It helps when the CEO of the company, in this case Chuck Runyon, is out front leading the charge. Not only is Runyon still busy promoting his new book "Working Out Sucks"—which we first told you about here—but in a few weeks, he'll be a TV star for a day—which we also first told you about on this blog.
Runyon and Anytime Fitness co-founder Dave Mortensen will appear on ABC's "Secret Millionaire" on June 10 (8 p.m. Eastern, 7 Central). According to an Anytime Fitness press release out this week, Runyon and Mortensen taped the episode last summer in Oklahoma City. They were dropped off in a poverty-stricken neighborhood with only $75 between the two of them to spend for an entire week. They had no communication with family, friends or the office. How did they do it? Tune in to find out.
The TV show isn't even the biggest news this month for the Hastings, MN-based company. Last week, Radley West, a co-owner of an Anytime club in South Carolina, donated a kidney to one of her members.
You may notice when you click on that story and see a photo of West that she has the Anytime Fitness Running Man logo tattoo on her arm. Several Anytime owners have one, too, including Runyon, who discussed his company's brand loyalty in a column this week. We gave the tattoos some ink here a couple of years ago.
In addition to generating media coverage, is there another club company that generates more brand loyalty—and permanent loyalty at that—than Anytime? Other than seeing Apple stickers on the backs of cars, I can't come up with a comparable example. Any others come to mind?
Anytime Fitness also tends to pop up on several top franchise lists. Within the past year, it was recognized by Forbes, Entrepreneur and CNN Money. It also has been recognized as a top franchise company for minorities, for Hispanics and by the military. In July, Anytime will once again appear on another list—our Top 100 Clubs list.
So all in all, it's been a pretty good week for Anytime Fitness. And month. And year.