SBJ/August 13 - 19, 2001/Marketingsponsorship

Inside the Deal

THE DEAL:
24 Hour Fitness signs as an official sponsor of USA Volleyball.


ESTIMATED VALUE:
$300,000-$350,000


LENGTH:
Two years


DEAL MAKERS:
Chris Marek, director of new business development, 24 Hour Fitness USA; Chris Stuart, senior director of corporate development, USA Volleyball


KEY ELEMENTS:
Official sponsor and fitness center of USA Volleyball
Rights to use USA Volleyball logo
Provide USA Volleyball athletes and staff with workout facilities across the country
Official sponsor of the USA Volleyball championships, the World League competition and USA Girls and Boys Junior Olympic championships. At these events, 24 Hour Fitness receives tickets, hospitality and signs.
Opportunity to test sales of USA Volleyball licensed items at pro shops at 24 locations of 24 Hour Fitness
Full-page, four-color advertisement in USA Volleyball quarterly magazine
Establishment of an employee recruitment program that facilitates employment for USA Volleyball athletes with 24 Hour Fitness


BACKGROUND:
24 Hour Fitness USA has its headquarters in Pleasanton, Calif., and has more than 1.5 million members in more than 285 clubs in 15 states. Its 24 Hour Fitness Team Sports program offers training facilities at no cost to more than 9,000 high school student athletes.
The company is an active sports sponsor and has endorsement deals with LPGA golfers Tracy Hanson and Pamela Kerrigan. Team sponsorships include deals with the Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Dallas Stars, San Jose Sharks, Bay Area CyberRays, Los Angeles Avengers and Colorado Rockies. 24 Hour Fitness Team Sports has deals with USA Weightlifting and USA Wrestling.USA Volleyball has its headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colo. The national governing body has more than 145,000 members. Mizuno Corp. recently signed a four-year extension of its sponsorship with USA Volleyball. The national governing body is negotiating with United Airlines to renew its deal. Other sponsors include General Motors, Molten, Speedo, Sport Court and Texaco.


ANALYSIS:
Like all the deals in its extensive portfolio of sponsorships, 24 Hour Fitness uses its sports ties to authenticate its brand. As the company pushes eastward with locations, it will continue to expand on deals with teams and national governing bodies. USA Volleyball doesn't have substantial visibility elements to offer to sponsors, but access to its 145,000 members is a strong attraction for a company that sells health club memberships. The deal gives the national governing body an outlet (besides its Web site) to sell merchandise, and this could generate a modest amount of revenue. What's more significant is that the deal could increase awareness for USA Volleyball and produce an increase in membership. And that adds value to future sponsorship deals marketed by the organization.

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