Accusplit, the company that developed the first hand-held stopwatch in 1972 and went on to develop pedometers, has taken its promotion of pedometers a step further, offering to give anyone $5 toward any new Accusplit pedometer with a trade-in of any pedometer, of any value, or from any brand â€“ "dead or alive."
â€œThere are now millions of â€˜beginner pedometers' in America,â€ W. Ron Sutton, Accusplit president who also gives himself the title, Mr. Pedometer, told SNEWSÂ®. â€œThose pedometers have motivated many to become active. This is a chance for the motivated to upgrade to a 5-year warranty pedometer from Accusplit at a savings.â€
With the "Dead or Alive" program, rolling out to retailers in early September, anyone can bring any pedometer, no matter where it came from, to a participating store or online retailer and trade it in for a $5 gift certificate to be used toward the purchase of an Accusplit pedometer. Accusplit's pedometers run from $12 to $35. Some are very basic, counting only steps, while more expensive ones can include heart rate monitors, an electronic feature to measure your stride, calorie counters, radios, or program books to help users design walking workouts.
â€œWith the influx of starter pedometers -- with places like McDonald's offering them so cheaply -- we took the stance that it's a really good thing to have this flood of pedometers,â€ Chris Lucas, Accusplit director of marketing communications said. â€œIt gets people introduced to the product and encourages them to walk more.â€
Accusplit has begun to publicize the program through press releases and posters that were distributed to retailers who already carry their product. In late August, the company was still ironing out the details of the program, how it will work online and is solidifying agreements with retailers. Pleasanton, Calif.-based Accusplit said it hopes to get a mix of big box stores and specialty retailers among participating retailers.
â€œSpecialty fitness retail is a new market for the company,â€ said Lucas, standing in the company's booth at the Health & Fitness Business specialty retail-focused show. â€œThis might be a good way for Accusplit to develop new relationships.â€
Said Sutton in a July 1, 2004 SNEWS story ("Get happy with McDonald's Go Active Happy Meal for adults") about the burger joint's meals that came with inexpensive stepometers, "I hope it inspires more people to eat-right-move-more," he added. "We think it has a role to do that. It's better than doing nothing, and for that we give McDonald's credit."
Meanwhile, Sutton and company plan to play off the growing popularity of pedometers to get consumers to move up and, the company hopes, into Accusplit models.
Accusplit plans to run the "Dead or Alive" program from early September through late October or early November. For more information go to www.accusplit.com or call 1-800-935-1996.
SNEWSÂ® View: Pedometers seem as if they could be a good, small, inexpensive, no-brainer accessory add for a specialty retailer â€“ especially if that allows them to tap into a promotion by a manufacturer such as the Dead or Alive one. Could bring additional customers into the store. Then who knows what else they might buy, now or later.