Fitness: Did you hear?…SportsArt logo in USA Today, plus Bladez, Club Industry, Big and Fit, Germany spending on wellness, and more...

Club Industry numbers said to be same as last year, SportsArt wins logo in USA Today, Bladez hires two reps, Germans set to spend euro 73 billion on health and wellness, and much more…
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For the week of Nov. 15-21

>> It pays to place logos on equipment smartly and thoroughly: In a USA Today story in the Life section on Nov. 14 on Native American communities fighting diabetes, with exercise a part of the battle, we see a teen on an elliptical being shown how to use it by another. Shot by a USA Today photographer, the photograph is taken straight from the front into her face, but guess what is also in our face? A SportsArt logo on the support bar under the console. SNEWS® View: Now that's publicity one can't begin to buy, especially in a paper like USA Today.

>> Numbers from the Club Industry show Nov. 3-5 show buyers numbered approximately 5,000, with exhibitors adding another 2,000 or so to that for a total of about 7,000 attendees.

>> Bladez is on the move, hiring two new reps after a general reorganization earlier this year (Click here to see May 12, 2005, SNEWS® story, "Bladez Fitness finishing reorganization for next product/sales push"). Derek McCormick is now the company's Western North American Sales Manager. Derek, most recently with Bodyguard in the industry, brings both retail and commercial experience after more than 10 years. He was initially a retail owner in Canada and has been with Fitness Depot there. The company's new Eastern North American Sales Manager is John Trigg. Trigg has worked for Leisure Fitness, Gym Source, Busy Body and Omni Fitness.

>> GERMANY – According to economic researchers at Global Insight, Germans are set to spend Euro 73 billion (USD $85.8 billion) this year alone on fitness-, wellness- and health-related gear and goods. The study released by the FIBO wellness show in Essen, Germany, reported that is 6 percent more than last year. This includes everything from gyms and saunas, equipment and gear for home use, and spa visits to growing sales of for example sports nutrition products and even cosmetics. Â

>> No whining or moaning about still going to work, you whipper-snapper. Certainly Dwight Hauff, 100 (yes, 1-0-0, you read that right) isn't. He runs what NSGA calls the oldest sporting goods retailer in the United States -- Hauff Mid-American Sports, a five-store chain headquartered in Sioux City, Iowa, that has been in business since 1933. Hauff will appear Nov. 28 on "Tonight Show with Jay Leno." Forget about being just a chairman and shuffling in now and then to look good behind a desk. Hauff goes to work every single day and is active in the business, now run by his son and president Steve Hauff.

>> UNITED KINGDOM – With more people in the United Kingdom also pegged as overweight and obese (no, it's not just a U.S. phenomenon anymore), an initiative has started in the U.K called "Big and Fit." It's a new lifestyle initiative which aims to get more people exercising who are classified as overweight or obese – 24 million in the United Kingdom, statistic show. Created by exercise scientist Stuart Bate in partnership with a private investor and launched by Geoff Capes, the former Olympic athlete and twice World's Strongest Man, Big and Fit will work to address the misconceptions it believes many people have about weight and its effect on health. The initiative promotes cardiorespiratory fitness, rather than weight loss, as the single most important factor in good health. Big and Fit has an online membership club and magazine. For more, go to www.bigandfit.com.

>> According to the National Retail Federation 2005 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, more consumers will be leaving their credit cards at home as they hit the stores for holiday shopping. While debit/check cards will remain the favored form of payment this holiday season at 34.3 percent, fewer people said they will be relying on credit cards when purchasing holiday merchandise (28.2 percent vs. 29.5 percent in 2004). In fact, cash has replaced credit cards as the second most-popular payment method, as one in four shoppers (28.5 percent) plans to primarily use cash during the winter holidays, up from 25.9 percent last year. Nine percent of shoppers said they will be writing checks at the register. NRF continues to project that holiday sales will increase 5 percent this year to $435.3 billion. The study was conducted for NRF by BIGresearch.

>> Before you give your credit card a workout on Black Friday, roll out of bed the day after Thanksgiving and head to Bally's first for a free workout. Trying to help American "un-stuff" after Thanksgiving, Bally is anointing the day after as "Feeling Fat Friday" and encouraging Americans to get out and exercise. On Nov. 25, the fitness chain is opening its doors to the public, free-of-charge, in an effort to help Americans burn off calories from their Thanksgiving feasts -- for some, that's 2500 calories and 86 grams of fat during a typical Thanksgiving dinner. Trainers and nutrition experts will be on-hand to offer tips and advice on how to prevent holiday weight gain, which plagues many Americans each year. All of Bally's (www.ballyfitness.com) more than 400 locations nationwide will be participating.

>> Life Time Fitness plans to open its 10th fitness center in Texas and its 45th nationally in San Antonio on Dec. 9. The new location also represents one of the company's large, 110,000-square-foot model centers offering 24-hour access to more than 400 pieces of equipment and a multitude of amenities.

>> Retail sales of almost everything but autos were surprisingly strong in October, the U.S. Commerce Department said, suggesting consumer uneasiness may not cloud the holiday shopping season as much as some forecasters feared. Overall, the nation's retail sales slipped a seasonally adjusted 0.1 percent in October after rising 0.3 percent in September, the Commerce Department said. Auto sales dropped 3.6 percent, following a surge during the summer, when auto makers were offering hefty incentives. Excluding sales of autos and auto parts, retail sales increased 0.9 percent. Excluding automobile and gasoline sales, which dropped 0.8 percent last month as pump prices fell, sales increased 1.1 percent. Clothing stores, building-material and garden stores showed the greatest sales increases, the department said.

>> Meanwhile, the producer-price index, which tracks the change in prices for domestic wholesalers and manufacturers, rose 0.7 percent last month after climbing 1.9 percent in September and 0.6 percent in August, the Labor Department said. Excluding food and energy prices, the core producer-price index slipped 0.3 percent, reversing September's 0.3 percent increase and signaling that high-energy prices aren't fueling broader wholesale inflation.

>> The Finish Line along with its charitable arm, the Finish Line Youth Foundation, presented the American Red Cross with a check for $500,000 for Hurricane Katrina relief. From Sept. 6 to Oct. 2, 2005, all Finish Line stores participated in a nationwide fund-raiser for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Finish Line stores raised $325,000 during the four-week period, with the Finish Line Youth Foundation matching funds up to $175,000. Customers who donated to the cause also received a coupon good for use on future purchases at Finish Line.

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