An innovative marketing campaign has helped Leeds City Council to conquer low cost competition, boosting membership by a staggering 2,000 members.

The council partnered with Alliance Leisure’s client support team after 14 budget gyms opened in the city, posing a big threat to the success of the council’s existing 16 leisure sites.

Launched in January 2017, the ‘We Are Family’ campaign was designed around the council’s brand values and wide offering for local families.

Our partnership with Alliance Leisure has enabled us to run a city-wide campaign targeting likely users of the leisure centres without stretching the limited resources available in the leisure
marketing team,” says Tim Quirke, marketing manager for Active Leeds.

Paul Woodford, Director of Marketing and Partnership at Alliance Leisure continues “For each campaign, we use online advertising on channels such as Facebook, Instagram and
Twitter to target customers in the local community served by each leisure centre. We also use search advertising on Google Adwords and YouTube to promote the campaign messages.

“Coupled with other more traditional channels, this strategy ensures we target individuals located around each leisure centre and maximises the return on investment.”

To support the campaign, Alliance also provided training for more than 600 members of staff. This ranged from management workshops focused on the sales process, coaching staff and monitoring performance to group training with frontline staff covering customer service, enquiry handling and up-selling techniques.

The response to the digital advertising has seen three-quarters of a million people living in Leeds exposed to some form of online campaign advertising since January. This has generated more than 3,500 leads for the leisure centres.  Membership has grown from 17,500 at the start of the campaign to the current membership of 19,500 with sales up by more than 60 per cent in some months.

Such has been the success of the campaign that it has been extended beyond the initial New Year period to front the introduction of single activity membership options, lower membership prices and the growth in the ‘Leeds Fitness Family’.  Using the tagline ‘Our Family Just Got Bigger’ Active Leeds is positive this will be their most successful year on record.