How free samples generated over $72 million

Founded in 1992 by Michael Grondahl, Marc Grondahl, and Aaron Grondahl, Planet Fitness aimed to create a judgment-free fitness facility for those uncomfortable in traditional gyms. In 2015, they went public (NYSE: PLNT), offering 13.5 million shares at $16.00 each. By 2024, shares surged to $69.50, notably rising in 2019 during the pandemic.

During summer, Planet Fitness provides free workouts with the High School Summer Pass for 14-18-year-olds across 2400 gyms. The 3.5-month initiative, despite being in the slow fitness season, attracted 3.5 million teen registrations, resulting in 17 million swipes and 2.3 million involved parents. Out of these, 6 million became new members, with 600,000 turning into full-time paying members, generating $72 million in revenue without extra costs. Remarkably, 19 percent of those sampling the free workouts continued as paying members.

This success story highlights the potential profitability of free samples, with the program’s launch coinciding with Mental Health Month, underscoring the importance of physical activity for mental well-being.

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