Vectra dresses up fitness with impressionistic fine art paintings of home gyms

Starting a few years ago, Vectra began commissioning impressionistic-style fine oil paintings of workout scenes that included its gyms. The style is less graphic than artsy and is not normally what comes off the drawing boards of equipment manufacturers for in-store promotion. In fact, think Cezanne, Renoir, Monet and Van Gogh, and you'll get a better idea.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

Warm and fuzzy isn't exactly how most people would describe a home gym. But Vectra Fitness wanted to make a statement that was different.

And different it is. Starting a few years ago, the strength-equipment manufacturer began commissioning impressionistic-style fine oil paintings of workout scenes that included its gyms. The style is less graphic than artsy and is not normally what comes out of the minds and off the drawing boards of equipment manufacturers for in-store promotion. In fact, think Cezanne, Renoir, Monet and Van Gogh, and you'll get a better idea of the style that Northwest artist Jim Gerlitz uses.

"We were trying to achieve something that wasn't techy," said Vectra President Buell Ish. "We were looking for something that was classy, colorful, friendly, fun, contemporary…."

Since both artist Gerlitz and Vectra are based in the Seattle, Wash., area, Ish knew his paintings from seeing them at the likes of Starbucks, in Sonics promotions and at local restaurants and businesses. The warmth of the colors and style in fact were chosen specifically because of the perceived harshness of the products' steel and iron.

"The paintings were conceived to balance out the starkness of the product," Ish said.

Gerlitz (www.gerlitzcreative.com, but get ready for a wacky sense of humor) said his bold strokes could be called appropriate because their strength illustrates the strength of the machines.

"It was basically a matter of doing something to make (Vectra) stand out from the crowd," Gerlitz said. "Most (companies) use either type or symbols or photographs, which are nice, but sometimes you have to differentiate yourself."

The paintings (click here to see them on the Vectra website) hang in stores around the country, either purchased at keystone margins or acquired at no cost using co-op dollars, Ish said. MSRPs of the 30-x-40-inch oil reproduction paintings printed on canvas and stapled to a wood frame are $369, while the paintings reproduced on a sheer fabric to hang from ceilings costs $289.

"They help enhance the overall look of our stores," said Ray Chodorowski, LA Gym's district manager. "Especially with the clientele that we deal with in Southern California, we must have an extremely classy look."

He said a couple of the stores have two of the paintings, but the chain recently decided to bring in more of the oil paintings.

"It's a nice, classy touch," said Mike Mays, Kansas City and Oklahoma manager for All About Fitness. "Vectra has a nice, first-class product, and these are a nice, first-class touch."

They are also available for customer purchase. Chodorowski said a few customers have expressed interest, but he has directed them to Vectra's website and does not know if any have been bought. The paintings have only been on the website since Nov. 13, however. 

Scott Egbert has them in all of his Chicago Home Fitness stores: "The quality of the work is the best that any supplier has ever put out. The pieces help warm up the stores as well as give their product a very positive high end feel."

Added Mays, "I'd like to have them in my own home exercise room!"

SNEWS® View: Perhaps not the "next new thing" or some grand innovative concept for an elliptical or gym, the paintings nevertheless bring a softer edge to fitness and in an upscale area would be a great add-on sale to customers looking to dress up a workout area. We can't figure out why more dealers haven't sold these to their customers. Added SNEWS®, "We want one in our home exercise room!"

Related

Bodycraft_HomeGym.jpg

How to Sell: Home Gyms

A SNEWS® Training Center article written by the editors of SNEWS®: Home gyms have come a long way since the original multi-station setups of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. When customers come into your store, many may not even realize the possibilities in styles, configurations ...read more

Vectra continues to protect patent in courts

With five patent-infringement cases currently before the courts and others constantly being negotiated outside of the courts, Vectra never stops protecting its 14-year-old patent vigorously, whether the defendant is big or small. "The real truth is, people rip you off from Day ...read more

LA Gym name to disappear, stores becoming Busy Body Home Fitness

The LA Gym retail name will disappear as of this week, officially being turned into additional Busy Body Home Fitness stores by parent of both, Fitness Holdings International. "As we look at how we're going to grow the company, it doesn't make sense to have both brands," Kenton ...read more

PlugOutCycleThumb.jpg

Getting green fitness equipment from the gym to home

In fitness, it isn’t easy being green — at least when it comes to retail equipment options to sell for use in the home. Several years after high energy prices spurred businesses and consumers to hop on the “green” bandwagon, fitness equipment manufacturers continue to roll out ...read more

TeeterTotterSmall.jpg

Pacific Fitness founder back with home gyms … and porch swings, teeter-totters

When Ted Habing, founder of Pacific Fitness, appeared at the Health & Fitness Business show in Denver in August, his company had an array of familiar weight-training equipment, but those pieces shared booth space with fairly unlikely products -- colorful kiddie teeter-totters ...read more

Mystery Shopper: Savvy salesman stressed home gym benefits to move customer up in price

With the country moving deeper into a recession, and consumers tightening their belts, the SNEWS® team wondered how fitness shops might deal with people seeking low-cost solutions to getting a good workout at home. We dispatched a member of our Mystery Shopper team -- code name, ...read more

TrueStretchsmall.JPG

True Home Stretch Gym

A piece of exercise equipment that looks like a cage for a large circus tiger or like a medieval torture device might turn you away. But don't let appearances deceive you. The True Stretch gym 500ss could be a great investment in your health and fitness, with a few caveats. But, ...read more

Vectra wins big over Icon in infringement case

In what can be called nothing but a huge victory for Vectra Fitness in its patent infringement battle against behemoth Icon Health & Fitness, a settlement signed in the 11th-hour by both parties Sept. 9 has stayed a trial that was scheduled to begin Sept. 15. "We settled the ...read more

VectraVXF2_SM.jpg

Home gyms aim to satisfy today's consumer seeking multifunctional products

Their phones double as cameras, their TVs can surf the web, and for some reason, consumers also just keep buying those horrible printer/fax/scanner combinations. The trend of multifunctionability is no stranger to the home and commercial gym market either. More and more, ...read more