Health club brand Esporta in ‘informal’ talks with agencies

Health club operator Esporta, which plans to double its size over the next three years, is holding informal talks with agencies.

It is unclear what size marketing budget the group has, or exactly what the discussions with agencies involve.

Esporta, which has 38 clubs across the UK, focuses on the top end of the market with premium clubs such as the Riverside chain. The group plans to open 14 clubs annually for the next three years – up to ten a year in Europe and the balance in the UK.

The health club brand demerged from First Leisure last year, and has worked with agencies before, but marketing has been handled mainly on a local basis.

Farm was brought in last year for a project to develop a national brand proposition for Esporta. John Ayling & Associates handled the media for the ensuing campaign but the media agency no longer works for the group.

Full service agency WAA and sales promotions agency Team LGM have also worked with Esporta, but it is not clear whether either is in discussions with the group at the moment.

Last week, the group reported a 25 per cent increase in turnover for the first half of the year to June 30, with membership numbers rising by 34 per cent to 169,000. Despite this, operating profit fell 36 per cent to &£3.5m – mainly due to the costs involved in five club launches.

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