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Fitness First UK’s Red Monday campaign bags a thousand new members with 'burn off your bills' energy prize

Fitness First UK’s Red Monday campaign for 2023 recorded 17,885 visitors across the UK
Member attendances in January are 13,000 per day on average, making this a 32 per cent increase
The 39-club chain recorded 1,000 new member sign-ups across the UK from the campaign
Red Monday is an antidote to ‘Blue Monday’ – the third Monday of January – which has become known as the most miserable day of the year
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The aim of our annual Red Monday campaign is to provide all with access to facilities to improve their physical and mental health without worrying about financial barriers
– Anne-Laure Kujawski, head of marketing, Fitness First
Credit: Fitness First

Fitness First’s annual Red Monday campaign, which ran across the UK on 16 January 2023, increased visits by a third and resulted in sign ups from a thousand new members.

Usually member attendances during January are 13,000 a day, on average, across all 39 clubs, but Red Monday brought in 17,885 – a 32 per cent increase.

The fitness chain has run a Red Monday campaign for the last ten years on the third Monday in January, to motivate members and expand its consumer base.

Residential clubs, such as St Albans, Bedford and Milton Keynes, reported an attendance increase of 17 per cent on the day. However, it was the chain’s city-based clubs – which had been hit hard by falling member numbers due to the pandemic – that benefited the most. Red Monday saw 5,000 city club visits, which was a 78 per cent increase in performance compared to the same day last year (Monday 17 January, 2022).

“We're delighted by the impact of this year’s campaign and the results from our city-based clubs are particularly promising for our continued post-pandemic recovery,” Fitness First’s head of marketing, Anne-Laure Kujawski, told HCM.

“Like many businesses, the state of the economy and the soaring cost of all areas of life is having an impact on our customer base, however, we recognise that as a fitness operator, we're in a position to offer an antidote to the mental strain that many are feeling at the moment.”

Blue Monday is widely considered to be the most depressing day of the year. It was first named in a press release by UK travel company Sky Travel. It is considered to be the moment, following the Christmas break, where people are back at work and suffering from a low mood, perhaps in part due to failing new year’s resolutions, while the weather is cold and finances are tight. The latter may ring true more than usual for many at the moment as the cost-of-living and energy crises continue.

Fitness First’s Red Monday campaign was designed to counteract Blue Monday and so enticing people back into clubs was key. Non-members, members and their family and friends (on complimentary passes) were invited to try the gym and spa, take part in classes and compete in the six-minute AMRAP challenge – a nationwide leaderboard keeps track of which members complete the most number of rounds. Fitness First also brought in DJs to some clubs and held tastings with partners such as Huel to enhance the community and social aspect.

“The aim of our annual Red Monday campaign is to provide all with access to facilities to improve their physical and mental health without worrying about financial barriers,” said Kujawski. “This year we wanted to supplement this further by offering customers the chance to have their energy bills paid for by Fitness First.”

As part of a 'burn off your bills' incentive, anyone who visited a Fitness First gym on Red Monday was automatically entered into a prize draw to win £300 – paid by bank transfer – that could be used to cover energy bills. Out of 17,885 entries, five winners will be picked and announced on 31 January 2023.

To encourage sign-ups, the company confirmed it ran a promotion that offered two months’ membership at half price. Online there is also a promotion running where the first month – at any club – is £10. Fees vary greatly depending on the club and location – from £27 per month at Ilford (which allows access to that club only) to £109 at London’s Baker St (top of a sliding scale, where members can visit all clubs).

Overall, clubs saw an increase in attendance of six per cent compared to the previous Monday. “Most importantly,” added Kujawski, “we hope that this year’s initiative helped customers to enhance their health and combat the January blues.”

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Fitness First UK’s annual ‘Red Monday’ campaign, which ran across the UK on 16 January 2023, increased visits by a third and resulted in sign ups from a thousand new members.
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