Sports Industry Names Top Product For 2006

Drum roll, please. And the winner of the 9th Annual SGMA Sports Product of the Year Award is……. the Wego Kite Tube by Sportsstuff, Inc.

Drum roll, please. And the winner of the 9th Annual SGMA Sports Product of the Year Award is……. the Wego Kite Tube by Sportsstuff, Inc. (Omaha, Nebraska; 888-814-8833). That announcement was made this morning during a “live” interview on the Fox News Channel's “Fox and Friends” morning show. On hand in New York to make the announcement today were Mike May (SGMA's Director of Media Relations) and Michael Pallerino (SPORTS EDGE's editor-in-chief). This was the third consecutive year that the winner of this award was announced on “Fox and Friends.”

The Wego Kite Tube ( is a ten-foot diameter flying tube. This one-rider inflatable tow tube whips across the water like a deck tube or glides like a kite while being pulled behind a motor or ski boat. (Jay Schneider: The retail price is $599.95.
br>News of the Wego Kite Tube being named the number one sports product for this year culminates the end of this annual program -- organized by SPORTS EDGE magazine (, a leading trade magazine in the sporting goods industry.

"Each year, the Sports Product of the Year Award is a way to help honor and publicize many of the dynamic entrepreneurs in the sporting goods industry," said Tom Cove, president of the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA). "The inventors of these new products are true visionaries."

Nominations for this program began last fall. In January of this year, the top 30 semifinalists of this program were released following a vote from a group of leading sporting goods industry retailers. Those 30 products were then showcased at The Super Show (January 23-25; Orange County Convention Center; Orlando, FL), one of the sporting goods industry's leading trade shows. Since being unveiled at The Super Show, thousands of people (mainly sports fans, sporting goods retailers, and team dealers) voted on the top five finalists. Then, a nationwide pool of trade and consumer media were asked to cast votes for the top product among the five finalists.

The other four finalists are:
1. WT950 Wireless Pedometer Treadmill by Horizon Fitness -- It's a treadmill that interacts with a wireless pedometer that keeps track of your daily walking distance. (Brian Meehan:
2. NEVER FLAT Basketball by Spalding -- This ball is guaranteed to hold air up to 10 times longer than traditional basketballs and is the only ball guaranteed to stay fully inflated for at least one year, with no additional air needed during that period.(Dan Touhey:
3. Numetrix Sports Bra by Textronics -- A traditional sports bra with heart rate monitor technology built into the fabric. It's a two-for-one buy on sports apparel. (Meg Burich:
4. Center G Elliptical Motion Trainer by Keys Fitness -- The Center G is an elliptical motion trainer with 21” stride length in the smallest frame size in its class. (Ken Kruebbe:

Previous winners of this award include: 1998 - The Radar Ball, Rawlings Sporting Goods Company (St. Louis, MO); 1999 - The Stroke Coach, The Stroke Coach Company (Statesboro, GA); 2000 - Twilight Basketball, Huffy Sports (Milwaukee, WI); 2001 - Chameleon Gym, Chameleon Fitness Systems (San Juan, PR); 2002 - Trailskate, GateSkate (Richland, WA); 2003 - Canopy Trike, Huffy Bicycle Company (Springboro, OH) and Quik Change Dumbbell System, Hoist Fitness Systems (San Diego, CA); 2004 - The Napali, Clear Blue Hawaii (Honolulu, HI); and 2005 – Landroller, Landroller, Inc. (Pacific Palisades , CA).

The 2006 SGMA Sports Product of the Year competition was sponsored by Stratus Product Liability Insurance Services and INVISTA Global brands Lycra, Coolmax and DuPont Teflon.

SPORTS EDGE Magazine, the industry's guide to sports and fitness retailing, is focused on the business of sports.

The Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA) is the global business trade association of manufacturers, retailers, and marketers in the sports products industry. SGMA, owner of the Sports Research Partnership®, enhances industry vitality and fosters sports, fitness, and active lifestyle participation.