Research Outline

Digital Advertising for Sports Medicine Training Certification


Support an evaluation of the overall digital advertising market for sports medicine training certification programs by researching trends and other data. This category includes personal trainers, nutrition coaches, corrective exercise specialists (for example the National Academy of Sports Medicine), and is limited to all U.S. based programs that offer certification for personal training, nutrition coaching, and corrective exercise specialists.

In order to support this evaluation, the report should include 1) addressable market size 2) a competitive analysis (broken down by online-only programs and in-person programs), 3) the amount each type spends on advertising, 4) the effectiveness of advertising in this field, 5) any regulatory policies and the history of regulatory policies in this space, 6) the bodies that issue these regulations (government or otherwise), and 7) any paid search/social specific policies (set by Google/Facebook for example).

Early Findings

Personal Training and Corrective Exercise Specialists

  • The market size for personal trainers in the US was worth $10bn with around 739,603 businesses as of 2108. This category overlaps with that of corrective exercise specialists, with the latter considered a specialty within the former.
  • Three organizations that provide certification for corrective exercise specialists are the NASM corrective exercise certification or CES, the ISSA corrective exercise certification, and the ACE (biomechanics method) corrective exercise specialist certification. They tend to be done online.
  • There are several organizations that offer credible personal training certification, including the American Council on Exercise (ACE), the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA), the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), and the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). These are certified by both government and sports associations. They offer a mix of online and in-person work, depending on the certification.

Health Coaching

  • Health coaching was worth $6bn with around 109,000 coaches and health educators. However, there is no single and official definition of the category and no national standards that organizations have to adhere to when providing certification. This means that while there are many organizations that claim to certify health coaches, they may not all be credible institutions. There are several that are peer-recommended, including the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Precision Nutrition Level 1, Emory University, Duke Integrative Medicine, the American Council on Exercise, the Health Coach Institute, the National Society of Health Coaches, and the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute.

General Information

  • There is no information available on advertising spend per program, most likely because that information is usually held confidentially by companies. However, there may be several best practices to ensuring digital marketing is as effective as possible.

Early findings have shown that while there is potentially an addressable market size of about $16bn+ for personal training (with corrective exercise as a specialty within it) and health coaching, as shown by adding up the two figures on market size listed above, the lack of a formal definition for the categories makes finding an "official" market size moot. The lack of a formal definition also means that creating a survey of ALL available providers is not recommended, as the list would be quickly outdated and would likely include false leads, but there are several well-respected providers in each field. They have been listed in this spreadsheet.

The following recommendations are based on these early findings.