Episode Thumbnail
Episode 9  |  43:28 min

Edward Bourelly (Planet Fitness) - Everybody has a Story

Episode 9  |  43:28 min  |  11.10.2021

Edward Bourelly (Planet Fitness) - Everybody has a Story

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This is a podcast episode titled, Edward Bourelly (Planet Fitness) - Everybody has a Story. The summary for this episode is: <p>Vincent and Ajay talk with Edward Bourelly, the VP of Marketing at Planet Fitness. He talks about how not only marketing strategies change over time, but the way consumers diversify how they consume content. Ajay has an odd week at the quiet office, and Vincent gets nostalgic about growing up in the 90s.</p>
Takeaway 1 | 01:40 MIN
How Edward got into marketing
Takeaway 2 | 01:59 MIN
Having empathy as a marketer
Takeaway 3 | 01:20 MIN
Inclusion is the foundation of Planet Fitness
Takeaway 4 | 01:31 MIN
The role of brands in social issues: Be the forefront of what's happening in your community
Takeaway 5 | 01:30 MIN
How Planet Fitness had to pivot due to the pandemic

Vincent and Ajay talk with Edward Bourelly, the VP of Marketing at Planet Fitness. He talks about how not only marketing strategies change over time, but the way consumers diversify how they consume content. Ajay has an odd week at the quiet office, and Vincent gets nostalgic about growing up in the 90s.

Guest Thumbnail
Edward Bourelly
VP of Marketing, Planet Fitness
A results oriented professional with 20+ years of brand experience in various fields. A background in almost every facet of the marketing mix including strategy, digital, media, analytics, omni-channel retail, merchandising, CRM, budget management, and production. Planned and executed marketing on every level from large scale national promotions to field and multi-cultural marketing programs. An elite marketing leader recognized for embracing and understanding culture, strong analytical ability, problem recognition and resolution skills, team building, leadership capacity, and presentation.
Connect with Edward

Vin: Welcome to the Marketing Stir Podcast by Stirista, probably one of the most entertaining marketing podcasts you're going to put in your ear. I'm Vin, the associate producer here at Stirista. The goal of this podcast is to chat with industry leaders and get their take on the current challenges of the market, and we'll have a little fun along the way. In today's episode, Vincent and Ajay talk with Edward Bourelly, the VP of marketing at Planet Fitness. He talks about how not only marketing strategies change over time, but the way consumers diversify and how they consume content. Ajay has an odd week at the quiet office and Vincent gets nostalgic about growing up in the 90s. Give it a listen.

Vincent Pietrafesa.: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to another episode of Stirista's, The Marketing Stir. I am your host, Vincent Pietrafesa. I am extra happy today for a variety of reasons. I wore my favorite cuff links. It's the comedy and drama mask. I don't know, I just felt dressing up because of this next guest. I already feel like I've known him for years. Is that weird? No, it's not weird. We bonded. It's a bonding thing. We grew up in the 90s. We were talking about that. We're both Chicago Bulls' fans. We'll get to that in a moment. That's a little teaser, but it is so great to be back. Let's get it out of the way here. I always love doing this. I say this is how we pay the bills here. It's not, but all the cool radio hosts say it. Let's talk about who Stirista is. We are a marketing technology company. We focus on identity. We have our own business to business data, our own business to consumer data. We work with companies to target that data, to get new customers. We have our own DSP. We can help you execute media, OTT, connected TV. Email me at vincent @ stirista. com. That is how confident I am that we can help you. I just gave you my email address. Here's my phone number, 9- 1... I'm kidding. We have too many listeners for me to do that. I can't do that. But what I can do is introduce you to the other thing I'm confident in, here at Stirista, and that is my CEO, my commander- in- chief, ladies and gentlemen, I just got to see him in San Antonio. It was my pleasure. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Ajay Gupta. What's up Ajay?

Ajay Gupta: Hey Vincent. It does feel a little odd this week. The office is pretty empty compared to last week where we had everybody in.

Vincent Pietrafesa.: Yep. I bet you it's quieter too because the loud, obnoxious New Yorker is not there anymore.

Ajay Gupta: Yeah. Yes. For some reason, Texans seem to speak at a lower volume and I can still hear them.

Vincent Pietrafesa.: Yeah, exactly. I'm of course, referring to Will Kunkel, our VP of marketing. That wouldn't be me. He's a Long Island guy. We all know about those crazy Long Islanders or maybe you don't. I don't know who's listening right now, but yeah, it was a good time to see everyone. I always like, we do these things. You've heard us talk about it on the podcast. We get together every three months. We talk business and strategy. We have a little fun and I'm already looking forward to the next one, which will be around our summit, which we always bring in a lot of guests, a lot of great podcast guests too. Some of them we ask to come back and I have a feeling, I'm already planting the seed with guest here, I would love to have this particular guest and we haven't talked to him yet, that's how confident I am, maybe making an appearance on the summit. That's just a little just dropping that in. You got to put it out in the universe if you want it to happen. But it was a great time Ajay, how are you doing?

Ajay Gupta: I'm doing all right. I actually had a little bit of a tough weekend. I tore my MCL, so I am-

Vincent Pietrafesa.: What?

Ajay Gupta: Yeah. So I was mostly resting this morning, and then I saw we had a podcast. So I'm chipper again.

Vincent Pietrafesa.: Wow. What does that mean? We were just talking about this.

Ajay Gupta: Yeah, I know you guys were talking about this.

Vincent Pietrafesa.: Our guest, Edward and I were talking about Saquon Barkley who is one of my favorite giants, New York Giants players. He tore his ACL. Edward, he had torn an ACL as well. The MCL, is this like, are you out of the tennis 0. 40 or 40? I never can remember what those division are.

Ajay Gupta: We'll see. It's a partial tear, and it's not as bad as an ACL. So supposedly it'll heal on its own in a couple of weeks. So, supposed to go back in three weeks and see what happens. But yeah, it's supposed to be better than the ACL relatively speaking, I guess.

Vincent Pietrafesa.: Well, come on, we need you back out there. The tennis world needs you back out there. Well, I didn't know that. Wow. Well, see, look at the dedication you have coming out here and joining us on the podcast. Let's get to the podcast. Ladies and gentlemen, I am very excited about this next guest. He's from a company called Planet Fitness. You've heard of that, Planet Fitness. That's where you might need to go Ajay to work out that injury, Planet Fitness. I'm very happy to have him. Ladies and gentlemen, at guard, six foot six, from North Carolina... No, I'm kidding. That's just how they... I don't know if he's six, six. I don't know. It's just how they introduce the Chicago Bulls. I was trying to do a big intro. He needs no intro. I already love this guy. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to The Marketing Stir, the vice president of marketing at Planet Fitness, Edward Bourelly. What's going on, Edward?

Edward Bourelly: Hey, how's it going? That was a great intro, I have to say, but I'm nowhere near six, six.

Vincent Pietrafesa.: Me neither. Me neither.

Edward Bourelly: I'm a little upset by it because my father was very tall, all my uncles, over six foot tall and I wind up being I guess the guy who hit that five 11 mark. I couldn't get to six foot, so my basketball career was cut short.

Vincent Pietrafesa.: Yeah. I am at six feet, like six one but yeah, no one's ever given me an intro like that. That's reminiscent of the Chicago Bulls days. We have a great announcer. I'm a New Yorker as people on the podcast know and you know, Edward. But growing up in the 90s, you've been in Chicago, so that's your home team there. But for me, my only team that I don't do New York on. Growing up in the 90s, for me, we got to remember, there weren't that many channels on so you had to watch what you had to watch. And that's why a lot of my friends became Cubs fans because they were on during the day. Chicago Bears in the 80s into the 90s were good, but the 90s, there's no other team, the Bulls were the team, and those were always on. You wanted to watch something, it was always on. So that's how I became a Bulls fan. And I'm still a Bulls fan. You just don't depart from that even though the Bulls haven't been great in the last few years, but we share in the Chicago Bulls.

Edward Bourelly: The era of Jordan, as I say, was something that we'll write about for a long time and talk about for a long. But I'm grateful. I was here. I saw it all. I witnessed it all, went to the games.

Vincent Pietrafesa.: Oh wow.

Edward Bourelly: It was pretty amazing.

Vincent Pietrafesa.: Yeah, that's something I was never able to do. I've never been to a Bulls' game. I've never been to a Bulls' game, but I... Well, I shouldn't say that. I haven't been to a Bulls' game in Chicago. I've been to a Bulls' game here in New York. I go every year now to the Brooklyn Nets so I can see them twice, which is good. And I see Derrick Rose all the time, actually. Former bull, current New York Knick. His kids play the same park as my kids. I don't say anything to him. I leave him alone, but he is there. So, that's a little-

Edward Bourelly: That's like me too. So I grew up on the south side of Chicago.

Vincent Pietrafesa.: Oh yeah?

Edward Bourelly: Oh yeah. Oh yeah. Derrick Rose, Simeon, a native. He went to high school there. Just a phenomenal athlete, phenomenal story for Chicago. We miss them in Bulls uniform though.

Vincent Pietrafesa.: Same. Yeah, I miss him too, but I'm happy he's just signed that three year deal. He's doing his thing in New York. I'm happy to see him every day, but yeah, I love... He was one of my favorites too, D. Rose, along with Rodman and Jordan and Pippen. But, we could talk all day about that. The people wanted, they're like, " Hey, I want to hear about marketing." Well, let me tell you something, first of all, having Edward on, you don't just get Planet Fitness, you get New Era, you get Nike. Speaking of the Bulls, speaking of the basketball, speaking of just powerful brands, Nike, New Era, and now Planet Fitness, Edward talk to us about your role within Planet Fitness, some of your responsibilities there, some of the day to day.

Edward Bourelly: So essentially my role as a VP of marketing is I'm really responsible for channels of acquisition. How do we get people into our clubs, how do we keep people's members in our clubs? Down to the market level, and this is a really hyper local brand that even goes down to community, and understanding how people are looking at the brand, how a club can get new members into their door. That's basically my job every day, is staying hyperlocal, making sure we're investing in the right channels to get people excited about not just our brand, but just working out, being their best selves, having the best mental and physical fitness they possibly can have. That's my job. I'm pretty excited about it.

Vincent Pietrafesa.: That's awesome. And I know what we're going to talk about, a lot of questions, Planet Fitness, powerful brand but gyms are one of those businesses that might have, during that pandemic time, not being able to open. So we're going to talk about that. But before we talk about that, how did you get into marketing? We always ask every one of our guests about that because sometimes it's... One or two times, it's like, " Oh, I studied marketing and here I am." Most of the times it's a different path completely. I would love to hear your story and some of the brands you've been in. It's amazing. Please share that with us.

Edward Bourelly: I realized what I wanted to do early on in life. I had a brother- in- law who was working for an African- American ad agency called Burrell here in Chicago. And I was just fascinated by people he was working with, the creative process, what he was doing. And I just knew this was what I wanted to do. So I went to school at University of Florida. I majored in advertising. I really started on the agency side. And I'm sorry if I offended anybody, but I think some of the best marketers started on the agency side because they really understand inner workings of an agency, the creative process, how they really are integral partners to a brand. And from there, I got my MBA from Mercer University. So, decent little school. We upset Duke and attorney one year. I always tell people, they don't even remember about the school. Great school, and I moved on to brand side. So with Home Depot, had a short extent. And then from there, just I've been on the brand side. I really love helping develop brands. I really love starting new brands and here I am today. So that's how I got into marketing. But marketing also, it's a love for understanding people, right, and what drives people, what gets people excited about something. I'm a people person. I love marketing. It was meant to be, let's put it that way.

Ajay Gupta: So Edward, during this pandemic, obviously a lot of our clients, especially retail clients were affected and then fitness chains of course were for most part all closed. So what's the reopening been like for you guys, what are some of the changes that you guys have had to do?

Edward Bourelly: Yeah. March 17th will always be etched in my brain. That's the day all of our clubs closed. And it was like walking through a minefield. And talking about being hyper local, it was managing, working with governmental affairs and working with politicians and local districts to make sure that our clubs open in a way that was safe, and then also communicating to consumers that we're opening and doing everything possible to create a safe environment for them to work out. So it really boiled down to municipality level and how do we manage that market at that level. So, we had to grow up really quickly and become governmental affairs advocates in working closely with our communities to make sure we were doing the right thing with our gyms and opening up and sending the right messages to consumers also about our gyms.

Ajay Gupta: And what are some of the marketing initiatives that you're running right now? Now the things have reopened, what are some of the channels that you focus on?

Edward Bourelly: Yeah. It's always changing. I've told people, I've never seen the marketplace move this fast. This is blowing my mind. So really, it really depends on who we're targeting and where we're targeting folks. So, our mix has changed pretty significantly over time. TV has always been our go- to, but our digital channels have ramped up significantly since this pandemic. And that coincides with what's happening with the consumers. The consumers now are diversifying how they consume content. They're not cutting back necessarily on consuming content, but they've diversified it in a way that it's really created a robust marketing mix for us, where connected TV, OTT, some of those key channels you mentioned earlier that you guys are experts in have become big priorities for us. It's in part of the marketing mix. And it's going to keep evolving. It's going to keep evolving and we have to stay on top of that. I think any marketer needs to understand what's happening now with the consumers and how they're interacting with their brand, but also invest in what's happening in the future and stay ahead of the curve as much as possible. So, that's where we are now, and we have to be more nimble of than we've ever been before.

Vincent Pietrafesa.: Edward, you mentioned before being a great, you said a great listener or a great communicator with people, understanding people. What are some other skills that you have, and that marketers should have to really enter this field or separate them in this field to be a successful marketer?

Edward Bourelly: I don't know if my wife thinks I'm a great listener, but-

Vincent Pietrafesa.: Oh, wait, I'm sorry. What'd you say? I know, me neither. inaudible

Edward Bourelly: I tell her I listen to people, that's my job, but just kidding. Just kidding. I think really putting yourself in the shoes of the consumer, having empathy and not just looking at the world and looking at what's happening in the marketplace through your own eyes. Empathy is a huge thing that I think marketers have to have that ability to be able to shift their paradigms, to understand how are other people looking at the brand and what they're experiencing. Humility is another thing. And humility isn't a shy thing, or not being confident in what you know. Humility is asking, what else is there, out there? And being able to ask those questions and being able to approach problems in the marketplace and things that are happening with consumers with a question. So, those are skills that people definitely have to have. And it's a balance too. It's a balance between that art of understanding people and always staying on top of that, and then the science. We have so much data available to us now. We have so many insights we can pull from that. And then how do you bring those two together in the way to really create a holistic approach to how you market to people? So the people's side is huge. It is an art. It really is an art. It's something that you live, how you relate to other people, how you talk to people that are different than you or the same as you are in a lot of aspects, but then also the bringing the data on top of that so you're not always assuming things and making key strategic decisions for your brand based upon assumptions. So, it's a combination of the two and great marketers match through that.

Vincent Pietrafesa.: And you know what I love about Planet Fitness? Planet Fitness to me, I feel like I don't see ads for any other gyms. And Planet Fitness is one of those things. You see the thumb, you see that, but it's also the... You guys are positioned as the shame- free gym. You always see that-

Edward Bourelly: Judgment free, judgment free.

Vincent Pietrafesa.: Judgment free. Yeah. It's a shame- free, beginner friendly, judgment free zone. I love that. But yeah, you're judgment free. Sometimes you go to a gym. I remember going to a gym and they're like, " What are you only putting up, 220?" That's my Italian friends. " Is that all you're doing?" I'm like, " Well, who am I kidding? I don't think I ever put up 220." You know what I mean, but it's like with Planet Fitness, it's that concept. And I love that concept. Has that helped change some of the dialogue in the health and fitness world?

Edward Bourelly: I hope so. The biggest barrier for people in terms of embracing fitness is intimidation. People are afraid to step in that type of environment and not know how to use the equipment, how to even check in, how to even dress to go into a gym. And it can be very intimidating, even for people that have of worked out their entire lives to step into a new environment like that. And I think the brilliant thing around Planet Fitness and how this brand was created was really to be inclusive and to stay ahead of that. And inclusion is the now, but to have that as the foundation of the brand, this brand was created in the 90s and had that type of foresight was brilliant in terms of the brand and how the brand has evolved over time. The thing that attracted me to Planet Fitness and want to work for this brand was creating opportunities for everybody. This company goes places where competitors don't go and they target people that some competitors don't target, and that's extremely important for me and why I became a part of the brand.

Vincent Pietrafesa.: Edward, what do yourself like to do for fitness?

Edward Bourelly: Whatever I'm doing is not enough. I can tell you that. I tell people, " Your fitness journey, it's a war, it's a series of battles." And for me, it changes constantly. I like to go to the gym. I like to go for walks. I like to hit the bike every now and then. I like to work out at home. And having a 10 and 11- year old helps too because I'm always running around chasing them and trying to keep up with their sports, but it really is, for me, whatever I'm doing, just have a positive mindset towards it. Just going for a walk for an hour a day, that's been my new thing now. Sometime an hour can turn into two hours. Just having a positive mindset towards it because what we're seeing more now than ever is physical fitness, staying active also is a key component to your mental health. And we need it and we needed more in out and ever during the pandemic. To go out there, walk, just stay active. Whatever I'm doing, I'm just trying to stay positive and I'm mixing up and sometimes I'm going to gym every day. I go through periods just like everybody else does and sometimes I haven't hit the gym in a month. So, it's constantly evolving, but I like to stay active as much as I can.

Ajay Gupta: Yeah. I feel the same way. I think sometimes I look at people running outside in the Texas heat and it makes me tired from my air conditioned car. And other times I'm out there playing tennis in a hundred degree weather. It's I think exercise is such a mental part besides the physical aspect.

Edward Bourelly: And when I worked for Nike, they had a saying, if you have a buyer, you're an athlete. That's how I see physical fitness. Physical fitness isn't for young people or for a select few. It's really for everybody. It's you have a body, you have a mind, you need to exercise it and read the benefits of that as much as possible. So, that's how we all should be approaching our lives and our fitness journey.

Ajay Gupta: And Edward, you've worked at Nike, you've worked at quite a few big companies. What are some of the experiences that you took from working at these large brands that you can tell us about?

Edward Bourelly: Yeah. I think the bigger brands and the experiential brands like Nike, like Levi, some of the companies I worked for is they really obsess over the consumer and what drives the consumer. And they're very emotional brands. When I mentioned to people that I work for Planet Fitness or worked for Nike, it evokes emotion in people. And those brands in particular, which I've had a blessing to work for, very high visibility brands, everybody has a story behind and people have very strong emotions towards. So those brands in particular understand that. They're driven by their values and they know how to get their consumers excited. So those are big things I think that the brands that are innovative and at the top are constantly evolving. That's how they're winning in the marketplace right now. It's driving emotion, staying ahead of innovation and making sure consumers are connecting, not just with the brand, but with each other and with the brand being a part of that connection.

Vincent Pietrafesa.: And Edward, you mentioned it before in some ways how Planet Fitness, all inclusive, that was in the 90s to see that. Also a lot of things that are happening now with brands or brand activism, right, on social issues. What role do you think brands should play in social issues and how is your company's marketing driven by some of those values?

Edward Bourelly: Brands should be at the forefront of what's happening in our communities. And now consumers and people are looking more to brands to be change makers and agents of change more so than they are to their local politician or their local firefighter, police officer or municipality workers. So brands have an extreme amount of influence on communities. And people now want to see what your brand stands for, and they want to spend their money to advocate for that and to support that and hope to reciprocate that back with the company and the brand being a part of their community and driving those values to help change what's happened within our communities. So, I'm all for that. I'm all for brands being at the forefront of what's going on. Now, can all brands be like Ben and Jerry's? Not necessarily. That's the lane Ben and Jerry's chosen, to be an activist brand. They're variable with that. And that's what they stand for. But we all have a responsibility to our communities to give back, to lead with our values and to be agents of change. And that's what they expect of us now.

Vincent Pietrafesa.: And I love hearing that. And it's like if people see that, you hear a lot of people talking about, " Oh, I don't go to that brand because they support this or they support that," but if you would love a brand, I'm so loyal to my brands. My wife is like, " You have eight of those sweatshirts." I'm like, "Well yeah, because I love how it fits and I'm loyal to my brand." But I do look for that. The older I get and as a parent now, as you were saying, you look for that. You're like, " What are some of these brands doing out the there?" Because we have so much more options nowadays. We have so many more choices. It's like, " If that's a brand that's doing good things to do good things, that's a brand that I want to support." So I'm glad that's out there as well. I wanted to ask Edward, we touched upon it and Ajay did in the beginning, but did you have to pivot your marketing during that time? I remember you said it's March 17th, which normally is a happy time. It's St. Patrick's Day and people are out drinking and they're having fun and everyone's wearing green, but March 17th, you're right, a lot of that shut down. How did you have to pivot then and now because a lot of the increase in at home gyms? So, talk to me a little bit about that.

Edward Bourelly: Yeah. And for that, I have to say, A was we were very nimble. We jumped on this right away in terms of staying engaged with people and with our consumers out there to just stay active. And it went back to our values and what drives us. So, kudos to our national partnerships team. They created a whole campaign, United We Move, which were free 20 minute workouts on Facebook Live and on YouTube. And our franchisee community really came together and were offering up some of their partnerships like some athletes with some of the teams they work with and sponsor, from mascots to trainers at our gyms to just families and stars working out, doing these 20 minute workouts for free to everyone. And just keeping people engaged and going back to what makes our brand truly unique and special, and that's really about movement and just keeping people moving. Movement is medicine and just embracing that. And they were tough times and when we all went through them. And having that type of approach to engage people and to keep people moving was brilliant. So, we just kept engaged people out there until our doors actually were able to start reopening. And we did that for a long time.

Ajay Gupta: So, Edward, a personal question, a staple for our podcast is-

Vincent Pietrafesa.: I love this question for Edward because he seems so nice. I would love to hear this question here.

Ajay Gupta: It's the nicest people that have the best answers.

Vincent Pietrafesa.: I know. No pressure.

Ajay Gupta: So, Edward, with your title and your background working at so many brands, I'm sure you get a lot of unsolicited messages and solicitations.

Vincent Pietrafesa.: Yeah. Yes. What is a message that gets a response from you? And then the other part of the question that we love even more is, what's something that really, really annoys you?

Edward Bourelly: Good question. Good question. I think the questions that, and when people reach out to me, they get the response for me, it's just people that want to connect and learn and have conversation. And to me, that goes back to what I was talking about earlier, right, is how do we relate with other people? Those, and for me, I always am open to talking and especially talking about marketing and talking about the brands I've worked for. And I want to hear what other people are doing out there to learn honestly, and that goes back to leading with humility. So those types of outreaches, I respond to, especially even students. If a student reached out to me, I immediately respond because I remember being in their shoes, and that goes back to empathy. And I'm always here to help students learn and evolve and become better marketing professionals. The ones that I typically don't respond to is sales pitches. Anybody's going to tell you that right off the bat, is I don't really look at LinkedIn as a hard channel for sales. I looked at LinkedIn as really a community for professionals and to engage and share ideas and talk to each other more than anything. Sometimes sale comes down the line but at first, I think the approach is wanting to connect with me as a professional and vice versa. And then if there's something that makes sense for us to talk on a business standpoint from a partnership or vendor to business relationship, then yeah, I'm open to that too. And you know right off the bat which ones are selling you something. They say, " Edward, this is..." My mom calls me Edward. My dad called me Edward when I was in trouble. It's just be yourself. I know it's a professional platform, but we're all people. Reach out just because you're interested in what I'm doing, what I'm saying or if you want to learn something. And I would love to learn from you too.

Ajay Gupta: Great answer, and as nice as we expected.

Vincent Pietrafesa.: Yeah. I was like, " I can't wait to see this." Edward sees like... And we've been calling you Edward this whole time and you prefer Ed?

Edward Bourelly: That's perfect. You can call me Ed, Edward, just call me all that stuff, I'm good.

Ajay Gupta: After that comment, I'm definitely calling him Ed.

Vincent Pietrafesa.: I'm calling him Ed. My friend Ed. I was like, here I am. I know. It's-

Edward Bourelly: Just don't call me Mr. Bourelly. Then I feel really old.

Vincent Pietrafesa.: I never have to worry about people calling me Mr. Pietrafesa because my last name is so hard to understand. People always go with Vincent or Vince. Yeah.

Ajay Gupta: Yeah. I just recently learned his last name.

Vincent Pietrafesa.: You did. Yeah. I commented about that the other day. I've known you 11 years, so-

Ajay Gupta: Well, you kept bringing it up in podcasts so I had to learn it after 10 years.

Vincent Pietrafesa.: Yeah. This was a subtle hint here again, just remind him about it. Sorry, go ahead.

Edward Bourelly: It's not easy either, especially how it's spelled, B- O- U- R- E- L- L- Y. So I've heard a lot of crazy things.

Ajay Gupta: And continuing on the crosstalk

Vincent Pietrafesa.: Yeah, right?

Edward Bourelly: Yeah.

Ajay Gupta: So now that we are in a first name basis, Ed, what's been a personal highlight for you in the last couple of years.

Edward Bourelly: I would say the things that I enjoy doing more than anything are the things that I saw having a direct impact in changing someone's life. And when I was with Nike, for instance, we brought World Basketball Festival to south side of Chicago. So we had these huge concerts with Common. We brought the USA basketball team right there on the south side of Chicago. Anthony Davis was talking to kids. Kids looking up to them and just talking about his journey and how he grew up in their neighborhood and how he loves the city and how anything's possible. So, things that I was able to be a part of like that in my career especially the last couple of years where I've seen it make a direct impact on people's lives, those are things I'll always remember. Even From a Planet Fitness standpoint, just hearing the stories of people and their journey to fitness, how members have come into our doors and how they've turned their whole lives around and how we've been able to help people do that is incredible. And it is big kudos to our team that's there in the gyms every day, because they keep people in a positive mindset. They create such a welcoming atmosphere for folks. And some of the stories that you hear back all the time just are amazing. So, anything I can do to help people. Those are things that I can say I'll always will remember.

Vincent Pietrafesa.: We love hearing that. Then towards the end of the podcast, again, we keep... This is the personal side, right, we try to... The podcast, The Marketing Stir is we wanted it to be like we met you, Ed, at a bar at the conference. At a conference, so you talk about a lot of things. So let's see. So in third grade, you once... No kidding. We don't get that down. We don't get that down. We don't get that personal.

Edward Bourelly: I got some great third grade stories.

Vincent Pietrafesa.: Oh, me too. I remember me and my friends would have crack fights on each other. Anyway, that's a whole... But so what do you like to do when you're not winning awards like the Nike NBA Apparel Vendor of the Year Award, the brass knuckles award? See, I told you I'd embarrass you a little bit, the Nike Maximum winner. So, what do you like to do for fun? We talked a little bit about it, but tell us what you like to do for fun, what are your typical weekends for you, some of your passions?

Edward Bourelly: I love sports for I'm a sports jockey, but really, I just love spending time with my kids. I have an 11 year old and 10 year old, both daughters. I didn't have a son. And they humble me every day. It was some of the things that they say, some of the things that they're learning. They're way ahead of where I was at that age. It blows my mind, coaching my kids' softball team, just seeing how these kids have just given it their all, from tears coming down their faces, so them just trying their best. I love that. I love that it keeps me young, I can say. So, anything like that, I'm drawn to it. And I also think it's a unique way to look at the world too, right, to look at the world through the eyes of a child and just understanding what they're dealing with now, especially in these times and how they're able to just stay happy and have fun is it's. It's amazing.

Vincent Pietrafesa.: Yeah. I loved that.

Edward Bourelly: We nearly all teared up here, man.

Vincent Pietrafesa.: Oh, I know. Hey, let me tell you something, Ed. For me, I have a four year old and a one year old. I became a dad a little bit later. So I love little things like that. I see what my son is doing, some of the phrases. He's insulting me, but I'm also impressed. He's four. He's like, " Dad, you're a stupid octopus." And I was like, " Doesn't even make sense, but it's hilarious." I'm like, " What is that even?" That's the worst thing, he got so mad. He called me a stupid octopus, and I'm like, " That's genius." And yeah, trust me, I get all these little things that I do. I went to go to my first movie. I went to my Regal Cinemas here. We had to greet... We had the CMO of Regal Cinemas on. And he was like, " Oh, you know what, take your son. Here's some tickets." I was like, " Oh wow, I was going to do it anyway." And I'm watching him watch a movie. I'm like, " Am I going to lose it in Boss Baby: Family Business right now?" Like, " What's going to happen now?" True story. I'm way more sensitive than my wife is. My wife, she's not that type of person, she shows in different ways. But yeah, I'm in PAW Patrol and I'm like-

Ajay Gupta: I liked how you left it that she's not that type of person. I was like, " Oh boy," because you're obviously digging yourself a hole.

Vincent Pietrafesa.: That's a hole. She doesn't listen to the podcast anyway, even though she is in marketing, which is like, " Come on." But, Ed, just some final thoughts that you'd like to leave us with on yourself, some thoughts about where you think Planet Fitness you would like to see in the next few months or year. The floor is yours,

Edward Bourelly: The floor is mine. Just kidding. Well, I was thinking about this question a lot and I just want to tell people, I know it's crazy out there right now. People are more divided than ever. But at the same time, as a marketer, going back to the subjects that we're talking about, these are exciting times. Like I said, I've never seen the market move the way it has. I've never seen this type of innovation driving marketing, social issues driving marketing. Our consumers are more connected, more savvy than they ever have been. And it's really a time to just keep learning. Keep learning, keep evolving, keep with the humble attitude, because trust me, things are going to change immediately tomorrow. Like Chris Rock says in Hollywood, you're here today, you're gone today. Things are moving so fast and to me, it's fascinating. It's fascinating because it just keeps us on our toes. It keeps us asking what's still out there, and where are the things that we should be investing in and how we should be investing in. And these are exciting times for us as marketers more than ever. So, I think just keeping that positive attitude and staying on top of that is the way that everybody's going to have fruitful careers in this profession.

Vincent Pietrafesa.: I love it. I love it. Great final thoughts and staying positive. I love that. I don't think I've laughed this hard at an episode yet. This has been so fun and crosstalk. Yeah, we loved having you. Ladies and gentlemen, one more time for the vice president of marketing, Ed Bourelly from Planet Fitness. Go check out Planet Fitness. You know it's coming up to that time. You want to go work out anyway, get your mind right, get your body right. This will air right around the time where you're like, " Oh, it's time for that gym membership now." This has been-

Edward Bourelly: Thanks for having me guys too. And Ajay, great meeting you. Vincent, like you said, we talked before. We talked for like an hour before we started talking about-

Vincent Pietrafesa.: We went over. We went over the time as usual. I was like, " This is just a 30 minute call," and then... That's why I was like, " I can't wait to get Ed on the podcast." This has been amazing. Thank you so much-

Edward Bourelly: Thanks guys for having me.

Vincent Pietrafesa.: No problem. We loved having you. This has been another episode of The Marketing Stir. That's ed Bourelly. I'm Vincent Pietrafesa. That's Ajay Gupta. Thanks and we'll talk to you soon.

Vin: Thanks for listening to The Marketing Stir Podcast by Stirista. Please like, rate and subscribe. If you're interested in being a guest on the podcast, email us at themarketingstir @ stirista. com. And thanks for listening.

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