Case Study

Fitness First Group

Fitness First started small, as a single health and fitness club in Bournemouth in 1993. Now trading as DW Fitness First, they're now the second largest gym, health and fitness club group in the UK with 131 Fitness First clubs and 88 shops in the UK with still one club mentality - every single Fitness First member counts.


For Fitness First, the challenge has always been to acquire new customers and to retain its long-term membership in an industry where member attrition can be as high as 80% per annum and to make Fitness First accessible to different fitness motivations, however daunting it may be, and to use member achievement as the genuine ‘face’ of the brand.


Rocktime and Ideology (Brand Consultants) were commissioned to redevelop Fitness First’s online proposition in 2006. Subsequently, Rocktime became the lead digital agency developing and rolling out a Pan-European promotional campaign based on well thought out acquisition and retention strategies for the following 8 years with notable successes along the way. 12 years later we still work with DW Fitness First on their digital presence.

Activities Included:

  • Digital Workshops & Brand Development
  • Development of Strictly Fit, a tie-in with the BBC TV Show ‘Strictly Come Dancing’
  • Online Profiling / Content Mapping
  • Pan-European Roll-Out of Cloud-Based Membership Portal and Front-End Website.
  • Microsite / Landing Page Development
  • E-CRM & CMS Development
  • Search Engine Optimisation
  • Legacy System Integration
  • Dynamic Map Development
  • Website Accessibility Compliance
  • Mobile Development for Fitness First and First Club Member Rewards
  • Cloud Hosting / Warranty / Support


A number of developed sites were created all built on Rocktime Logic CMS to manage a comprehensive range of online content including individual club information throughout the UK.

One specific project involved the development of a member retention site enabling club members to gain access to rewards provided by 3rd party partners and tailored according to the longevity of a member with Fitness First. Rocktime supported the desktop site with a mobile alternative which included the facility for vouchers to be presented and used to redeem with the partner.
Member data is uploaded to account for membership changes on a regular basis by CSV upload.

Overall services offered include:

  • Website design & build ASP.NET 
  • Online membership payment application & web service integration
  • Rocktime's Content Management System - Logic CMS
  • Dynamic maps for UK club locator
  • Website accessibility compliance
  • Mobile development for Fitness First and First Club Member Rewards
  • Digital Workshops
  • Content Mapping
  • Online Profiling
  • Rocktime Web Hosting 
  • Rocktime's Warranty Support


The success of the online activity has reinforced the importance of the online experience for all potential and existing members to secure greater loyalty. Through the work carried out it has enabled Fitness First to accelerate its digital offering in line with the business' internal drive and ambition.

  • UK member retention up by between 11-14%
  • 15% uplift in conversions on free day pass downloads
  • Pan-European roll-out of cloud-based membership portal and front-end website
  • 12-year client/agency relationship
  • Reducing member attrition by 15%
  • +15% member conversion on free day-pass downloads
  • Advanced membership application process development
  • Dynamic Profiling – delivering a unique experience for every visitor profile
  • Legacy system integration, joining up the business process and reducing admin requirements
I want to make fitness more accessible, affordable and reverse the industry attrition trends.

DW Fitness First CEO

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