Fitness Industry Dealers Association planning newly launched outreach, HFB seminar

The Fitness Industry Dealers Association (FIDA) is planning to relaunch itself, using the Health & Fitness Business Expo as a platform to present retail education and discuss group membership benefits.

The Fitness Industry Dealers Association (FIDA) is planning to re-introduce itself to the fitness industry and renew its efforts to provide retailer education as well as member benefits.

According to FIDA’s management at the National Sporting Goods Association, the Health & Fitness Business Expo is the perfect opportunity to meet, greet and network with retailers about the new association.

“As we approach the 2011 HFB show, we’re excited to get this industry association moving so specialty fitness retailers have a dedicated association to speak to their needs,” said Bruce Hammond, NSGA marketing director and director of the FIDA group.

“With an engaged advisory board made up of specialty retailers from across the country, the association is poised to gain momentum and help specialty fitness retailers with discounted services, industry news and information, research specific to the fitness specialty audience, and educational seminars at industry events.”

The FIDA group ( had a preliminary networking meeting at the 2010 HFB show. However, in the months that followed there were a number of management retirements at NSGA, stalling the work. Hammond, who has been on board at NSGA since early 2011, is now heading up the effort. SNEWS was instrumental in helping to organize and advocate for the retailer group and remains a supporter of its mission. (Click here to read a Sept. 29, 2010, SNEWS story, “Fitness Industry Dealers Association launches: Time to take part in the future.”)

Advisory board members are: David Burrus, Fitness Gallery, Merriam, Kan.; Albert Kessler, HEST Fitness, Texas; David Kutler, Body Basics Fitness Equipment, Omaha, Neb.; Rodney Rice Jr., Fitness Expo, Metairie, La.; and Ron Wilkins, Wilkins Fitness, Charleston, N.C. SNEWS, as a supporter, has an ex-officio board position that is filled by editor-in-chief Therese Iknoian.

Savings and benefits

One of the goals of the group is to help retailers save money, Hammond explained.

“FIDA’s leadership is continuing to explore new cost-saving benefits that can be offered to members in addition to the ones that are already in place,” he said. Click here to see FIDA’s discount services and here to see others on the NSGA website, which are also available to FIDA members. The FIDA membership also includes a All-Access SNEWS subscription, normally $195.

Current Board member, David Kutler, owner of Body Basics Exercise Equipment in Omaha, Neb., said he has already seen the cost-saving benefits pay dividends for him.

“My membership in FIDA has already paid for itself many times over in cost savings in insurance and consumer financing,” he said.

Other benefits the group has and will develop are education and networking activities, Hammond said, where members can also share with others “best practices.”

Education at HFB show

At the 2011 HFB show, FIDA will sponsor a seminar Sept. 15 at 9 a.m. on online marketing. Buzz Truitt, director of business development for Netsertive, will present a session titled “Using online marketing to grow your business,” and FIDA will also discuss the association now being formally launched. The seminar will be a chance for specialty fitness retailers to learn more about online visibility and its importance to a business, as well as how to transform it into offline sales.

“Moving forward, we will continue to offer educational sessions at the HFB Show, but we hope to be able to offer them to members only in the coming years, which will also provide enhanced value to membership in the association,” Hammond said.

“FIDA’s leadership is also committed to advocating for members on issues that arise affecting fitness retailers,” he added. “The more members the association has strengthens these advocacy efforts.”

Said founding board member, Albert Kessler, HEST Fitness owner, “At the meeting we will go over some of FIDA’s member services. We will be looking for members since its strength is in numbers.”

For more information, go to, attend the meeting at the HFB show, or email Hammond at

--Therese Iknoian



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