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Planet Fitness® Announces Partnership with Kansas City Royals

PFKC Inc. announced that it is the 2016 team sponsor and “Official Fitness Partner” of the two-time World Series champions, the Kansas City Royals. By sponsoring one of America’s most-loved professional sports, Planet Fitness® is reinforcing its commitment to keeping the Kansas City community active, healthy and engaged throughout baseball season.

“We are pleased to welcome Planet Fitness to our family of sponsors and look forward to working with them to bring more fans closer to the game in unique ways,” Mike Bucek, Royals Vice President of Marketing and Business Development, said about the new partnership.

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The Royals Kaufmann Stadium, home of the Kansas City Royals, will feature Planet Fitness sponsorship signs at all 81 home games in the 2016 season.

This exciting partnership includes Planet Fitness signage placement near the fountains at all 81 home games in the Royals Kaufmann Stadium. Even if one cannot physically make it to the stadium, the games can be watched during regular season games, which are produced by FOX Sports Kansas City in high definition and telecasts are available in Kansas City, Kansas, western and central Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa, Arkansas and Oklahoma. Additionally, PFKC will be the exclusive sponsor of the seventh inning stretch during each broadcast on the Royals Radio Network. The Royal’s network currently hosts 74 affiliates across the region and is the highest-rated Kansas City program when on the air.

“The Planet Fitness mission is to provide a high quality workout experience at an exceptional value. For only $10 a month, members can experience a hassle free, non-intimidating environment. Partnering with the Royals brings that to a whole new level,” said Brad Henson, chief operations officer of PFKC Inc.

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L-R: PFKC franchisees Greg and Brad Henson, PFKC senior manager Tiernie Darr and Vice President of Operations Seth Henson with the Royals’ World Series trophy.

University of Louisville Cardinals Fly in to the Purple Planet

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Fans lined up at Planet Fitness Louisville Middletown to meet University of Louisville stars Damion Lee and Trey Lewis.

Longtime supporters of the University of Louisville (UofL), PF Louisville LLC hosted a post-season autograph session with UofL basketball players Damion Lee and Trey Lewis, March 11, from 4-6 p.m. The two-hour event drew more than 500 fans to the group’s Louisville Middletown Planet Fitness®.

“We’re firm believers in aligning our brand and clubs with the community’s influencers,” said Rick Kueber, PF Louisville CEO. “On top of that, this was a great opportunity for us to give our members and prospective members a chance to meet two outstanding young men.”

The Louisville program is annually one of the top draws in college basketball averaging more than 22,000 fans per home game. Lee and Lewis led the University of Louisville Cardinals to a 23-8 regular season record and #16 ranking by the Associated Press.

Over the past four-plus years, including the 2013 National Championship season, Cardinal fans young and old have come to Kueber-owned clubs in the Louisville area for a chance to meet their favorite players.

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Some loyal Cards fans snap a photo with Damion Lee.

“Hosting and promoting events like this gives people who have never stepped foot into our clubs a reason to check us out,” said Kueber. “By our estimation, over the past four years, we’ve brought in thousands of folks who otherwise would not have been exposed to Planet Fitness. Bringing in Trey and Damion, captured the attention of 400 non-members – that’s a win for us as we continue to grow our Middletown club.”

To take advantage of the extra traffic, the club promoted a special in-club $1 down enrollment offer to those visiting. Additional staff was also on-hand to provide tours of the club and answer questions.

Along with the brand alignment between Planet Fitness and UofL, the club received marketing and promotional value through a media buy with the local ESPN radio affiliate. The timing of the event also allowed two of four network affiliate newscasts to do live shots from the club floor. The club also used boosted Facebook posts to target Cardinal fans in the surrounding areas and drive attendance.

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“L’s up” for Trey Lewis and this trio of happy Cardinal fans.

“The exposure we received in a basketball-crazy community far outweighed the investment,” said Ken Horn, PF Louisville marketing manager. “There were lots of smiles as fans got a chance to have a photo taken and get an autograph from Trey and Damion. Plenty of folks left here with a positive first impression of the club and Planet Fitness.”

Kueber-owned clubs have marketing agreements in place with other college sports programs, particularly in markets where they face stiff competition or are opening an area’s first Planet Fitness.

“It’s important to partner with local entities that have tremendous positive equity,” said Kueber. “Many of our markets are focused on their local sports teams. We try to take advantage of those good feelings and make sure our club can benefit.”

Planet Fitness Walks for Wishes

Metro Detroit Planet Fitness locations banded together in a sea of purple to take part in a fantastically successful Make-A-Wish® event May 7. The 18th Annual Walk for Wishes Southeast Michigan was held at the Detroit Zoo. The fundraiser raised a staggering $490,000 overall to give children with life-threatening illnesses the chance to enjoy once-in-a-lifetime opportunities of their choosing. This was the second year Planet Fitness® ownership groups have participated in the walk and was also the second year PF® was the lead sponsor for the event. Together, the Planet Fitness groups raised an incredible $41,605, plus an additional $25,000 provided for the sponsorship, benefiting the Make-A-Wish organization!

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Planet Fitness was able to give 17-year-old Make-A-Wish recipient Nicole the chance to travel to Hawaii for a vacation.

The combined financial support will help ensure that the Make-A-Wish organization is able to grant life-changing wishes to 440 Michigan kids this year alone. Planet Fitness had two wishes granted in honor of the sponsorship; one for Nicole, age 17, who wished to go to Hawaii, and one for Arianna, age 9, who wished to have a shopping spree.

The sponsorship also gave Planet Fitness a sign with name and logo recognition at the start/finish line; inclusion in the event press release; a speaking and check presentation opportunity at the ceremony; social media mentions; the PF-logo on all event materials, shirts, sponsor banners, monthly newsletters and walker e-blasts; a table at the event; a PF-logo and link on the event’s site; eight signs featuring the PF-logo on the designated event route; and event day warm-ups lead by one of Planet Fitness’ trainers.

A total of 30 locations participated in the walk and included the following ownership groups and franchisees: Klebba Group owned by Chris Klebba, Indiana ADA owned by Ron Huling, PF Michigan Group owned by Bryan Rief and JACS Development LLC owned by Jim Matthews and Dennis Backos. Through the combined franchisees and their staff’s participation, Planet Fitness represented a total of 519 participants present at this year’s walk!

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Planet Fitness had 519 participants attend this year’s Walk for Wishes in Southeast Michigan!

“All three of the Detroit Metro Planet Fitness ownership groups feel a special place in our hearts for these special children. Their optimism and positive nature is an inspiration, and we are happy to help in some small way,” said Chris and Ellen Klebba.

A Special Day for Special Members

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PF Central PA celebrants over 80 years old, Fred Detschel, Charlie McKnight and Lois Gibson, at the Special Day for Special Members event.

PF Central PA’s 10 Pennsylvania locations created a new initiative to engage its elderly membership called the Special Day for Special Members event. This new event was created specifically for members over 80 years old and was held Dec. 14, at 11 a.m., lasting nearly two hours at each location.

“When I realized how many members we had who are over 80 years old, I thought it would be nice to do something special for them. That age bracket is low maintenance and they are always so appreciative,” said Julie Morrison, PF Central PA franchisee.

The Planet Fitness® staff decorated each location’s front desk and lobby area with garland and balloons to welcome the celebrants that day with a jubilant ambiance. Cookies, doughnuts, cupcakes, coffee, lemonade and snacks were also provided for the guests to indulge in as they sat together and enjoyed themselves as a PF® community. Morrison notes that, although the event started at 11 a.m., almost all of the members arrived early, adding that, “That’s their generation! They were all so sweet and appreciative that we arranged a special day for them. We gave away shirts, water bottles, buddy bags, and we let them try out the massage chairs and HydroMassage Beds as most of them do not have the Black Card membership.”

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PF Central PA held a special event for its senior membership who graciously praised Planet Fitness for their time and thoughtfulness.

The oldest member to attend the event was 91 years old, quite an impressive age to still boast a gym membership! PF Central PA emailed the targeted membership segment and were surprised at the amount of response they received, following up each email with a personal phone call reminding the members of the event. They had sign-up sheets in the clubs prior and told the senior members about these when they came in. All of the clubs’ managers said the members made their day because they all kept thanking them repeatedly for doing something so nice and making them feel special. The event was so successful and made all the members and staff feel so positive that a second one was scheduled for June 6.

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PA Central PA staff enjoyed themselves as much as the senior members during this special event.

A member at Shippensburg PF, Catherine Hoffman, said in a heartfelt comment, that as she has grown older she feels as though people often brush aside people her age as if they are unimportant. Hoffman went on to say that she has never felt that way at Planet Fitness and that the staff makes her feel so welcome and cared about. A true testament to the positive impact the Judgement Free Zone® has on the PF membership, regardless of age.

PFKC Sponsors Step Up for Down Syndrome

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Jennifer Wilson and her son, JJ, led the team Planet JJ for Planet Fitness’ participation in the Step Up for Down Syndrome fundraising walk.

Planet Fitness® clubs in the Kansas City-area, owned by PFKC, sponsored and participated in the 2015 Step Up for Down Syndrome fundraising walk, held Oct. 17, from 12 to 4 p.m.

The annual event benefits the Down Syndrome Guild of Greater Kansas City (DSG), which serves over 1,200 families, partners with 22 hospitals and 45 school districts in Kansas and Missouri. These partnerships provide vitally needed programs and services that offer educational and social support to those affected by Down syndrome.

Over 10,000 attendees made it out to the Berkley Riverfront Park that Saturday in solidarity of the 400,000 individuals affected by Down syndrome across the United States. Jennifer Wilson, daughter of Greg Henson, co-owner of PF Kansas City, led a team of 20 individuals, alongside and in support of her son, JJ, who is also affected by this increasingly common disorder. Their team, titled “Planet JJ,” along with the event’s other participants, helped make history by being the first Down syndrome fundraising walk in the world to raise over $500,000!

“We are very excited to have contributed to the success of this event,” stated Greg Henson. “This is a cause that is close to our hearts, and we will be back next year!”