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Volume 20 No. 46
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24 Hour Fitness renews its USOC sponsorship

24 Hour Fitness has renewed its sponsorship of the U.S. Olympic Committee through the 2020 Tokyo Games, a deal that calls for USOC experts to certify the company’s personal trainers in workouts designed for Olympic sports.

A Team USA sponsor since 2003, the 420-location chain outfits and staffs the USOC’s training centers on site at the Olympics. It also regularly runs customer sweepstakes and Team USA-themed workouts in its biennial activations.
But entering renewal talks last year, both parties started with an eye toward expanding the marketing calendar, said 24 Hour Fitness marketing director Victoria Hoe.

The question was: “How can we turn this partnership into something that’s beyond just activating around the Games, into something that’s really integrated into a 365-day-per-year partnership?” Hoe said. “Also, we’re not only adding value to the USOC, but we’re also giving our trainers another certification so they can market themselves in their clubs.”

24 Hour Fitness provided equipment for the Ted Stevens Sports Service Center at the U.S. Olympic Training Center.

In a program overseen by USOC Chief of Sport Performance Alan Ashley, the USOC expects to certify between 800 and 1,000 trainers, or about one-third of 24 Hour’s roster, as authorities in workout regimens for Olympic sports. Qualifying Team USA hopefuls, who already receive free access to 24 Hour locations, will then have a more direct extension of the training they’d receive at official USOC locations.

“Our sports performance group does an amazing job with our athletes, but to be able to push their knowledge down to the 24 Hour Fitness trainers, it just expands our ability to hit more athletes and on a broader scale,” said Peter Zeytoonjian, USOC managing director of marketing.

Futhermore, the USOC will collaborate with 24 Hour Fitness to create digital workouts, which will be distributed on the chain’s 24GO remote fitness platform.

Financial terms were not disclosed. Hoe and Tom Lapcevic, executive vice president of legal and marketing, worked on the deal for 24 Hour Fitness, while Zeytoonjian and A.J. Turkovich, manager of consumer products/marketing, negotiated for the USOC.

24 Hour Fitness will continue to hold the fitness center category. Like all current sponsors, it will get a 60-day exclusive negotiation window to extend its rights into the 2021-24 quadrennial if Los Angeles wins the 2024 Summer Olympics. But the USOC-LA24 marketing joint venture would be free to go to market after those 60 days if it wishes.

24 Hour Fitness is the 12th USOC partner whose deal expired in 2016 to renew. Only BP, in the energy category, has neither officially cut ties nor renewed its expiring deal.