Bally Total Fitness (A): The Rise, 1962-2004
From a single, modest club in 1962, Bally Total Fitness had grown to become-in management's words-the "largest and only nationwide commercial operator of fitness centers" in the United States in 2004. Bally had faced its share of challenges, but the last couple of years had proven particularly difficult. Competition in its markets had intensified, Bally's stock price had collapsed, the company had restated earnings to the chagrin of shareholders, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission had begun to investigate Bally's accounting procedures. Under the direction of Paul Toback, CEO since December 2002, Bally had revisited its unique approach to pricing and selling health-club memberships, boosted the accountability of club managers for profitability, launched new efforts to help club members meet weight-loss goals, altered its marketing message, and begun to strengthen its internal control systems. Toback and his team were committed to increasing the number of Bally members and maximizing revenue per member. Would Toback's efforts restore Bally's battered stock price, stave off companies that were rumored to want to buy the company, and enable Bally to remain a major player in the industry? A rewritten version of earlier cases.