CHICAGO: Bally Total Fitness has hired Jon Harris for the new post
of vice president of media development and communications.
Harris plans to expand Bally's PR staff as he seeks to gain more
attention not only for its various health club brands, but also for
branded food, drink, and apparel products.
Harris, who had been director of communications at the now defunct
Ourhouse.com website, has already gotten Bally airplay on the Today show
by teaming with Wilson Sporting Goods to donate $30,000 of Wilson
equipment to a holiday toy drive.
A veteran of the Pepsi marketing machine as well, Harris said he can
market health clubs, a discretionary spending item for most people,
despite the economic slump.
"It's always a good time for people to get in shape," he said. Harris
hopes to expand awareness of the Bally name by using increased product
placements in a wide range of media. "The goal is to get Bally out
there," he said.
The NYSE-listed company has worked with The MWW Group for about 10
years, and Harris plans to continue that relationship. He also expects
to hire a director of PR and another PR staffer.
Bally recently completed its acquisition of Crunch Fitness, a New York
health club operation. Crunch's two PR people will now report to
Last month, Bally reported third-quarter income of $18.2 million,
a 14% increase from the prior year, with net revenues of $209.9
million, up 5%. Bally's stock was trading at $12.52 as of press
Bally's brands include Crunch, Bally Sports Clubs, Pinnacle, Sports
Clubs of Canada, Bally Total Fitness, and Gorilla Sports.