New Nautilus marketing VP focusing on brand distinction

Buzz Truitt, the new vice president of marketing at The Nautilus Group will re-introduce and bring distinction to each of the group's brands after more than a year of company focus on operations.

The new vice president of marketing at The Nautilus Group will re-introduce and bring distinction to each of the group's brands after more than a year of company focus on operations.

Warren "Buzz" Truitt, who has more than 15 years of experience in sales and marketing in the sports and fitness industries, was president of sales for Answer Products, a global leader in high-performance bicycle suspension. Before that, he was vice president of sales for a venture marketing company, the Rincon Group; vice president of operations and director of international sales and marketing for Clif Bar; and national sales manager for Scott Sports Group, a global sporting goods company. He began with Nautilus March 26.

"My background and experience will absolutely be utilized here," Truitt told SNEWS. "One of the things that is most exciting for me is the opportunity to be a part of one of the most recognized names globally in fitness."

Since first acquiring Schwinn Fitness in September 2000 -- only about a year after acquiring Nautilus -- then-named Direct Focus (known for the Bowflex) also moved on to acquire StairMaster (including Quinton) in early 2001, then changed its name to The Nautilus Group. Consolidation and setting up operations and systems were top priority, he said.

Now, Truitt said, he will take a look at the brands to re-shape their marketing messages, to offer brand distinction and to re-introduce them.

"We have a unique and exciting marketing opportunity to present recognizable brands as distinct unto themselves, yet completely complementary to each other," he said, "and to reinforce what an incredible partner and educational resource the company is through our Fitness Academy and Advisor.

"The thing that is fun is really re-introducing all of the brands that consumers know so well and trust," he said. "Heritage is what we have in terms of the brand equity."

SNEWS View: As a biker, swimmer and runner who is training for his first triathlon now, Truitt should fit well into the Boulder, Colo., area and bring the right mix of talents and experience to the company for much-needed marketing efforts. A unified yet distinct brand depiction has been lacking so not only has the group still been a bit of a mish-mash in its presentation to the trade, but it also hasn't been able to use the power of the group of brands with the consumer. We certainly look forward to watching the development over the next few months and year as Truitt puts pencil to paper to re-focus the company message.



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