Funastics

I was the guy that would do front and back handsprings all the way down my high school hallways during class and never get in trouble. Doing break dancing before it was cool. In college, I was invited to join the Yell Leaders. Flipping out in front of a stadium of people was a blast. I taught gymnastics classes in my brother's Taekwondo dojang for a few years until I moved to Arizona. Time to start my own gym. I called it Funastics.

Concept

The concept of Funastics was to teach fun recreational gymnastics. No stress - no competitive team, progress at your own pace. I took the martial arts approach of exercise, rank, and respect. Added life lessons to reinforce core values. And built that all into the logo, curriculum, and class plans. As each student passed off skills, they would get a color star for their Funastics uniform. The Gold Star students could also take a Junior instructor program to get leadership training. Every 10 minutes I would switch to a new fun activity, some group, some individual. Our huddles included motivational life lessons, techniques, and achievements.

Gym

The building was a strip mall location. I gutted the interior. Added padded flooring, mirrors, and furniture. Used modular equipment that was neatly stored and moved to fit the daily class plan. Surrounding the brightly colored walls were chairs so families could cheer their kids on - even participate in the games. On the windows, I had my website and phone number large, with free trial coupons in a tray people walking by could take.

Website

This site was cool at the time. The website was Flash-based. The content was dynamic - animated images. People could sign up online; that blew people away. The site included all the forms, and info they needed. They could play the music played in the gym, at home. Even had hidden arcade games the parents played more than the students. With only a $50/mo PPC budget, I got Funastics.com ranked above my local competitors in just 4 months...even the franchises. This was before Google prioritized content over meta details.

Print

My print marketing was geared toward local kids and schools. I would hand out free trial coupons each month in a neighborhood around the gym. The flyers were half-page laminated cardstock. The business cards were mini flyers. The mailers were free trial coupons. The best results were from the door business cards, drive-bys, and referrals.

The Funastics branding and marketing left the parents thinking this was an established franchise. Great families, some drove an hour away to come to class. Hired some excellent instructors. Much fun was had. I did this for a few years until the real estate crashed in 2008. Most of my students were impacted, so I sold the location the following year and went back to real work.