a non-profit association, is the voice of the club industry in California. CCD’s purpose is to
promote responsible growth of the California club industry and to enhance the professionalism, effectiveness
and profitability of its members through networking, education and positive legislative change.
The Trade Association of Health, Racquet & Fitness Clubs in California

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