Jhan Dolphin returns to fitness industry with brand-building business

Long-time fitness industry professional Jhan Dolphin has returned to brand and marketing consulting in the sports/fitness industry after a seven-year stint doing muscle cars.
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After seven years specializing in custom muscle cars, Jhan Dolphin has returned to the fitness and sports industry with a business focused on brand-building, sales training, events and marketing.

When he left fitness in 2003, he had been the distributor in the United States for Canadian equipment supplier Northern Lights for more than five years. He had started in fitness as a trainer in 1981, progressing through retail, manufacturer and sales-training positions. (Click here to see a Sept. 3, 2003, SNEWS® story, “Jhan Dolphin leaves Northern Lights.”). In 2003, he became the vice president of sales and marketing for RealWheels Cover Company Inc. (www.realwheels.com), an aftermarket auto and truck parts manufacturer in Gurnee, Ill.

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When Dolphin called SNEWS to discuss his return to marketing and training in fitness, he explained that it wasn’t what he really intended. Rather, it just happened as he was asked more and more frequently to consult on training and brand-building, a specialty he had never truly left. As companies in the auto and truck industry began to ask him for advice, he realized it was time to branch out on his own again.

“You either adjust or you die,” he said with his trademark sense of humor. “It’s just a thrill to get back into working with these clubs and fitness manufacturers.”

Dolphin has founded j robert consulting (www.jrobertconsulting.com), which has a variety of specialties all geared toward building brand. His newest is what he calls “virtual marketing director,” a consulting role that allows small and medium-sized manufacturers and retailers to gain the benefits of a marketing director without employing one full time or swallowing the expense of a highly experienced marketing executive.

“I can come in and be that marketing guy,” Dolphin said, spending time each week consulting on the big picture of product launches, trade show preparation, publicity, branding or anything else the company may need.

“Right now, you need this more than ever,” he said. Still, “everybody has to watch their costs, no doubt about it. This economy taught us how we had to do business in the first place.”

Of course, he hasn’t left his love of cars completely; he still consults with auto and truck companies and with his former employer, RealWheels. (You can take a look at all his cool projects in the last few years on his blog for RealWheels.)

“I love promoting products and I have this passion for the sports and fitness industry,” he said. Although he’s also working with companies outside of fitness, “if a guy came to me and wanted me to promote his shower curtain rings, I may take a pass.”

Dolphin can be reached at either jdolphin@comcast.net or by calling 847-910-2248.

--Therese Iknoian

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