YMCA fitness visits increased with Air Miles offer
A partnership between Air Miles for Social Change, YMCA Canada, and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has concluded that customer loyalty programmes can have an influential role in encouraging healthy behaviour among consumers.
A recent nationwide pilot programme, comprising over 46,000 YMCA members across Canada, gave Air Miles reward miles for visits to YMCA health, fitness and aquatics facilities. The pilot involved 15 YMCA locations across four YMCA Member Associations in Canada.
The programme resulted in 63% of participating YMCA members taking part in physical activity between one to six more times per week in comparison to their activity during the same time in the previous year.
Overall, the YMCA saw a 6% lift in incremental visits compared against the control group. Given that 31.5% of Canadian children are now considered 'overweight' or 'obese'1 and coupled with declining levels of physical activity, a particularly encouraging aspect of this pilot was that 18% of participants whose visits increased were children and youth, a priority for PHAC and for YMCAs across Canada.
Commissioned by YMCA and PHAC to devise a cost-effective incentive programme to help increase activities amongst adults and children, the pilot study was launched in April 2013 and is still going today.
The programme offered 25 bonus reward miles at sign-up, with an ongoing offer of 1 reward mile per 2 visits, and a special bonus of 20 reward miles for 3 weekly visits during the months of September and October 2013.
Over 46,000 YMCA members signed up for the programme, greatly exceeding the target of 25,000.