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Jake Steger, the chief operating officer at the YMCA of South Florida, shared his experience partnering with Matrix Fitness and how their variety of Connected Solutions offerings have delivered solutions to problems his facility no longer has to worry about.

“The Connected Solutions Matrix provides are truly that – solutions to problems we’ve had over the years,” said Steger. “This was critical for selecting the right partner for our new YMCA in Hallandale Beach, Florida. We wanted to get it right from Day One and wish we had the solutions we needed for asset management or the Y mobile app. Matrix introduced us to their app platform and we’ve never looked back.”

Below, Steger shares more about why his YMCA chose Matrix Fitness, the benefits of the partnership and what other community rec centers can expect from working with the Matrix team.

Why did you decide to partner with Matrix Fitness — what problem were you looking to solve; or what solution were you looking to incorporate?

There were several factors that went into our decision to partner with Matrix. We looked at pricing, service, equipment quality and technology in the process when selecting our partner for our new YMCA. The technology was exciting to us – we felt there was a seamless experience that integrated their equipment with their app platform, which we could customize to our YMCA branding. In today’s tech savvy world, it’s critical cardio equipment easily integrates with fitness wearables of all brands. Matrix provided a solution for that and the feedback we get from members about the experience has exceeded our expectations.

Another major factor was the equipment design and sleekness. The strength circuit, for example, lines up beautifully without obstructing your sightline, giving our wellness floor a look and feel that creates a “wow” moment when walking in our doors. Not only is the equipment designed well, it also creates an incredibly smooth experience for the member. Everything is user friendly and the quality of the products, as well as their price, helped make the decision easy for our team.

connected solutions

How has Matrix helped enhance your fitness offerings?

Matrix has enhanced our fitness offerings in several ways. One example is the programming, like the MX4 program. We couldn’t believe there was pre-packaged programming available, created to complement the exclusive equipment and simplify small group instruction for our trainers. That gave Matrix another leg up for our business as in most cases the programming is typically an additional monthly investment. The programming and technology capabilities added exceptional value to the Matrix proposal and this has ultimately enhanced the member experience in our YMCAs.

How has your Y benefitted from Connected Solutions offered by Matrix?

One of the best decisions we made as a team was to abort the app we were using and move to the Workout Tracking Network offered through Connected Solutions. The solution Matrix provided has been tremendous. We are now getting 1,500 or more members signed up for fitness challenges alone.

Our last challenge created energy and spirited competition for our members – you can’t put a dollar figure on that kind of value. Collectively, our members logged over 100,000 miles in the last fitness challenge we rolled out. Now that’s some serious mileage and you can’t help to think about how the technology is helping people change their lives.

What do your members love most about Matrix?

Above all, our members love the technology more than anything with Matrix – from the large screens on the cardio to the Y mobile app integration, and all the capabilities that come with this powerful tool. The mobile app syncs with Apple Health, Garmin and Fitbit, plus several more apps so members can view, track and record their workouts all in one place. Technology truly drives the member experience if done correctly in today’s environment. This has given us an edge over our competition creating a significant added value for our membership proposition.

How has the mobile app helped your staff and members stay connected during the pandemic?

We used the mobile app to keep our members engaged when our facilities were forced to close during the height of the pandemic. Immediately, we were able to rollout a fitness challenge and provide mobile/virtual solutions so we could continue to serve our members. The mobile app had the capability and tile space for our virtual workouts along with other health tips and content we worked to create weekly.

The workout of the day added to the experience as well during the pandemic. Members craved engagement and needed solutions to maintain active and healthy lifestyles during a very challenging time for our country and the world. We are so fortunate we had the Matrix partnership in place during this unprecedented time. The Y mobile app was a critical piece to our response. This helped our organization maintain Y memberships and shift our service delivery model to the digital world in record time.

How would you rate Matrix’s customer service and support?

Matrix also has an exceptional customer service and support team. This was another significant factor in our decision to buy from Matrix. They have a very fast turnaround time to repair equipment along with troubleshooting and fixing technical glitches. The Matrix team is very responsive and accommodating to the needs of our YMCA team. That is important for us as our members expect our equipment and technology to work perfectly every time they use it.

Working out is hard enough. Our members need reliable and dependable equipment and technology. It’s all part of the member experience – we are constantly striving as an organization for continuous improvement. Matrix has proven to be an extraordinary partner that aligns with our service expectations and quality standards.

Why should other community rec professionals consider working with Matrix?

I highly encourage community rec professionals to consider Matrix when upgrading or adding equipment to a facility. Matrix was new to our Y just a few years ago, but in a short period of time we’ve built a strong partnership with open lines of communication which has enabled us to consistently deliver on our goals for the member experience.

Brittany Howard

Brittany is the editor of Community Rec Magazine. Reach her at brittany@peakemedia.com.

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