Bar One Gym Squad gets Mzansi moving

The Bar One Gym Squad invites township communities in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Western Cape and the Free State to get active through free and frequent workout sessions organised by food and beverage giant Nestlé.

Running for two years now, squad membership has grown three-fold and the events have showcased some big names, with prominent local rapper Cassper Nyovest leading the 2017 season finale this past January.

Attempting to bring its consumers closer to the brand, the irony of a chocolate brand hosting fitness classes isn't lost on Bar One. “As a company whose purpose is to enhance quality of life and contribute to a healthier future, Nestlé believes our brands can be brands with a purpose, with activities that can bring people together in a fun and active way so they can earn their treat,” states Zanele Mthethwa, Nestlé South Africa’s head of chocolate.

Importantly, the initiative also presents those living in high-density, lower-LSM communities with encouragement and training to maintain healthy, active lifestyles at no cost.

The gym squad's weekly locations:

• Orlando Eco Park, Soweto
• BBB (Tripple B) Bootcamp, P9 Bhenjani Road, Kwamashu, Durban
• Aced Sports, Mamelodi Rethabile Sports Ground, Tsomo Street, Mamelodi
• Ben Zwane’s Bootcamp, Dr Molemela Outdoor Playing Courts in Rocklands, Bloemfontein
• Zola’s Aerobics Club, Ny49 Stadium, Gugulethu, Cape Town

Bar One brand manager Malose Mabusela chats us through the aim and uptake of the marketing activity.

BizcommunityWhat is the Bar One Gym squad, and how does it work?

Bar One Gym Squad is Nestlé Bar One’s experiential property that encourages communities across South Africa's various townships to enjoy free work out sessions. We know that chocolate is consumed as a treat, so Nestlé Bar One encourages consumers to earn their treat via the Gym Squads. How it works is you simply attend any of the current five gyms in Mzansi, register on our database and you are a member, free of charge.

BizcommunityWhen was the Bar One Gym Squad launched, and what sparked the idea?

Bar One Gym Squads were launched in 2016 in Soweto. What sparked the idea was the opportunity Nestlé Bar One saw to launch an experiential property in townships to encourage consumers to lead an active lifestyle. We know the costs of working out can be high, especially for consumers in townships. We would like to alleviate that cost barrier through this initiative.

BizcommunityWhat’s the objective in terms of actual results?

Our objective is to launch 25 gyms by 2020 with an average active membership of 1,200 per gym.

BizcommunityWhy do you believe experiential marketing to be important for consumer brands?

Experiential marketing is important for us because it enables the brand and consumers to engage in a fun and memorable manner, thus encouraging a better connection with our consumers.

Why do some brands still shy away from giving consumers experiences?

Khangelani Dziba writes that brands giving consumers experiences as a way of marketing their brands, building brand love and affinity is definitely one that needs to start dominating the discourse of most marketers...

By Khangelani Dziba 8 Sep 2017

BizcommunityWhat has the response been like from attendees, and what do you have planned for 2018?

It has been fantastic and energetic, with consumers requesting us to visit their areas. For 2018 we plan to grow the number of gyms in SA’s high-density townships, as well as ensure we continuously amplify the initiative.

To keep up to date with Bar One Gym Squad developments in 2018, connect with Bar One on Twitter and Facebook.
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About Lauren Hartzenberg

Retail editor and lifestyle contributor at Cape Town apologist. Food fanatic. Dog mom. Get in touch: