Thomas Rieger

Sport Management

How individual are fitness services?

The currently published Issue No. 130 of Fitness Tribune contains my article about 'Individualized Fitness Services'. Could services of commercial fitness gyms create individuality? Finally it is a matter of collective services. Excerpt (translated from the german original):

... This lack of individuality should be compensated by trendy communication technologies like coaching terminals. Nevertheless this type of coaching is called individual. Due to the service of the coaching terminal the website of a well-known low-cost provider includes the following passage: „At the terminal you can generate and change your own schedule based on your individual needs and goals. ... Just type your needs and goals. The terminal software developed by our experts creates automatically an individual schedule for your.“ Even the used terms 'automatically' and 'individual' reveal a contradictory potential. Numerous research interviews with fitness-related sportspeople at the Business and Information Technology School in Iserlohn, Germany showed that individuality within a context of exercising and fitness services is primarily achieved by establishing an interpersonal relationship between customer and coach. ...

In order to the current research studies on the subject of collective services within a spectator market (Chatrath, 2010) a comparable analysis of the participator market is conceivable. In this context the customers' willingness to pay for value-added services to create individuality is a matter of particular interest.