O2 Recovery Drink "#StayForMay"

This spring, even as beverage brands were scrambling to shore up their own businesses for the long haul of a once-in-a-century pandemic, the responsibility to give back took precedence and the instinct to help those most impacted by COVID-19 and lockdowns kicked in. Hundreds of companies donated product and launched charitable initiatives, but the #StayForMay campaign, spearheaded by O2 Recovery Drink, stood out as among the most creative and impactful efforts by stopping the bleed of cancelled gym memberships and encouraging consumers to support independently-owned businesses.

Offering up to $20 million in incentives, the #StayForMay campaign -- which included O2 and other fitness brands like Born Primitive, Puori and Bear KompleX -- rallied consumers to save American gyms by pledging to pay their membership dues for the month of May in exchange for $100 gift cards. At the height of lockdowns, roughly 90% of gyms nationwide were shuttered and thousands were cancelling their memberships. But nearly 60,000 consumers participated in the #StayForMay program, paying their dues to 1,918 gyms.

As companies like O2 and countless other hydration and sports drinks rely heavily on the fitness and gym channel for sales, the project showed a camaraderie between brands and their retailers that made a tangible difference for gym owners nationwide at one of the most difficult periods in modern business history.