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Vicky Land, the SVP of Communications and Brand Strategy at Barry’s Bootcamp, a fitness company offering a high intensity interval workout regimen, knows what it’s like to work — and live — at a fast, almost unforgiving pace. Prior to joining Barry’s in the summer of 2016 as a brand and PR consultant, Land worked at Allure Magazine in editorial, SoulCycle, and spent six months consulting for a variety of companies.
“One thing I was brought on to do was help our CEO, Joey Gonzalez, hire an in-house comms and brand team,” Land told HeyMama. “I fell in love with the company and everyone I worked with and decided I’d take the position myself! I was able to build an in-house team and help reimagine the Barry’s brand.”
Prior to COVID-19, Land’s work environment was fast-paced and demanded a large amount of travel. “It’s as demanding as it is rewarding and no two days were the same,” she explained. But when the ongoing pandemic came to the United States, Land’s schedule changed drastically. That wasn’t the only shift in Land’s life, either. “I also had my first baby in February of this year,” she said. “So COVID wasn’t the only thing that happened to my ‘typical’ day this year.”
Like many working moms, Land was forced to re-evaluate — along with Barry’s — how she operated. Due to shutdowns that closed gyms, Barry’s was forced to pivot, requiring innovative, out-of-the-box thinking that, in the end, only benefitted Barry’s customers.
“COVID-19 has been one of the most disruptive experiences we’ve ever experienced, but also one of the most transformative,” Land explained. “It’s inspired the continued pursuit of creativity and innovation, which has led to us pushing the boundaries of what we can deliver, both in studio and online.” Land said that within days of the shutdown, Barry’s launched its first ever digital product, Barry’s At Home. “[It’s] 45-minute Zoom classes across various modalities, that allow us to remain connected to our community and continue to support our employees and staff,” Land explained. “We also launched outdoor workouts which have been incredibly successful.”
One key aspect of Barry’s outdoor workouts was a partnership with Beverly Center, an iconic mall in Los Angeles. “Beverly Center allowed us to open the first ever Barry’s Outdoors with treadmills,” Land said. “It made the transition to outdoor workouts easy and engaged our community immediately. Beverly Center has been a fantastic partner, helping us to deliver an experience closest to a traditional Barry’s Red Room than we thought imaginable. We have worked with the team to deliver surprise and delight moments to Barry’s clients courtesy of Beverly Center, including golden ticket giveaways and media events.”
For many businesses, including gyms, COVID-19 has been devastating. A number of gyms and fitness companies have filed for bankruptcy, and many Americans are saying they won’t renew their gym memberships even after the pandemic is over.
But after being forced to slow down, take a beat, and rethink what is possible for Barry’s, Land is also hopeful about the future of the fitness industry and Barry’s in particular.
“COVID has served as a catalyst for fundamental innovations that will lay the foundations for Barry’s future,” she said. “The trends we’re seeing around consumer behavior indicates that both digital and outdoor workouts will remain an integral part of our business, even after COVID subsides. We will continue to augment both experiences in 2021. We’re excited for the future.”
And while Land acknowledges that the fitness industry will never be the same, there are a few things that have not changed despite the pandemic. “One thing that has remained the same: we work(out) hard and have fun,” she said. “If we keep doing that, anything is possible!”