Fitness: Did you hear?...

Fitness/yoga/athletic companies at Outdoor show in August, 55+ still find walking and stretching tops as activities, IHRSA survey finds clubs improve same-store revenues, Life Fitness Academy names grant winners, NSGA management summit breaks attendance records, and more...
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>> If you had any doubts about the increasing influence of the fitness and athletic sector on the outdoor industry, look no further than the exhibitor line-up for this summer's Outdoor Retailer Summer Market. More and more leading manufacturers with an emphasis on running, yoga or fitness will be in Salt Lake City for the show in August. We took a glance at the exhibitor list and culled the following key companies. In running and fitness: adidas, Asics, Brooks, CW-X, Fuelbelt, Hind, New Balance, Nike ACG, Speedo, Sugoi, Thor-Lo, Timex, Wigwam, Cannondale, Sporthill, Patagonia, Lava Gear, Gramicci/Icebreaker, and Fitter International. With yoga gear and apparel: Blue Canoe, Hugger Mugger, Material Performance, Prana, Gaiam, RACC Wear, Blurr, Stonewear Designs, Eldo (La Sportiva), Wild Roses and Isis. The worlds get closer.

>> For those 55 and older, the top three physical activities remain fitness-oriented in 2002. Fitness walking is the most popular physical activity, with 6.5 million participating 100 or more days a year, according to SGMA's sport participation statistics. Stretching comes in second with 4.1 million, while treadmill exercise is third with 3.9 million, both at 100 or more days a year. The next fitness activity is No. 7, free weights/hand weights at 1.7 million participants lifting iron 100 or more days a year. Coming in 10th is weight/resistance machines at 1.5 million; No. 11 is stationary cycling/upright bike with 1.3 million; No. 12 is abdominal/machines/devices, 1.2 million; No. 13 is free weights/dumbbells, 1 million; running/jogging is No. 14 with 870,000; and calisthenics is No. 15 with 827,000. For more information about the SGMA Superstudy, click here.

>> The American Council on Exercise (ACE) has announced its participation with the Coalition for Anabolic Steroid Precursor and Ephedra Regulation (CASPER) in support of legislation regarding the regulation of dietary supplements that contain steroid precursors or ephedra. CASPER is comprised of the nation's leading medical, public health and sport organizations, and is focused on supporting efforts to regulate products containing steroid precursors and products containing ephedra. CASPER was initially founded to support The Anabolic Steroid Precursor Control and Health Education Act (H.R. 207), which was co-sponsored by Rep. John Sweeney, R-N.Y., and Rep. Tom Osborne, R-Neb.

>> A recently conducted survey of 14 leading U.S. health and sports club companies has found that commercial health club performance remained solid for the quarter ending March 31 relative to the same period last year, according to IHRSA, the club association. The survey done for IHRSA by Industry Insights Inc. found that, on average, the clubs surveyed improved same-store total revenues, revenues for clubs that had been in operation at least two years, by 4.2 percent for the first quarter of 2003, and that the average same-store total revenues for the participating companies were $11.4 million for the quarter. In particular, the average same-store, non-dues revenues from services like personal training grew by 6.6 percent over the first quarter of 2002, for an overall average of $2.9 million. The growth in non-dues revenues corroborates the finding that members continue to visit and make use of their clubs. Americans averaged 92 days at their club in 2002, representing a 10 percent increase in club attendance since 1997.

>> The Life Fitness Academy has announced the winners of the 2003 Life Fitness Academy Michael L. Pollock Memorial Grants. The recipients recently were named at the LFA's Scientific & Medical Advisory Board meeting during the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Annual Conference in San Francisco. The Life Fitness Academy annually awards $20,000 in grants to graduate students and post-doctoral faculty members to support applied human studies focusing on the effects of physical activity. Since its formation in 1993, LFA has awarded $200,000 to 59 grant winners, including this year's recipients. Four graduate students received $2,500 each for their work, while two post-doctoral faculty members were awarded $5,000 each for their work.

>> Pursuant the Finnish Securities Market Act (Section 2:9), Precor parent Amer Group Plc has been notified that Fidelity International Ltd. and its direct and indirect subsidiaries together now own 2,397,950 Amer Group Plc's shares, representing 9.90 percent of the company's share capital and voting rights. Fidelity's holding in Amer fell below 10 percent on June 11. Amer Group's capital consists of 24,226,520 shares in issue. www.amersports.com

>> The purchase of all Fila subsidiaries worldwide by Sport Brands International, LLC (SBI), from Fila Holding S.p.A. has been completed. Jon Epstein, 48, formerly CEO of Fila USA, has been named president and CEO of SBI and will assume global responsibility for all operating companies including Fila, Ciesse Piumini and Enyce. Epstein came to Fila USA in 1998 from adidas America where he was national sales manager. Joining Epstein on the SBI management team will be several other senior executives from within Fila and the footwear and apparel industries.

>> The 39th Annual NSGA Management Conference and 5th Annual Team Dealer Summit attracted 401 sporting goods industry leaders. That broke the previous record of 392, which was set in 1992. In addition, the 136 first-time attendees were the most ever. The last two summit events have had a 22 percent increase in attendance.

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