photoChicago, Illinois – There was a time when YMCA was the top fitness and health club in the United States.  Over the last decade, however, YMCA’s ranking has been slipping, thanks to aggressive marketing strategies pursued by newer clubs like 24 Hour Fitness, Club One, Fitness 19 and Bally Total Fitness. Unlike its top competitors, the “Y” has been slow to resort to social media in its membership campaign. This could very well be the reason that the club is not reaching the younger generation of gym enthusiasts.

As part of its efforts to revitalize its club facilities nationwide, YMCA has enlisted the support of its current members to recruit family and friends, offering financial incentives for every new member they sign-up. To launch this membership campaign, YMCA has sent a survey to all its existing members asking them how they learned about the club, as a way to determine the best medium to advertise for new recruitment.

As completed surveys started pouring into the national headquarters in Chicago, YMCA’s communications and marketing departments could not believe what they are seeing in the survey. On the question “How did you hear about the YMCA,” a whopping 65% of respondents said “Village People.”

The “Y” is reportedly considering to hire the 70’s American disco group to headline its new advertising campaign. The campaign’s meme? “It’s fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.”

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