Fitness: Did You Hear?...

Advanced Exercise Equipment website hijacked, The Super Show final "report," SportsArt America sales contest, 24-Hour Magic Johnson Sports Center, EN-R-G Honey Stinger titles lose fun, Foowear Design Summit, Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders tryouts at Bally clubs

>> When you run a retail store with a website, the last thing you want to see on your site -- instead of, say, treadmills and ellipticals -- is something like, well, a picture of a large MantaRay fish. That's exactly what happened to regional retail chain Advanced Exercise Equipment out of Colorado on Friday, Feb. 21. On Thursday, the store's site at was there. Then, overnight, personnel learned the meaning of "Go fish." Type in the correct url and what did you find? Just a large underwater picture of a MantaRay taken off the coast of Kona, Hawaii. Seems a few sites hosted by the same company, Echelon, also showed Mr. Manta Ray, and all involved were scrambling as fast as they could to find out what happened and make it go away. At least they had a sense of humor: "Don't you like that?" the folks at Advanced Exercise told SNEWS when asked about the perty fishy. Luckily by Saturday, the store's new site, sans fish, was up and running again!

>> The Super Show has issued a final report -- well, sort of. As show management said after the show, it was decided to NOT issue attendance or exhibitor numbers. So the "final report" last week was just more words about how wonderful the show went, with a teaser about numbers that leaves you expecting more: "Fears of okay stats have been allayed, as all the numbers are up. Everything from buyer attendance to square feet of exhibit space rose a few percentage points." Maybe yes, but without numbers to compare, nobody can really prove anything.

>> SportsArt America will hold a sales contest of a different color this spring. The top salesperson in each of its three regions can win an all-expense-paid, nearly-weeklong trip to Taiwan in June to not only see the manufacturing plant there, but also partake in some focus groups. But that ain't all -- they'll tour historic sites and ancient temples, as well as find time for a little karaoke and golf. Along the way will be the typical cash awards for sales so anyone who sells even a single piece of SportsArt equipment will get something for their efforts. The sales period for the contest will be March 1 to May 15, with the winner being announced May 23 for a mid-June trip.

>> Earlier this month, 24-Hour Fitness opened its sixth Magic Johnson center -- coincidentally in San Leandro, Calif., where CEO Mark Mastrov opened his first club a number of years ago. In other news, 51-year-old 24 Hour staffer Skip Chase has crunched and sat his way to a couple of world records: He completed 6,369 successive sit-ups on a bent-leg ab board, and 5,260 sit-ups on an ab frame. Ouch.

>> When EN-R-G foods introduced its Honey Stinger sports gel last summer, it had a ton o' fun with its staff "titles" -- try King of Sting, Honey Czar, Vice President of Buzz, Honey Gourmand and Honeymonger. Made you smile! And smiling is good. In January when we picked up a press kit, we were disappointed to see that bureaucracy had buzzed into the hive. All had now become -- yawn -- Co-Founders, except the former Honey Monger who was now -- double yawn -- Operations. Ah, now, what's wrong with a little play in the buzz biz.

>> Look for the first Footwear Design and Technology Summit at The Super Show 2004 in Orlando Jan. 12-14, coincidentally the same weekend as the Disney Marathon on Jan. 11. Show management envisions the day as a meeting-of-the-minds of the world's top footwear innovators, designers, developers, marketers and sales experts. Planned are presentations, networking and panel discussions, as well as a special footwear section for the second-annual World of Sports Innovation. With the marathon in town, it should be good timing to gather some footwear attention and participation. And maybe log a few miles before the show's trade show doors swing open.

>> Never thought we'd see the "Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders" and "fitness" in the same press release (although we don't doubt they are, er, fit), but will surprises never cease: The team cheerleaders have teamed up with the talent group that organizes them and the Bally Total Fitness club chain to conduct a national professional cheerleader search "to find the new stars for their 2003 squad." Enthused Kelli Finglass, Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Director, said, "It literally brings the first steps toward becoming one of 'America's Sweethearts' to your hometown." (We at SNEWS don't normally approve of the verb "enthuse," but we had to use it there, sorry.) The contest will be a city-by-city search with open call auditions held at selected Bally Total Fitness locations throughout the United States on March 9. Finglass said, "This program has been designed to make dreams a reality." Hmmm, maybe this is one of those reality shows?


Fitness: Did you hear?...

>> A note about the Southern California fires: In Orange County -- the home of the likes of Iron Grip, Star Trac, VersaClimber and other fitness companies -- the fires north and south of them has so far meant not much more than smoke and ash everywhere … and some scary moments more

Fitness: Did you hear?...

>> SportsArt is now the official treadmill supplier for all new franchises for technical running retailer Fleet Feet. That means the mandate from Fleet Feet corporate headquarters will permit SportsArt to exclusively supply all new stores – five are expected this year to open – more

Fitness: Did you hear?...

>> Pacemaster's retailer who laid it all on the line at the company's annual dealer costume party each won a treadmill for their daring at the festivities at the Health & Fitness Business show on Aug. 19. First place went to Chris Newman of the Fitness Depot in Calgary who was more

Fitness: Did you hear?...

For the week of March 15-21 >> Another quick reminder to save the dates of Sept. 20-21 and start looking at booking your flights and hotel to Washington, D.C. The first SGMA Fly-In for Fitness is intended to gather fitness industry leaders in a setting and with an agenda focused more

Fitness: Did you hear?...

>> Nautilus took a beating last week as the military uplift of the stock market began to crack a bit. The stock began its drop on Tuesday, closing at 11.19 after it had peaked on a gradual recovery climb to reach the high 15s earlier that day. By the end of the week, it was down more

Did you hear?... EN-R-G Foods to debut Honey Stinger all natural energy gel at OR

EN-R-G Foods will be adding a real buzz (sorry) at this summer's Outdoor Retailer show when it officially debuts the Honey Stinger all natural energy gel to the outdoor market, booth number 5545. You see, the company is bringing in a live hive of bees, temporarily enclosed in a more

Fitness: Did you hear?...

>> The 95Ci Lifecycle bike has won the Good Design award from The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design. The bike was designed with Life Fitness by Cesaroni Design Associates. The Museum's Good Design program was founded in 1950 by pioneers of American and modern more

Fitness: Did you hear?...

>> Former Fitness Gallery Sales Manager Bob Lachniet is the new western regional and Canadian sales representative for SportsArt America as of mid-January. At SportsArt, Lachniet replaces Terry Provonsha, who left SportsArt to return to Precor where he had worked previously. more

Fitness: Did you hear?...

>> efi Sports Medicine is expanding its Gravity Training System quickly, including clubs in Australia and Europe. This month, it will debut at the Rimini Fitness Festival in Italy. >> The American Council on Exercise (ACE) has announced it has entered a strategic marketing more