Today’s fitness businesses are always looking for new ways to boost member retention and recruitment initiatives. One type of program picking up in popularity is structured basketball leagues. Here’s a closer look at the phenomenon, along with whether starting a structured basketball league is right for your fitness business and top tips aimed at helping launch and maintain a successful program. 

The Popularity of Basketball Leagues

According to a recent Athletic Business article, for-profit recreational leagues are a perfect fit for one segment of your fitness business clientele, in particular: Millennials. “A number of millennials grew up with their schedules full of extracurricular sports. These teams allowed them to stay physically fit but also helped these young adults maintain a steady social circle as they grew up, but once they graduated from college and entered adulthood, the opportunities for organized team sports started to dwindle,” explains writer Laura Godlewski.

In addition to appealing to Millennials (and others, as well), structured leagues serve another key purpose: motivation. Fred Schiller, a 26-year-old who participates in a structured basketball league at his gym, states: “I can very easily talk myself out of going to the gym. But if I know that people are going to count on me to be there, I want to make sure to follow through on that. I think this will be an easy way to kick-start my routine and get me back in shape.” 

Something else worth noting is that, while basketball leagues are especially popular, there are other options, too. Flag football, dodgeball, and kickball are also appealing activities for gym-goers. While Millennials may be an obvious target demographic, leagues for youth and seniors also have powerful potential. 

Tips for Structured League Success

Running a league in a health club setting isn’t right for all operations. In an interview with Club Solutions Magazine, Mark Sanford, an athletics coordinator at a health club in Michigan, mentions that there are three necessities

  1. Having the right facility
  2. Hiring top-notch officials
  3. Having an experienced league director

Sanford also recommends some “extras” aimed at helping fitness businesses execute above and beyond. These include:

  • Tracking team records and stats
  • Organizing championship dinners for the top teams
  • Emailing updates with game results, statistics, and standings
  • Maintaining a free agent list to help place players and fill teams

Five woman huddling together with a basketball.

Structured rec leagues are just one of the ways today’s fitness businesses can keep current members engaged while attracting new ones. An appealing website, robust personal training options, diverse programming, and fitness monitoring technology are just a few of the other ways to make sure your gym or health club stays ahead of the competition. Request a demo today to learn more about AccuroFit’s wearable solutions.