Posted: May 25th, 2022

Brand Vision Statement and Rationale

Bally Total Fitness – Branding

Bally Total Fitness Holding Corporation (NYSE: BFT)

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Brand Vision Statement and Rationale

The objective of this work is to from the stance of a young professional in an advertising agency who has been invited to pitch a new account to study the client’s brand and develop a proposed brand vision statement and rationale based on the analysis. The chosen brand is Bally Total Fitness.

Bally Total Fitness holds claim as the “largest and only nationwide commercial operator of fitness centers. Bally has four million member, 440 facilities in 29 states under the brands: Bally Total Fitness (R) Crunch Fitness (SM) Gorilla Sports (SM) Pinnacle Fitness (R), Bally Sports Club (R) and Sports Clubs of Canada (R) brands.” (Blackstone, 2005) Furthermore, Bally offers “a unique platform for distribution of a wide range of products and services targeted to active, fitness-conscious adult consumers.” (Blackstone, 2005)

Core Identity

A. Brand Soul

Total fitness is that which irrevocably represents, characterizes and brands the Bally Total Fitness name. Bally Total Fitness Holding is the “largest fitness center operator in the U.S., with about 440 gyms in 29 states as well as Canada, Mexico, and Asia. Most of the locations do business under Bally Total Fitness which is the stated “flagship brand” while others operate as “Gorilla Sports, Pinnacle Fitness, Crunch, Sports Clubs of Canada and Bally Sports Clubs.” Bally boats 4 million members with “access to pools, aerobic programs, running tracks, and racquet courts, as well as personal trainers and sports medicine services.” Marketed also by Bally are “private label nutritional products and health-related products. There are approximately 2,200 third-party Bally Total Fitness locations. Bally Total Fitness top competitors are stated by Hoovers Online to be: (1) 24-Hour Fitness (2) Gold’s Gym; and (3) YMCA.

Bally Total Fitness is ‘customer-centric’. Bally has expanded its private-label nutritional line which is now inclusive of “Rapid Results” packs which help members in achieving their desired results. Further noted are enhancement to group exercise is inclusive of classes that are ‘cutting-edge’ such as Kwando Spar, Pilates, Yoga and Aqua Fitness. Bally currently employees approximately 3, 300 trainers on staff and expects to double that number. In the year 2000 Bally generated $111 million in revenues as well as $38.6 million in operating income, showing an increase of 74% over the previous year. As of 2000, Retail revenue was reported to be up and continuing upward propelled by Bally’s nutritional drinks and bars. Reported in reference to the building and leveraging of the Bally Brand was that Bally had “aggressively pursued a number of brand building initiatives including co-marketing partnerships with leading consumer product companies…AOL Time Warner, Kodak, Pepsi, Kraft, Spring, Novartis and others. (Bally Total Fitness Outlines Plans for Continued Growth and Profitability, 2001)

B. Brand Values – The brand values that comes from the soul of the brand.

Brand values of Bally Total Fitness, are just as the name implies- total overall fitness, both nutritionally and including exercise as well. Reported at the Red Nova website in December, 2004 is that: “The “Your Bally” campaign marks the beginning of the Company’s second phase of evolution towards being a Total Fitness company and brand with relevance to a broad demographic of Americans facing a wide range of health, fitness and wellness challenges. This initiative began a year ago with the successful “Every Body Needs Something” campaign which focused on broadening the reach and appeal of joining a fitness club to consumers of all health and fitness levels. In a continued departure from its historical strategy of featuring super-buff models in the gym, the “Your Bally” campaign focuses on real people, facing the real situations in their every day lives.”(RedNova, 2004) According to Chairman and CEO Paul Toback,

As the nation’s only Total Fitness company, we know that a commitment to total health and fitness is more than just a person’s workouts three to five times a week, it is about the nutrition and exercise choices they make every day and Bally can help with both. Last year, we began a transition of our operations, our membership structures and our product service offerings as part of the evolution of our brand to “total fitness,” and this year’s campaign is a continuation of that effort….Bally is a customer-focused organization, and our members come in all ages and sizes. With this campaign, we’ve literally and figuratively stepped outside of our clubs, and into the minds, hearts and lives of our members to demonstrate and communicate our commitment to being their personal health and fitness solution. Following our new philosophy, we are expanding our reach to target more people who have a need for health and wellness in their lives.” (RedNova website, 2004)

C. Point of difference – The crux of the brand’s functional attributes or expertise e.g., what is the brand uniquely good at?)

The Bally Total Fitness campaign has a unique way of reaching consumers through down-to-earth advertisements. Furthermore, their unique combination of Dynamic Personal Training and Rapid Results Diet System and the new weight management program are all utilized in the creation of an individualized fitness regimen. In another customer-centric effort Red Nova reports that “Bally’s in-house creative shop, RocketScience created the “Your Bally” campaign. RocketScience collaborated with Grupo Gallegos, a Long Beach, CA-based advertising agency, to develop the Spanish-language spots.”(Red Nova website, 2004) The debut of the “Your Bally” campaign was December 26. Featured are four television advertisements, three in English and one in Spanish. All focus on health and fitness concerns of various consumers. Approaching customers through common every day matters such as dress size and junk food in the grocery cart and even a man struggling to fasten his pants after weight gain incorporated as the solution by Bally is both nutrition and exercise. (Red Nova, 2004)

II. Extended Identity

Personality — the core of the brand personality.

The core of Bally Total Fitness in relation to the core of the brand personality is the ‘total’ scope of individual fitness.

Brand positioning – The unique position in the consumer’s mind, based on differentiation vs. other brands in a defined competitive frame of reference.

While other fitness service company’s may offer fitness comprehensively, the ‘total’ fitness claims of Bally are taken quite literally by consumers. Bally has positioned its brand throughout the entire genre of fitness from the flagship “Bally Total Fitness” brand to the higher scale Crunch Fitness along with various other brands belonging to the Bally Total Fitness Holding Company.

III. Consumer Relationships

Functional benefits

Functional benefits include increased health status, feeling and looking better, having more enjoyment from life and all of this in conjunction with a company that really understands what it takes to become and stay fit.

Emotional benefits

The Bally Total Fitness regimen is user-friendly in terms of making the customer comprehend that Bally actually understands and is knowledgeable about the fitness needs of the customer leaving the customer feeling personally acknowledged and cared for.

Consumer/Brand relationship

In earlier years of the Bally Total Fitness Company the ‘hard body’ image was that which was purported to be optimal in terms of fitness. However upon the realization that that America was overweight and very unfit Bally decided to change its’ branding strategy. The new strategy in branding seems to be much more effective drawing in the overweight and unfit consumers instead of scaring them away from what they perceived to be impossible and unattainable fitness goals.

Summary & Conclusion

While Bally Total Fitness certainly proceeded wrongly in attracting consumers in earlier years, it does appear that the company has advertising and consumer branding well within a reasonable scope towards the goal of new business and clientele generation.


Bally Total Fitness Launches “Your Bally” Campaign Highlighting Individualized Approach to Total Health and Fitness Bally Total Fitness Outlines Plans for Continued Growth and Profitability (2001)

Spots Emphasize Real People in Real Life Situations, Underscoring the Unique Motivations and Goals of People of All Ages and Fitness Levels (2004) 23 April. Online available at

Bally Total Fitness Outlines Plans for Continued Growth and Profitability (2001) Online at Bison website available at

Bally Total Fitness Launches “Your Bally” Campaign Highlighting Individualized Approach to Total Health and Fitness: Spots Emphasize Real People in Real Life Situations, Underscoring the Unique Motivations and Goals of People of All Ages and Fitness Levels (2004) RedNova available at

Bally Total Fitness Retains the Blackstone Group as Financial advisor to Assist with Turnaround Strategy (2005) 3 February MWW Group Bally Fitness Chicago, IL Online available at

Bally Total Fitness Holding Corporation (NYSE: BFT)

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