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>> The advance registration deadline for the Health & Fitness Business Expo & Conference has been extended in an announcement received July 7: “To better serve you, we have extended the 2003 Health & Fitness Business Expo & Conference advance registration deadline to July 11.” It was June 27. The announcement noted that someone could register this week and still have badges ready for pick up at the show and avoid late fees. Registration is available by going to www.healthandfitnessbiz.com.
>> Thane International Inc. (BULLETIN BOARD: THAN) today announced preliminary financial results for the fiscal year ended March 31. Total revenues for the year were $159.2 million, representing a 31.2 percent decrease over total revenues of $231.5 million in 2002. Net loss in 2003 was $32.9 million, compared to net income of $9.9 million for the year ended March 31, 2002. At March 31, 2003, Thane was in default of its existing credit facility due to violations of certain debt covenants. On June 26, 2003, Thane obtained a waiver from its lenders with respect to this default and amended the financial covenants of the existing agreement. Due to the accounting and disclosure issues related to the items discussed above, Thane has filed a notification of late filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission with respect to Thane’s Form 10-K for the year ended March 31, 2003. Thane anticipates that this Form 10-K will be filed no later than July 15, 2003. For more: www.thaneinc.com.
>> Wacoal Sports Science Corp., manufacturer of CW-X Performance Conditioning Wear, is set to begin its first major consumer print campaign since CW-X became available in the United States last August. The campaign’s key theme is that CW-X makes you better, stronger and faster. The ads focus on athletes proudly holding up the homestretch of their favorite road — literally a road in their hands, mailbox and all. The copy relates how they were able to run and bike further and faster than before with the help of CW-X. The technology is further explained in the bottom of the ad with a copy and visual bar. For more, visit www.cw-x.com.
>> Grabber Performance Group has introduced Heat Treat, air-activated warmers for heat therapy for pain relief. The line includes Heat Treat Foot Warmers, which are air-activated insoles. Both products have been commended by the Arthritis Foundation for “Ease of Use.”
>> Purchases of sports equipment on the Internet continue to grow, according to data in the National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA) consumer purchases study “The Sporting Goods Market in 2003.” For 2002, the Internet was the source of 4.6 percent of all sports equipment purchases, up from 4.5 percent in 2001. In 1999 (the first year Internet purchases were surveyed), they represented just 1.4 percent of consumer purchases of sports equipment. Purchases of athletic and sports footwear on the Internet also grew, capturing 2.6 percent of all athletic and sports footwear purchases in 2002. In 2001, Internet purchases represented 1.8 percent of all athletic and sports footwear purchases. For more on this or other studies, go to www.nsga.org.
>> Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans joined together with the Congressional Fitness Caucus today to launch a new program called “WalkingWorks.” A WalkingWorks program guide has been co-developed with the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports (PCPFS) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ “Steps to a HealthierUS” initiative. The guide is specially designed to help Americans set their own benchmarks and achieve personal walking goals. The CDC reports that only about one-half of adults report walking as a usual leisure-time activity. WalkingWorks was created to help Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans motivate many of their nearly 89 million members to integrate more walking into every day, live healthier lives, and reduce the likelihood of costly health problems down the road. To encourage members of Congress and their staffs to set an example for the nation, the co-chairs of the Congressional Fitness Caucus joined Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans in issuing the WalkingWorks Capitol Hill Challenge. Participants received a program guide, pedometer and other materials to help them walk to better health over the summer. Walkers who have shown the most improvement and the most active offices will receive special recognition. Participants who walk at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week for six weeks are eligible for a Presidential Active Lifestyle Award of the President’s Challenge, a program of the PCPFS.
>> In other legislative news, Gold’s Gym has become the official gym of some of the nation’s legislators. The U.S. House of Representatives has awarded Gold’s Gym International with a fitness contract that makes it the exclusive gym of House legislators and their staffs. “No matter what your party, it all starts here,” said Gene LaMott, CEO of Gold’s Gym International, in an official statement. Under the terms of the contract, lawmakers and their staffs will have full access to Gold’s Gyms throughout the Washington, D.C., area.
>> New Balance Athletic Shoe Inc. will bring back the “Lace Up for the Cure” footwear collection for its second year to benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation. The 2003 New Balance Lace Up for the Cure collection includes nine athletic shoes from the running, walking and cross-training categories. Each shoe features an embroidered pink ribbon — the universal symbol of breast cancer awareness — on the tongue. The collection is also distinguished by pink ribbon tissue paper in each shoebox and a hang-tag that explains the symbol’s significance and the company’s 14-year relationship with the Komen Foundation. From July through October (National Breast Cancer Awareness Month) 2003, when a consumer purchases a pair of shoes from the New Balance Lace Up for the Cure collection, the company will donate $5 to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, up to $50,000.
>> Bally Total Fitness Holding Corp. (NYSE:BFT) has announced the completion of its offering of $200 million in aggregate principal amount of 10-percent Senior Notes due 2011 in an offering under Rule 144A and Regulation S under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. Additionally, the company announced that, concurrent with the closing of the Senior Notes Offering, it has entered into a $90 million Senior Secured Revolving Credit Facility due 2008. The Company also announced that it has completed the refinancing of $100 million of its outstanding $155 million Securitization Series 2001-1, which was scheduled to start amortizing in December 2003. The refinancing extends the maturity of $100 million of the Securitization Series to July 2005, and requires that the remaining balance begin amortizing in October 2003.