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Apple Watch partners with gyms to give perks for working out

Audrey Conklin

Apple recently launched a new program that connects Apple Watch products with gyms across the country, aiming to give users a better workout experience.

The Apple Watch Connected program connects qualified fitness providers with members who use Apple Watches so they can partake in various perks that come with working out, Apple told FOX Business.

The tech giant has partnered with some Orangetheory, Basecamp, YMCA and Crunch Fitness locations across the U.S. to roll out the new program. These four fitness centers will offer different perks to members for working out through its "Earn with Watch" strategy, such as discounted memberships and select free classes, according to Apple.

YMCA, St. Paul Midway, Minnesota

The YMCA has linked its "Move for Good" community initiative with Apple Watch Connected to give members an even more integrated workout experience. Through Earn with Watch, members can participate in challenges that include completing one or all three activity rings. Once a challenge is completed, the YMCA gives young people "free enrollment" in swimming, camping, sports and youth government programs.


"We are thrilled to be one of the first fitness brands to introduce Apple Watch Connected studios. By incorporating Apple Watch in and out of our studios, we're helping our members stay motivated throughout their fitness journey," Orangetheory Brand Officer Kevin Keith said in a statement.

"We're excited by this innovative program, which supports our vision for improving the health and well-being of our members, our communities and our nation," U.S. YMCA President and CEO Kevin Washington said in a statement. "The Y is constantly looking for new and unique ways to help members achieve their goals and strengthen their communities, and we see tremendous potential for this program as YMCAs across the country begin to roll it out over the next several years."


The full YMCA-Apple Watch Connected partnership is expected to expand across 21 Twin Cities locations.

Orangetheory, Astor Place and Soho, New York City

Orangetheory will launch the Apple Watch Connected program at its Astor Place and Soho locations in New York City. Members will be able to earn gift cards to Nike, Apple and other stores, as well as an Apple Watch-friendly OTBeat Link so members can connect their heart rate measurements from the watch to Orangetheory's in-studio screens, Apple said.

The balance of its other 1,200 locations across the U.S. plan to launch the program throughout 2020, according to Apple.

Basecamp, all locations

Basecamp, which has six locations including five in California and one in Minneapolis, linked Apple Watch Connect with its "Burn it to Earn it" program. The program gives members an Apple Watch Series 5 after they sign up for the program -- but they still have to earn it by working toward points while using the watch.

"Our high-energy programming is focused on maximizing every moment during class so that our members can build their best selves," Bascamp CEO Jedidiah Schmidt said in a statement. "Our members get a great full-body workout every time and can be rewarded through the Basecamp Fitness 'Burn it to Earn I'  program, where they can earn back the value of their Apple Watch simply by attending classes and working out using the device."


Crunch Fitness, 83rd Street and Financial District, New York City

Crunch Executive Vice President of Marketing and Branding Chad Waetzig said an "overwhelming majority" of Crunch's members use iOS, so partnering with Apple will bring convenience and an overall better experience to users.

"An overwhelming majority of our members choose iOS as their mobile platform of choice, and we’re seeing widespread adoption of Apple Watch by members in our club," Waetzig said in a statement. "With the convenience and great fitness and activity tracking features of Apple Watch, we feel we’re able to bring our members next level integration by building an entire experience around this device."


Waltzing added that Crunch is "fully intending to expand the Apple Watch Connected program across more Crunch Signature and Crunch Fitness gyms in 2020 and beyond."

Other gyms can qualify if they offer Apple or Android smartphone apps that allow users to manage gym memberships, allow members to take part in "Earn with Apple Watch" benefits, accept Apple Pay and support Apple's GymKit app.

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