Retrofitness Dials 867-5309

NEW YORK For a good time, or at least a good workout, gym rats can now call 867-5309. The rapidly expanding health club chain Retrofitness, has acquired the rights to the phone number made famous by eighties one-hit wonder Tommy Tutone. It also recently inked original MTV veejay Martha Quinn to voice its fall radio campaign.

The eighties-themed chain has 50-plus locations in Florida, New Jersey and Washington, D.C. It currently has more than 100 in development in Chicago, Tampa, Fla. and other major markets. Each is decorated in bright eighties color schemes (neon yellow, black checkered floor tiles) and includes a “retro cardio” movie theater featuring flicks like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Sixteen Candles.

Retrofitness founder Eric Casaburi saw the number 867-5309, which served as the title of the hit song, which peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1982, as a must-have for his growing Gen x-targetd fitness centers. “We want to keep the brand as fun as possible,” he said. “The devil is in the details especially in branding. This was a cool detail that people will appreciate when they see it. Plus it’s easy to remember.”

Retrofitness received the rights to the number late last month. Originally, the phone number had been auctioned off in February on eBay for a bid in excess of $350,000. However, the deal fell apart. Casaburi was approached by the owners of the number and he acquired it for an undisclosed sum.

Late last month, Retrofitness also inked a deal with MTV’s Quinn. “Her response was, ‘that is such a rad idea,’” Casaburi said. “She’s such a throwback. It’s worth the extra money for people to hear her voice and say ‘I remember her.’”

Print ads featuring eighties movies references support. One current ad reads, “At $19.99 a month, it’s better than leg sweeping a Cobra Kai.” The chain is prepping TV ads for later this year. Hot Dish Advertising, Minneapolis, is the agency.

“The eighties were great . . . There was no recession. We want people to get that flavor in their life,” Casaburi said. “No one likes to work out. It’s sweaty. It hurts a little. At least we’re giving them some entertainment value.”

Nielsen Business Media