Retro Fitness dials 867-5309

//October 13, 2009

Retro Fitness dials 867-5309

//October 13, 2009

Health club plays up reference to pop song for marketing needs.Retro Fitness, in Colts Neck, a chain of 1980s-themed fitness centers, said it is using a localized version of a famous phone number to draw in new franchisees.

The company acquired telephone number (201) 867-5309 through an online auction sale on eBay for an undisclosed sum in late June.

The number is the same as the title of 1980s pop song “867-5309/Jenny,” made famous by band Tommy Tutone. Retro Fitness, a five-year-old company, has so far only acquired the telephone number, but its chief executive, 35-year-old Eric Casaburi, is considering pursuing rights to use the song in his marketing.

“We haven’t negotiated with anyone yet on that front,” he said. “But it’s on the horizon for us.”

The 201 version of the telephone number was most recently owned by A Blast Entertainment Inc., a DJ company, and initially went up for auction in February. The final price was not disclosed, though earlier bids topped $300,000.

Retro Fitness health clubs are dressed in 1980s trappings, including television screens playing movies from the decade.

Casaburi said Retro Fitness has more than 45 locations across the country, with 110 in development. The chain has 30 locations in New Jersey.

Casaburi said his company is using the number to play up the fitness centers’ use of 1980s décor and related marketing. “The number goes to our franchising office,” he said. “It’s the sales line for new franchise candidates.”

Retro Fitness also plans to introduce radio advertising that brings in another blast from the past. “We hooked up with Martha Quinn, the MTV , and she is going to be doing a lot of our radio reads,” he said. “That number will wind up on different types of media.”

The radio spots featuring Quinn are scheduled to begin airing in September, Casaburi said.

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