Did You Hear?…

The Super Show, Julie King, Life Fitness, IHRSA, Athletic Business, Jim Davis/New Balance, Iron Grip, SI Women, Fitcorp, Gold's Gym, sick of spam?

>> The Super Show will strive for a little fun and games at the January event by trying to create the largest sports pin collection ever assembled in one place to make an entry into the Guiness Book of World Records. Management is asking attendees to bring pins for the display -- anything from Olympic to team sports, to event pins, with many thousands needed to break the record. No, they won't be returned, the management warns. After the show, the collection will be auctioned on eBay with the money going to PE4Life, a non-profit group that promote sports and physical education in schools.

>> Julie King, always available and always accurate PR guru at Life Fitness, will not be returning to her post after her pregnancy leave. Out on leave since August and scheduled to return in late October, King has decided the company's move of the marketing department to downtown Chicago, which would triple her commute time, would be too hard on her now three-month-old son Ryan. She will pursue other writing and free-lancing. Meanwhile, Life Fitness' marketing team -- including consumer marketing, creative services, interactive marketing, Life Fitness Academy, public relations, technical communications, trade shows, U.S. club marketing and U.S. vertical marketing -- will open for business in downtown Chicago on Nov. 11. The move will not only take that department closer to media and other central Chicago services, but also allow other departments to move into the space emptied in the crowded Franklin Park offices. New address: 200 S. Wacker, Suite 1300, Chicago, IL 60606.

>> In a surprise move that came without warning to staffers, Time Inc. is closing the doors on its Sports Illustrated Women magazine after two years. The December issue will be its last. Ann Moore, chairman and CEO of Time Inc., said, "SI Women was smart, interesting and attractive. Indeed, although we had some of our best and brightest people working on it, SI Women needed a significant investment to reach its potential. The investment climate was simply not on our side." Time Inc. said it is trying to find other positions within the company for the 45 staffers. SNEWS View: Our inside sources said the magazine's closing was completely unexpected and definitely a financial decision. Several we talked to noted they had no hint anything of the sort was pending, and one staffer even heard it from us first. It seems Time Inc. didn't have the patience to wait for the magazine to come into its own, despite a gap in the magazine market for women's magazines that offered more than beauty, haircare or fitness that was all about looking good. In general, it seems that the company is focused on the bottom line rather than quality publications. Too bad it had to be at the expense of 400,000 subscribers.

>> The joint operation by IHRSA and Athletic Business of a fall trade show will cease after this year's show after a decade together.Peter Brown, AB president, says Athletic Business is "fully committed to growing the show in the future," and is making plans for 2003-2006.

>> Iron Grip Barbell Company has signed a limited license agreement with Gill Athletics, formerly known as Gill Sports, for a line of Olympic weight plates with handgrips. The plates will be sold through Gill Athletics and its distributors. The company has also completed its move to a facility nearly twice as large, still in Orange County, Calif. The company's new address is 4012 Garry Avenue, in Santa Ana, Calif., where it will house corporate offices, production, warehouse, shipping and receiving. Email, phone, and fax numbers will remain the same.

>> Jim Davis, chairman and CEO of New Balance Athletic Shoe Inc., was awarded the first annual Fleet Feet Lifetime Commitment to Running Award, presented last week. "The award recognizes an industry leader who has shown a continuing, passionate commitment to our industry and the sport of running," said Tom Raynor, President of Fleet Feet.

>> Looks like fitness facilities may be recession proof afterall as more clubs are planned on both sides of the coast. Boston-based Fitcorp is planning to open three new sites -- two in Boston and one Cambridge, Mass. -- that are either replacements or enlargements of existing facilities. Its corporate business is also expanding to include two corporate centers for Biogen and Allmerica. On the other side of the country, Angel and William Banos of Hollywood Gold's Gym are moving beyond the glitz and glitter of Hollywood and opening a 32,000-square-foot club in Thousand Oaks, Calif. Irene Rubinsky, an award-winning choreographer, will direct the club's exercise and dance programs.

>> Sick of Spam, part of a never-ending series: A recent study by the NFO World Group said that consumers are changing their email addresses at the rate of 31 percent annually, mainly to avoid spam, or unsolicited marketing messages. Based on 1,015 respondents, the study also revealed other reasons for changes in email addresses include a change in ISP (50 percent), a change in residence (12 percent), and the desire for a more attractive email address (8 percent). Consumers admitted the pitfall off all this name changing was losing touch with personal contacts and valued websites and e-newsletters. But losing touch with spam may be more important. Another report just out showed that of all email received in September, some 30 percent of that is spam.


Fitness: Did you hear?...

>> For the second consecutive year, the Club Industry show shared McCormick Place with the Chicago Marathon Expo, held the day after CI closed on Sunday, Oct. 12. SNEWS cruised that expo too and found two fitness industry exhibitors taking a stab at the marathon group, apparently ...read more

Fitness: Did You Hear?...

>> At 11:40 a.m. on the first day of The Super Show, the fire alarms at the Sands Expo suddenly opened up with a piercing whooping screech. Most heads didn't even pop up, and no one made a move for the door. One exhibitor near the door said, after a couple of alarm whoops: "Hey ...read more

Fitness: Did you hear?...

>> Matthew J. Johnson is the new vice president of strategic planning and business development at Life Fitness. Johnson, 32, is responsible for implementing the company's long-term strategic plan, spearheading new market initiatives and driving new business development ...read more

Fitness: Did you hear?...

>> America's obesity crisis has been dubbed an epidemic, and now a psychological war. Despite all the attention given to the subject, much of the information about actual obesity numbers remains too vague to provide a solid image of the problem. According to a new report by ...read more

Did you hear?…

>> The Super Show will strive for a little fun and games at the January event by trying to create the largest sports pin collection ever assembled in one place to make an entry into the Guiness Book of World Records. Management is asking attendees to bring pins for the display -- ...read more

Fitness: Did you hear?...

>> In its annual now-much-anticipated report on who's the fattest of them all, Detroit has risen to top "honors" in the Men's Fitness magazine's Fattest Cities report. Detroit jumped from third place to first overall, partly because it has the lowest per capita number of gyms and ...read more

Fitness: Did you hear?...

>> Quickly approaching the end of its second quarter June 30, Cybex CFO Art Hicks tells SNEWS there is no update on any refinancing the company said it expected by that date. He also declined comment on rumors that it may not now occur until the third or fourth quarter. "The ...read more

Fitness: Did you hear?

>> Ilan Katz, former vice president at Fitness Headquarters, has left the company as of Oct. 31 and moved to the Miami area. His goal, he told SNEWS, is to open his own specialty fitness store in the area and to do it his way. We're sure we'll hear more soon from Katz, who ...read more

Fitness: Did you hear?…

For the week of Dec. 7-13>> For the second year in a row, Boston Magazine has awarded Fitcorp Fitness Centers as the "Best of Boston," paying tribute to its contributions to the Boston market. Fitcorp in its 25th year operates 10 fitness centers in and around Boston, and manages ...read more