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CLIENT NEWS - From Super Rugby to super gym – top global franchise appoints NZ marketing boss

From Super Rugby to super gym – top global franchise appoints NZ marketing boss

Ex-Super Rugby marketer Vanessa Parker has joined one of the world’s top global franchises as its chief marketing officer for New Zealand.

Based in Hamilton, Vanessa joined the Anytime Fitness NZ team last month. Her move comes after 7 years as Marketing Manager for the Chiefs and then as Marketing and Membership Manager for the Blues.

Vanessa says the parallels between the Super Rugby and fitness industries meant the transition was a logical one.

“Super Rugby and attendance at live sport continues to be an extremely challenging and competitive market, which is certainly true of the fitness industry,” she says.

“I’m excited about the prospect of working with a brand like Anytime Fitness that represents a genuine desire to help people become healthier. Their values resonate strongly with me.

“The brand’s personable, authentic culture and level of success internationally means there is enormous potential for growth and evolution in New Zealand. I’m excited to be part of the journey.”

In August, Anytime Fitness was honored by Entrepreneur magazine as a “Top Global” franchise.  There are nearly 5,000 Anytime Fitness gyms open worldwide, with 43 in New Zealand and more in the pipeline.

As the franchise continues to expand in New Zealand, Vanessa says building genuine connections with customers will be vital.

“It’s all about putting customers first and earning their trust and respect. That is the foundation of building a strong and sustainable brand, no matter what industry you’re in,” she says.

Having a career in the sport and health and fitness industries means there is no excuse when it comes to keeping fit. Vanessa says she enjoys being active and has been fortunate to have access to a gym at work over the past few years.

“Regular ‘product testing’ will definitely be key in my new role at Anytime Fitness. It will help me stay well both mentally and physically, while connecting with our Anytime Fitness whanau at the same time.”

Anytime Fitness NZ CEO Richard Ball says Vanessa will play a significant role in the continued development of the Anytime Fitness brand in New Zealand.

“As well as a wealth of relevant marketing experience, Vanessa also brings to Anytime Fitness skills and knowledge as an entrepreneur. She has been the managing director of her own business, which gives her a good understanding of the challenges business owners face.

“Vanessa will be a valuable resource for our franchisee club owners as she supports them in their own local marketing efforts.

“Vanessa is a proven leader across a broad range of diverse portfolios and complex stakeholder relationships. Combined with her genuine passion for helping people, we’re confident she will be a great fit for Anytime Fitness.”