Hit (the track) and Run
WINTER HAS NEVER been the ideal season for health and wellness. Heavy holiday feasts inevitably lead to the purchasing of larger-sized, cold-weather wardrobes in anticipation of the expanded waistline. Too many fruitcakes could be battled with a few trips to the gym, but a focus on fitness has never been part of the holiday season. The dark days of winter make hibernation appealing—especially when faced with the prospect of scraping the ice off the windshield and driving to the gym. Fitness can wait until bathing suit season, right? Wrong. These concessions can mean the holiday weight never gets shed.
Obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the United States, making it the second leading cause of preventable death. An estimated 400,000 deaths per year may be attributed to poor diet and low physical activity. Extreme cases of obesity aside, a whopping 127 million American adults are carrying around excess weight they can’t seem to lose. Extra weight leads to numerous and frightening risks down the road, not to mention the lifetime of poor body image, low self-esteem and depression people with weight problems frequently suffer.
Recently, the promotional products industry has gotten hip to the growing need to make fitness an everyday element year-round. In fact, health and wellness products are gaining presence in the industry. Some of the top suppliers are preparing to expand their health and wellness product lines this year, and now is the time to get a jump-start on the trend by promoting with a focus on fitness in the new year.
New Year’s resolutions are overwhelmingly fitness-based. A poll by GNC found that 55 percent of people resolve to eat healthily, 50 percent promise to exercise more and 38 percent are gunning to lose weight. But, only 30 percent of resolutions are still alive come February, and only 20 percent make it past the six month mark.
Even for the motivated exerciser, long office hours and hectic travel schedules almost always push workouts to the wayside. Leed’s, New Kensington, Pa., recognizes the quandary that traveling for work often presents a fitness-oriented person. “Leed’s has a team of in-house designers that work[s] to make each product multi-functional and innovative for the user,” said Lindsay Hoylman, marketing specialist.
When a marketer promotes with products focusing on fitness, a certain quality of caring is communicated to end-users. Toronto-based Ecorite strives to take the message further and communicate that consciousness through all of its products. “As a company, Ecorite has an ecology focus,” said Michael DiRezze, business development manager. Ecorite donates 1 percent of its sales to the World Wildlife Fund. “We make environmentally friendly choices at every opportunity,” noted DiRezze.
This act of making healthy choices is trickling down to Ecorite’s product line, as well. The company is expanding its health and wellness line. “Fitness is [at] the forefront at Ecorite, and in society in general,” said DiRezze. “I think people really grab onto that—they see the product and understand that this company has values.”
The best way to give a logo the maximum amount of exposure is to give end-users a useful product. Ecorite’s Yoga Kit is a combination of its popular, individually sold Yoga Mat and Yoga Bag. “This product can be used for lots of different fitness activities, not just yoga,” stressed DiRezze. “And our clients use this anywhere from law firms to gyms and anywhere in between. It has quite a promotional reach.”
Fitness products make phenomenal promotional items because of their useful, practical nature and flexibility in promotions. Promoting with other kinds of products can only carry a message so far—too often into the bottom of a desk drawer. By putting a promotion on a usable product, a company or cause can earn itself ultimate visibility. People across the country are making it their business to commit to fitness, and smart distributors should make it their business to promote through fitness.