For over 40 years, New York Sports Clubs has been improving lives through exercise. To keep that promise today, New York’s neighborhood gym asked us to help them evolve their brand. So, we delved into their history to understand their values. We conducted interviews and spent time at sports clubs to research what mattered to members. And we mystery-shopped to size up the competition. In the process, we discovered what relevance means to gym-goers, that fitness isn’t an activity, it’s a lifestyle—and that gym experiences could no longer be one size fits all. Then we worked with NYSC to use digital to deliver a stronger, more personal brand of fitness and do something totally disruptive.
We set out to craft a new mission with New York Sports Clubs: bringing the best out of every body. With that in mind, we partnered to create a website, an app, an in-gym design and a company culture that combined NYSC’s members-first approach with today’s smartest strategy and tech. The result: a better, more custom fitness experience—that doesn’t end at the door.
From the logo to font and color choices, every aspect of NYSC’s new brand is designed to balance a sense of the contemporary and the accessible. We warmed NYSC’s signature red and added a complimentary blue-gray to create a friendly, cosmopolitan palette. Lettering with a combination of hard edges and soft corners conveys modernity and approachability. Even the icons we crafted tap into the same mixture of sharp and soft lines. The result is not a departure from NYSC’s past but an evolution that captures its core principals, today.
It was time that the company that put people first, in-gym, do the same on digital. That’s why the UX of NYSC’s responsive website is designed to simplify-simplify-simplify. Now, it couldn’t be easier for users to become members, and for members to find whatever they’re looking for, from classes to locations, upgrades to account info—on any device. The site also helps NYSC know its members better, asking questions and tracking activity, so it can suggest classes, training packages, and routines that are right for them.
The SportsClubs app lets you take NYSC with you, wherever you are. Plan workouts, discover new classes, reserve them on the go—then keep track of your progress. You can even check-in at the gym with a digital key tag, positioned at the natural angle of your hand.
We redesigned many of NYSC’s locations to bring its values to life in-gym. Simple, easy-to-navigate spaces welcome, motivate, and energize members—from the lighting to the construction materials, from the front desk to the locker room. We’ve even posted large inspirational messages to cheer members on as they pursue their fitness goals—and neighborhood-specific signage on every facade to showcase community-pride.
A gym is only as strong as its staff. Helping the brand evolve has meant inspiring the NYSC team to embrace a new mission and a new way of working. So we introduced new systems to communicate within and between gyms, and better ways to monitor and manage growth in the company. Plus, we revamped employee collateral and criteria to make sure every incoming hire makes NYSC a better, friendlier place to workout.