For the week of Oct. 4-10
>> Congrats in order to Kris Reibel, who we bet is still smiling ear-to-ear. "The press release for today is the birth of my third child," he tells us. Jake Zachary Reibel is a very healthy 10-pound baby boy, Reibel reports, and "Mom and Jake are doing great!"
>> And for those of you who were watching football or sleeping in on Sunday, Oct. 9, Christa Walter, PR manager for Vision Fitness, was sweating through her first marathon -- the famed Chicago Marathon. Not only did she finish (a fine 4:38:19, thank you very much), but she kept a more even pace than many vets, hitting her half-way in 2:11:42. We are impressed, and we say congrats.
>> Delaware ranks, and so does San Diego -- on IHRSA's list of the 25 U.S. states and cities with the highest rates of health club membership. The 2004 IHRSA/American Sports Data Health Club Trend Report found that among U.S. states, Delaware has the highest percentage of health club members with a projected 20.9 percent of state residents (over the age of six) belonging to a health club or fitness center. Colorado follows with 20.1 percent and California with 18.9 percent. San Diego ranks as the top city in the country with 24.2 percent of its residents belonging health clubs. In second place, Denver, with 23.2 percent, followed by Columbus, Ohio, with 21.9 percent. In total, U.S. health club membership increased 4.9 percent between January 2004 and January 2005, from 39.4 million members to a record 41.3 million, the national study said. Since 1999, the Western region has experienced the most growth in the number of people who belong to a health club, increasing 42 percent from 8.1 million members in 1999 to 11.5 million members in 2004. The North Central region follows, experiencing a 41 percent increase for the same time period from 6.6 million members to 9.3 million, followed by 39 percent growth in the Northeast from 5.6 million members to 7.8 million, and 24 percent growth in the South from 10.3 million members to 12.8 million. The IHRSA/ASD Health Club Trend Report is produced by American Sports Data and sponsored by IHRSA. The complete rankings list and additional information about the report can be found online at www.ihrsa.org.
>> 24 Hour Fitness is hooking up with the makers of Dance Dance Revolution in a multi-layered promotional partnership. DDR's parent Konami Digital Entertainment will package a coupon for a 30-day membership to any participating 24 Hour Fitness within its bundle packs of Dance Dance Revolution Extreme 2 for the PlayStation2 computer entertainment system and Dance Dance Revolution Ultramix 3 for the Xbox video game and entertainment system from Microsoft. Additionally, 24 Hour Fitness will utilize DDR at new club grand openings and will promote DDR and its workout benefits to all employees and members. It'll also feature DDR in its Kids' Clubs. First introduced to North American video game consoles in 2001, DDR has sold over 3 million units across all platforms. DDR has received recognition for helping people of all ages lose weight and achieve better health. Each version of the game has a Workout Mode that allows users to track calories burned and monitor their own fitness regiment. It's also recently been introduced into the physical fitness curriculum in multiple school districts throughout the United States.
>> California health clubs will soon be relieved from what some call an outdated $1,000 price cap that limited the financial terms of contracts for health club services with the signing of the Senate Bill 581 -- An Act Relative to Health Studio Contracts. The price cap will rise to $3,000 in January and $4,400 in 2010. The new law clarifies that nothing in the bill is intended to limit month-to-month contracts, while extending the cooling off period from three day to five days.Â Consumers signing contracts for more than $1,500 will have the right to cancel the contract for up to 20 days and receive a pro-rata refund. Contracts in the range of $2,000 to $2,500 must provide the consumer with 30 days to cancel and contracts above $2,500 must give consumers 45 days to cancel (both on a pro-rata basis). Optional services will no longer be viewed as part of the contract.Â
>> The Forzani Group's Sport Chek stores are launching a national "The Power of Sport for Kids" Program, in partnership with Rogers Sportsnet. The program was created to recognize organizations and schools that assist and support at-risk and disadvantaged families, and youth (between the ages of 5 to 18) who would benefit from the infusion of sports in their lives. Sport Chek stores fund-raising initiatives will provide the funds for a variety of sports equipment and accessories that will have the greatest impact to the children. The Power of Sport for Kids Program kicked off by honoring its first three organizations: Hull Child and Family Services in Alberta, Child Development Institute in Ontario, and the Canadian Town Youth Participation Strategies. The selected organizations are governed by a volunteer board with a commitment to strengthening families and promoting healthy child and youth development. The Forzani Group Foundation will select recognized or registered children's organizations. Visit www.sportchek.ca for more information on the program.
>> On the eve of IHRSA's fifth annual European Congress, it signed a strategic agreement with the European Health and Fitness Association to jointly promote and further development the health and fitness industry in Europe. EHFA is a non-profit organization and the standards setting body for the European health and fitness industry. It exists to advance and promote the role of fitness training as an activity able to improve health and social conditions. IHRSA will be supporting EHFA in its standardization role within Europe, while EHFA will keep IHRSA apprised of any developments and proposed rules and regulations in the EU that are important to the health and fitness industry. EHFA will also collaborate with IHRSA and Deloitte to develop the next "IHRSA European Market Report." EHFA (www.ehfa.net) is divided in to four main working groups and commissions: Network of Fitness Employers, Network of Exercise Professionals and Registers, Labor Market Research Group, and Training Group.
>> The Association for Retail Technology Standards (ARTS) has released a new IXRetail XML schema to enable retailers to maintain consistent and accurate store level inventory data and then communicate the information to all systems requiring inventory data. In its 11th incarnation, the new Inventory schema is intended to aid retailers in maintaining and communicating inventory by store location to support e-commerce and in store sales. It can be used to check, reserve or cancel orders for products in inventory systems regardless of whether the transaction takes place in a store, online, by phone or by mail order. The ARTS (www.nrf-arts.org) is an international membership organization dedicated to reducing the costs of technology through three standards: The Standard Relational Data Model, UnifiedPOS and IXRetail. Membership is open to all members of the international technology community- retailers from all industry segments, application developers and hardware companies.
>> adidas-Salomon's CEO and Chairman Herbert Hainer will address more than 400 sporting goods industry leaders at the NSGA Management Conference & Team Dealer Summit, covering "The U.S. Sporting Goods Market: A New Vision." Hainer will speak on May 23, 2006, to an audience of general and team track attendees. NSGA said additional speakers, panelists, workshop leaders and moderators will be announced as they are confirmed. The conference is scheduled for May 21-24 in San Antonio, Texas. For more details, check out www.nsga.org.
>> Harm Tegelaars, the founder and CEO of the London-based Cannons health club chain, received the European Club Operator of the Year Award presented at IHRSA's European Congress. The award, which was sponsored by Technogym, was presented by John Gamble, director of sales for Technogym in the U.K. Tegelaars was also the founder of the UK's Fitness Industry Association.