Now in its 21st year, global fitness industry association FitPro has over 125,000 members and publishes three trade titles: Fitpro, Fitpro Network and Fitpro Business. According to Editor Ashley Newman “from the early aerobics boom through to the evolution of personal training, FitPro has been the leading global association. Social changes such as the obesity crisis led us to adapt the training and resources we provide, such as creating kid’s fitness programmes to respond to the increasing concern over childhood obesity, which is also reflected throughout our magazine content.”
FitPro has spent the last year pre-empting the impact of the Olympic and Paralympic Games on the fitness industry. “We’ve focused on how fitness professionals can capitalise on the inspirational nature of the Games to get the nation fit, as well as the procurement opportunities for operators wanting to get involved, for example helping them to develop training centres for the athletes during the Games. We also regularly feature Olympic athlete interviews and other Olympic content, but obviously relate this back to training and what the fitness industry can learn through elite-level sport.”
The magazines do look to work with PR agencies, including giveaways and product reviews allowing readers to test out the equipment coming on to the market. Ashley advises PRs wanting to have their products featured to “provide sound research to back up their claims – we are a trade title which represents the fitness industry, we are in the business of providing accurate content which is supported by science.”
Each of FitPro’s three publications caters specifically to different types of fitness professional, with Fitpro Network aimed at personal trainers, Fitpro at group exercise instructors and Fitpro Business at fitness managers and leading fitness business owners. “Fitpro has the largest readership of the three, providing health and fitness news and member resources, while Fitpro Network introduces more technical information around the science of training. Fitpro Business then provides management, communication and business advice along with insights into the future trends of the industry. We also have an online consumer title, Virtual Magazine, which we offer to health club chains and personal trainers, so that they can provide free, professional health and fitness content to their clients.”
With such a large membership base, social media has proved an effective way for FitPro to connect with their audience as well as to gauge feedback and help directly with queries. “This is often promised by many companies but rarely delivered. I think FitPro has been very forward thinking in this respect; we have an expert social media team who regularly post useful and interesting content, not just churning out marketing material which can annoy members. We’ve also found Twitter and Facebook to be a very helpful way of promoting the consumer content of Virtual Magazine.”
FitPro is continuing to grow as a global brand, with products such as ViPR, PTA Global and KidzMove becoming “big news” in fitness. “The magazines are also developing with the company, with readership numbers having had a huge increase in recent months. We’re also vastly improving our online presence through social media, mobile apps and the development of our website. The future is exciting for us at the moment, as we’re just about to offer a brand new personal trainer qualification, PTA Global.”
For more insight into sports, read our previous spotlights with media including sportinglife.com, Footy-Boots.com and The Tennis Space.