Location-based fitness apps like Runkeeper and Runno are making it easier for individual users to trace their steps and get encouragement from others as they get in shape. The apps add elements of gamification to health routines, earning points, tracking workout progress via GPS, and counting distance traveled and calories burned. But the real opportunity here is for local gyms and spas to get on this the location-based health kick.
Imagine a fitness club, where you “check-in” via an NFC-enabled smartphone, can see which of your friends are at the club now — and perhaps the more you visit, the bigger discount you get on next years’ membership. The potential for leveraging location data and services in this environment is limitless. That same check-in could also digitally assign you a locker, show you the history of club usage by day and machine to help you plan your programs better, and link-up with heart-rate monitors and wearable sensors to communicate wirelessly with treadmills and other equipment.
ScreenScape, a provider of place-based media has been providing digital-signage solutions for many community venues including fitness clubs. They recently partnered with Lifestyle Family Fitness and Mayfair Fitness Clubs in Canada to bring them the ability to deliver highly localized ad content and visual recognitions of Foursquare check-ins on screens in each venue. In the Mayfair case they are even streaming content from their YouTube channel into the screens for patrons’ enjoyment.
Mark Hemphill, Founder and COO of ScreenScape says that “place-based media is a natural fit for fitness clubs. There are tons of applications ranging from fitness videos, to membership drives and loyalty programs that make it a natural application for both venue enhancement and member engagement.”
Whether you are the fitness conscious consumer or the club providing a place to work out, location-based marketing enables truly powerful hyperlocal models and opportunities for true integration of people, places and media.
Asif R. Khan is a veteran tech start-up, business development and marketing entrepreneur currently serving the community as founder and president of the Location Based Marketing Association (The LBMA). Weekly podcaster at This Week In Location Based Marketing every Monday. Can be found at @AsifRKhan @TheLBMA on Twitter.