Apple has kick-started a new Apple Watch Connected partnership program this week to make it more important to use the company’s wearable at your local gym. At the time of launch, the company has partnered with four chains in the US — Orangetheory, Basecamp Fitness, YMCA and Crunch Fitness with a few more to join this list in the future.
For gyms, they are free to join in this program until and unless they offer a set of specific perks to members. To be eligible for this program, gyms must offer iPhone and Watch apps that allow you to track your stats, see what classes they offer and log in at the gym. They must also accept Apple Pay so that you can use your Apple Watch to pay for stuff at the gym.
In addition to that, Apple is also asking for gyms to offer machine which are compatible with GymKit support. If you’ve not encountered a GymKit machine before, they allow your Apple Watch to get more accurate data on your indoor workouts by syncing with them over Bluetooth and NFC.
However, the most interesting part of this program is the “Earn with Watch” incentive program that will allow you to get rewards for using your Apple Watch. For instance, at Orangetheory, you will be able to score Apple and Nike gift cards by hitting specific goals. Apart from this, Crunch will allow you to get up to $300 over two years off your membership fees.
As of now, it will take a while for you to get the advantage of the Connected program at your local gym. Basecamp is launching the program at all six of its clubs. YMCA is first rolling out the program to its St. Paul Midway location before bringing it to 21 other Twin Cities clubs over the next couple of weeks. Both Crunch Fitness and Orangetheory are starting with two locations each in Manhattan.
With this new program, Apple will also boost the usage of Apple Watch while the gym and also teh overall usage. By partnering with companies like Basecamp to make it the go-to fitness tracker at gyms, the company strengthens its already-dominant position in the wearable space.
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