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SGMA & Disney Delivered Fitness Tips To Consumers On TV

Date: 1/12/09

Disney Characters Supported SGMA’s New Year’s Fitness Message

WASHINGTON, D.C. – January 12, 2009 – New Orleans, Atlanta, Denver, Tampa, Minneapolis, West Palm Beach, Chattanooga, and Nashville.  Those are just a few of the 100+ TV markets in the United States which have shown or will broadcast SGMA’s Satellite Media Tour (SMT) – held on Thursday, January 8th.  The SMT was based at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex located on the premises of Walt Disney World in central Florida.

The goal of the SMT (themed: “Getting Fit in the New Year”) was to showcase a variety of new products and accessories in the exercise and fitness industry to television viewers around the U.S.  Many of the interviews were shown “live” to TV viewers around the country as they were watching television at home, in the office, or in airports.  Other TV stations taped the interview in order to show them at a later date – usually within 10 days of the original taping.  

These interviews were shown during the morning and midday TV newscasts on the affiliates of NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, and independent stations.  One of the interviews will be seen nationally – as Lifetime Television taped a segment to be seen later on The Balancing Act.   The Conn Jackson Show, which is seen on the Internet and on television stations in 60 different markets, is another major show which carried this ‘show and tell’ type interview.  One of the interviews was taped by WFLA-TV in Tampa.  It is being distributed later this month to 30 stations around the country which share WFLA’s affiliation with Media General Communications.

Mike May, SGMA’s Director of Communications, was the host of this SMT.  In his role, he explained the various attributes of each product.  May, a veteran of more than 400 “live” TV spots and nine SMTs, was joined ‘on the air’ by two Disney characters, Mickey Mouse and Goofy.

In this SMT, the following products were featured:

  1. 460 Elliptical Trainer (from Schwinn) – this machine gives a complete lower body workout; the Schwinn Advantage workout system tracks results and programming for up to two users.
  2. Arm & Leg Warmers and a Multi-Action Knee Brace (from McDavid) – Arm & Leg Warmers: feature Hydravent Technology which keeps the athlete comfortable……Multi-Action Knee Brace: special pads support the meniscus and Neoprene keeps the knee warm to promote healing.
  3. The Wave (from Street Surfing) – it’s an innovative way for kids to stay physically active; it's a full body workout that blends skateboarding, snowboarding and surfing; this full body workout is propelled by using core movements of the body.
  4. Lap Counter (from SportCount) – a state of the art timer and lap counter which wraps around your index finger and is operated by your thumb.
  5. Sunrise Clock (from BioBrite) -- Instead of a loud conventional alarm, this clock wakes you up gently and naturally with a gradual sunrise which lights up the room.
  6. Weighted Agility Gloves (from Draz Athletics) – It’s a multi-sport training glove which is designed to increase the strength of the muscles in your fingers, hands, wrists, and forearm.  This glove is used by the physical therapy and occupational therapy divisions at the Mayo Clinic.
  7. Speed Bag (from The Burn Machine) – This is a hand-held strength training and cardio machine that enables you to emulate the movements of a boxer.   

Since January of 2003, SGMA has produced nine TV/Radio Satellite Media Tours.  Five of them have been conducted from trade shows (The Super Show® in 2003, 2004, 2005, & 2006 and the SGMA Spring Market in 2007); one was held at the ESPN Zone in Atlanta, Georgia in November of 2004; two have been held at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex in January of 2007 and 2008; and one was conducted on the LSU campus in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in August of 2008.

During each SMT, a limited number of products are featured.  With such concentrated exposure, those products get thorough coverage. On average, each interview is three to five minutes long, which is ample time to cover the important aspects of each item, i.e. manufacturer, product name, attributes, price, and its retail availability.  With access to a satellite truck, every interview is a ‘one-on-one feed’ with each individual station.

One of the keys to the success of SGMA’s SMTs is that each one features product demonstrations and/or a celebrity athlete.  Television stations want interactive interviews that will educate, enlighten, and entertain viewers.  Celebrity athletes involved in past SMTs have included boxer Mark Breland, former World Series MVP Luis Gonzalez, ex-world skateboarding champion Andy MacDonald, NFL All-Pro Simeon Rice, major league centerfielder Steve Finley, and Canadian Olympic trampoline medalist (2000, 2004, and 2008) Karen Cockburn.

“Fitness is always one of the ‘hot’ topics in the news during the early part of the New Year.  We are fortunate to have the personnel and the expertise to be able to conduct this kind of public relations initiative which portrays SGMA and the corporate products on display in a very positive way,” said SGMA President Tom Cove.  “As an industry trade association, SGMA is ready and well-positioned to speak on behalf of the industry’s new product introductions.”

This SMT to promote the importance of exercise is the first major consumer-oriented fitness initiative of the year by SGMA.  On March 4, SGMA is hosting it's 10th Annual National Health Through Fitness Day in Washington, D.C..  On that day, SGMA will lead a group of more than 100 sporting goods manufacturers, retailers, well known sports celebrities, PE teachers, and concerned citizens to Capitol Hill where they will meet with members of Congress to discuss the importance of two pieces of legislation that that will make physical activity more accessible and affordable for all Americans -- (1) the Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Bill and (2) the Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP).   With PHIT, it would change current federal tax law to allow the use of pre-tax dollars for expenses related to sports, fitness, and other physical activities.  PEP provides federal grants to local school districts and community based organizations to purchase equipment and train teachers in innovative physical education methods.  Click here for more information on this year's event.

The Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA), the #1 source for sport and fitness research, is the leading global trade association of manufacturers, retailers, and marketers in the sports products industry.  SGMA helps lead the sports and fitness industries by fostering participation through research, thought leadership, product promotion, and public policy.  More information about SGMA membership, SGMA's Sports Research Partnership, and SGMA's National Health Through Fitness Day can be found at www.SGMA.com

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