Planet Fitness Trans-Inclusive Locker Room Policy

Planet Fitness is known for its unusual, unhealthy marketing strategies  such as giving out free pizza, bagels and tootsie rolls.

However, Planet Fitness earns brownie points!

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Planet Fitness stays true to its “judgement free zone” mission statement.

Last month, a gym member was constantly complaining to Planet Fitness staff about witnessing a transgender in the women’s locker room. She went complained about a man being in the women’s locker room for four days. Staff asked her to stop, and she refused to do so. Planet Fitness demonstrates its “welcoming environment” by revoking her gym membership. 

In defense of their case, Planet Fitness released the statement…

“Planet Fitness is committed to creating a non-intimidating, welcoming environment for our members. Our gender identity non-discrimination policy states that members and guests may use all gym facilities based on their sincere self-reported gender identity. The manner in which this member expressed her concerns about the policy exhibited behavior that management at the Midland club deemed inappropriate and disruptive to other members, which is a violation of the membership agreement and as a result her membership was cancelled.”

Supporters say this policy will drive more business to the chain.

However, Fox News criticizes the policy of allowing transgender in the locker rooms they feel comfortable in. Albow make inaccurate, misleading and offensive claims about the transgender community.

“It’s tough to speak about because we’re so politically correct now that we get tongue tied. We can’t say the obvious, which is this is craziness. You’re kicking out members because they feel uncomfortable that someone who seems to be a man to them and is genetically is looking at them naked when they’re unclothed as women? That’s craziness.” -Albow

Albow criticized the chain’s policy by comparing  transgender to pretending to be a different age or race. He urged viewers to discontinue their membership  with Planet Fitness.

Albow fails to offer any academic sources to back up his argument. However, American Psychiatric Association found that transexuals are not delusional or pretending.

This assault was based on myth that men are sneaking into women’s restrooms. When the real issue is that transexuals are most likely to be assaulted and harassed in public facilities.

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Fitness Mobility

Mobile technology is now tracking everything from your heart rate to your blood oxygen level. Today, the fitness technology trend is booming. According to CBS News, athletes are paying roughly $49-250 for wearable fit bands. However, smartphone apps are anywhere around $5 or FREE.

So which is better? Wearables or apps

Research discovered that smartphone fitness apps prove to be a more accessible and affordable way to track daily steps.

But for those of you who climb, play basketball, kick box, etc., you might prefer not to have a phone in your pocket. Wearable devices might be more of a convenience.

Fitness tech experts have found that wearables, such as  FitBit, are capable to monitor heart rate, blood sugar and  a runner’s cadence and foot-ground contact time. Smartphone apps can’t collect this detailed data.

Whether it’s a wearable or a smartphone app, it depends on the consumer. For diabetic demographic, wearable technology is probably life changing. For those who prefer not to have a phone in their pocket during physical activity, wearable devices are much more convenient. For those who want to monitor their daily steps, smartphone apps would be much more accessible and cheap way to track their fitness behaviors.

It’s important to remember that fitness comes first and the technology second. Your workout and lifestyle choices are what’s important.

“Mobile tools change you tactics not your standard.” -Briggs, Journalism NEXT

Outdoor Apparel & Instagram

Analyzing my recent blog post The North Face Market, Mintel data discovered that the outdoor market engages with outdoor apparel brands through social media. Therefore, brands try to connect with its consumers through social media campaigns that offer personalization and customization.

In this blog, I want to analyze the booming social media platform, Instagram. The goal is to observe different outdoor athletic brands and their social media strategies.

Let’s start with The North Face…

The North Face currently has 541K followers. The brand’s instagram include posts of outdoor athletic ambassadors such as skiers, snowboarders, campers, yogis, skateboarders and climbers. The North Face developed the hashtag #neverstopexploring, which includes 1,015,625 posts.

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PrAna currently has 53.7k followers on Instagram. The brand is widely known for its climbing gear but has recently shifted to the yoga market. They have developed the hash #bringingyogaback, which currently includes 7,407 posts. The brand’s instagram is inviting consumers to overcome their limitations by participating in the “12 day yoga invitation.” The winner wins $1,000 in new prAna gear.

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Patagonia currently has 748K followers. The brand’s key strategy is to post dynamic images of ambassadors that are mind blowing. These ambassadors submit their photos at patagonia.tumblr.com and then the images are selected by the company to post on its instagram. While observing its account, I didn’t find any posts that included a hash tag. However, the posts did include descriptive captions relating to the featured ambassador.

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Hope you enjoyed these gnarly shots! Have a good weekend my friends!

Debate Over Runners Smoking Weed

Digging in a little further into my last, Weed Post Workout, I’m going to analyze the debate over running while high. This seems to be a common topic in runner’s blogs. Let’s see what they have to say.

It’s interesting that Will Run Longer supports marijuana when helping those who are suffering from disease. However, the blog is somewhat opposed to the idea of ultrarunners taking advantage of the drug’s benefits. Will Run Longer moves to the real question, “Why do ultra runners choose ultra running?” The blogger believes that this is the crux of the issue. Why do these runners choose such an intense sport, then smoke marijuana to experience less than the real thing? The blogger includes the example, “It would be like choosing to be a doctor, but not willing to see human blood.” The blog explains a concept he calls sensory prominent, which means if an ultra runner wants to experience the highs, he/she has to experience the lows (the actual lows…they shouldn’t be fixed).

“Smoke pot during an ultra? I think I’ll just keep digging.” –Will

On the other hand, The View From Hell claims that running high is the single most important factor in making life bearable and finds it shocking that this healthy pleasure is denied by millions of Americans. The blogger bases his argument around pleasure, the meaning of pleasure and pleasure’s moral value.

Wall Street Journal reports on how marijuana is just another painkiller athletes take for grueling races. It’s equivalent to popping  multiple Advil or Tylenol. The article focuses on ultrarunner, Collins, who eats marijuana laced foods. inhales water vapors and rubs marijuana balm on his legs for training. The marijuana balm numbs his legs. Small doses of marijuana keeps his mind at ease. And, marijuana candies and cookies lowers his heart rate and relaxes his muscles. The runner says, “Sometimes [pot] is the only way I can fall asleep after racing.”

What do you think?

This is such an interesting debate. You’ve read both side of the case. For ultramarathoners, is the use of marijuana unethical?

Comment below!

Weed Post-Workout

For some athletes, post workouts include protein bars, protein shakes, recovery drinks, chocolate milk, ect.

For some runners, post workouts include a nice bowl pack of WEED.

According to the Wall Street Journal, ultramarathoners are seeking marijuana after running.

Ultramarathon races are far longer and more intense than a 26.2-mile marathon. Ultramarathons are anywhere between 30 to 200 miles long and feature mountainous, rocky trails. In some cases, runners will run up hill for 24 hours straight. Consequently, these runners experience unbearable muscles pain and joint aches.

So how do these runners do it? Runners are saying the weed goes a long way.

“The person who is going to win an ultra is someone who can manage their pain, not puke and stay calm,” said veteran runner Jenn Shelton. “Pot does all three of those things.”

weed Dr. Lynn Webster, founder of the Lifetree Pain Clinic in Salt Lake City, found that weed blocks the physical input of pain. For cancer patients, the drug has been proven to treat nausea side effects from chemotherapy .

“If you can find the right level, [marijuana] takes the stress out of running,” says Avery Collins, a 22-year-old professional ultramarathoner.

Kevin Helliker compares ultramarathoners to energizer bunnies. Marijuana is what turns them off at night.

In the article, a runner points out that she uses marijuana for training purposes only, not for competing. She doesn’t compete with the drug because she believes it enhances performance.

Marijuana is a common topic covered in endurance-running blogs. Groups are debating on whether marijuana improves performance because of its ability to block pain.

The drug is now legal is 23 states. For ultrarunnners, is the use of marijuana unethical?

Debate, to be continued…

Outdoor Enthusiasts

Inspired by my last post The North Face Market, I decided to dig in a little further into the outdoor enthusiasts market. Outdoor enthusiasts include active people who enjoy nature and extreme outdoor activities such as hiking, climbing, camping, kayaking, rafting, skiing and snowboarding. According to Mintel, almost half of Americans enjoy outdoor recreation.

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The question is, are these nature junkies involved with today’s  advanced technology and social media?

The answer is YES.

Mintel data discovered that this market engages with outdoor apparel brands through social media. Therefore, brands try to connect with its consumers through social media campaigns that offer personalization and customization.

According to Mintel, The North Face is the most discussed outdoor apparel brand in social media platforms.

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The North Face includes dynamic imagery in it’s social media platforms, which engages it’s consumers and draws attention. Another marketing strategy is the brand’s “Planet Explore” app, which helps the metropolitan geographic find nearby parks and events.

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Beyond its social media appearance, The North Face is also the most talked about outdoor brand, with over 3.2 million mentions in online conversations.

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Outdoor enthusiasts make up almost half of America’s consumer market. These consumers want to engage with outdoor apparel brands through multiple social media platforms such as twitter, instagram, Facebook, etc. In order to connect with these consumers, marketers should consider affective, personalized social media campaigns.

The North Face Market

When snowboarding at Wisp this weekend, I noticed many many winter sport users wearing the North Face. However, at college I notice many casual users wearing the brand for it’s style and appearance.  Now, I’m  thinking, “who is the North Face’s market? ”

The North Face Users

“VF Outdoor (doing business as The North Face) wants its customers to take a hike — or take a stab at climbing Mount Everest,” Adam Aderson noted in the company’s description on Hoover. The North Face originally targeted customers of a particular niche, outdoor enthusiasts. However, millennial men/women who are not outdoor action junkies are becoming more attracted to the company’s high performance product and its casual wear popularity.

The North Face Non Users

Income level is an important variable when segmenting The North Face market. Non-users include the lower socioeconomic class who are unable to afford the high quality product. Non-users also include all demographics who have low interest in the active lifestyle.

934848_10154764358090447_6144580316083897281_n Outdoor Enthusiasts

Outdoor enthusiast users appreciate The North Face product because it serves as dependable means of security for their extreme adventures. These specific users participate in a variety of outdoor activities such as camping, climbing, hiking, skiing and snowboarding. Outdoor enthusiasts are most likely to be risk takers. These characteristics are most often found in 18-24 adult males in middle/upper socioeconomic class (Mintel Action and Extreme Sports).

This particular market is projected to total 31 million in 2011, about 10% of the adult population. As brand loyal consumers, these extreme athletes are likely to live in high-income households found in larger metropolitan areas. “About 20.2% of households in the U.S. earned $100K or more in 2009” (Mintel Action and Extreme Sports).

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Casual Users

Importance of health and exercise has become popular in the minds and attitudes of today’s consumers. Mintel discovered that 51% of adults have taken part in individual/keep fit sports in the last year (Marketing to Millennials). This trend is a great opportunity for The North Face. The booming health craze is moving consumers towards outdoor activities such as hiking, running and camping. As a result, health conscious individuals are becoming more likely to use The North Face as proper gear to satisfy their workout needs.

The North Face has recently shifted to a large casual sportswear market. This market is focused on the younger millennials who not only wear The North Face for its performance but also for its style and appearance.

These users may be in school or in an entry-level job (Marketing to Millenials). “Younger Millennials’ median household income is significantly lower ($30,604) than that of Older Millennials ($51,381)” (Marketing to Millennials). The North Face may struggle with marketing its products to consumers who are more price sensitive and spend less on discretionary spending categories.

Potential Users

“Boomers’ discretionary spending over the next decade will likely center on items related to health, wellness, and leisure” (Mintel Marketing to Baby Boomers). Doctors are constantly encouraging exercise as a prescription to baby boomer patients. Because The North Face has expanded its target market to health conscious individuals, baby boomers can potentially be users of its product.

Overall

When selling its products, it is important that The North Face keeps caters to its audience. It must keep its current users, outdoor enthusiasts and casual users, happy while trying to attract potential users like health conscious baby boomers.