Starting on January 1, customers that visit Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, KFC, Long John Silver’s or A&W Restaurants can obtain a free, four-week membership from Bally Total Fitness by simply presenting a proof-of-purchase receipt (for any amount) at one of Bally’s more than 400 nationwide facilities. The offer is valid through January 31, 2005.
The reason this is getting a lot of news is the incongruity of a fitness company doing business with the proprieters of unhealthy eating, fast food companies. It’s akin to Phillip Morris giving coupons to the local cancer clinic.
Personally, I’m not sure what to think about this. Anything that gets people out of the house and into some sort of activity is a good thing, even if the health club is the mega-coporation that is Bally’s (and just to remind you, Bally’s is hardly a stand-up corporate citizen, with a fair amount of their profits coming from gambling institutions).
But we are talking about fast food companies, who rarely have people’s health in mind. I mean c’mon, nobody think Long John Silver’s is cooking up anything healthy when 90% of their product line is deep-fried. That’s their nature. For them to go “Well, yeah, I guess we’re kinda unhealthy…perhaps we should do something about it” is an admission of sorts just how unhealthy their foods are.
Regardless, I would be interested to see who benefits more from this agreement. My guess? The fast food places get a short term gain, while Bally’s gets a long term benefit by signing up people for memberships that a percentage of the customers will never use.