Local fitness gym partners with Flagler class on marketing ideas and internships
By Jordan Puyear, '17
Local franchisees from one of the fastest growing fitness gyms in the country, Orangetheory Fitness, partnered with Flagler College Professor Leslie Gordon to offer her Consumer Behavior students internships at the end of the semester. Gordon’s Consumer Behavior class is a senior-level marketing course that blends studies of Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, and Communication.
Throughout the course, students partnered with several Orangetheory Fitness franchisees to offer creative solutions for issues the company is currently facing. Students focused primarily on the Mandarin and Fleming Island locations and addressed the issue of overall membership retention.
“When Ms. Gordon came to us with this opportunity, we jumped on it because we recognized the different perspective the classes could bring to the table,” Orangetheory Fitness franchisee owner George Baccash said. “Overall, I have been impressed with the presentations. They [were] thoughtful and innovative ... It’s a great incubator for students.”
Student recommendations included creating separate social media accounts for each franchise, executing “calorie-burning challenges,” and implementing a day-care system.
Gordon believes that supplying her students with real-world experience is the key to finding the right balance between client and student satisfaction.
“The students gain 'real-time' marketing research, development and feedback experience from a real business, and the client gains fresh, innovative ideas within budget and ready for implementation,” she said.
Since the students delivered their presentations, the venue’s leadership team provided their point of view on the project details and discussed how the groups could improve on future projects of the sort. “The Orangetheory Fitness owners and marketing personnel granted access to a number of thriving, young minded college students, including myself, who were able to think outside the box and utilize valuable time to create new marketing ideas,” Student Ben Straw said.
After the projects and presentations were complete, the franchisees offered the students seven paid internships to help implement students’ ideas.