INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., Aug. 10, 2010 – USA Gymnastics, in a joint effort with the National Gymnastics Foundation, has created the organization’s second national marketing initiative focused on growing the sport’s grassroots base. A four-page insert in the September 2010 issue of Parents magazine communicates the benefits of gymnastics and demonstrates how gym clubs provide an ideal environment for children to learn about fitness. The imagery expands the message that "Gymnastics is a part of our human nature" first highlighted in a national insert that appeared in the Aug. 15, 2008, issue of USA Today.
“Gymnastics is really about teaching kids how to use their bodies in a natural way," said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. "Children learn so much through gymnastics classes that translates into many different skills. It helps them on the playground, in other sports, and, yes, even how to jump properly on the couch. The goal of our effort is to reinforce the marketing efforts of our local clubs and provide national exposure for this beautiful sport."
In connection with the insert appearing in Parents, USA Gymnastics is also launching a new website – www.usagymclub.com – designed to help parents find their local gym club and learn more about the benefits of the sport. The site is also a portal for member clubs to access a business site that includes tools and other resources to assist in the gym club business. Also, nearly a million overruns of the insert are being distributed through USA Gymnastics Member Clubs, which also will receive posters that follow the theme of the insert.
"Our goal with the new website is to create a new community and tool for parents and our clubs," said Penny. "We have so many great stories to share that tie into our ‘Begin Here. Go Anywhere’ slogan for USA Gymnastics. This website will feature these stories and other information about the many benefits of our sport. For our member clubs, we have created a special section to assist them with conducting their business, including a social networking environment to help club owners share best practices."
This campaign, funded with support from the National Gymnastics Foundation, is the second edition of the nationwide outreach effort originally initiated in August 2008.
“Getting kids involved at the recreational level is the catalyst for growth of our sport,” said Bob Wood, chairman of the National Gymnastics Foundation. “Our mission is to help educate people. Based on the success of the campaign in 2008, we are confident this is a great vehicle to support that charge.”
The 360 Group, which developed USA Gymnastics’ logo and the tagline “Begin here. Go Anywhere.”, created the campaign that visually demonstrates how kids are naturally inclined toward gymnastics through engaging images. The 2010 campaign featured the headlines, “Life needs confidence” and “Life needs agility.” In 2008, the headlines read "Life needs balance" and "Life needs strength".
"This is one of our favorite campaigns because it is such a simple and truthful message," said Scott Willy, co-founder of 360 Group. "USA Gymnastics has an incredibly human story to reinforce its brand, and it easily comes to life through these images."
This marketing effort complements several existing national initiatives: National Gymnastics Day, which is held annually to bring attention to gymnastics and its benefits; and the Tyson Fitness Challenge, which gives kids the opportunity to increase their fitness level and to raise money to help needy children through the Children’s Miracle Network.