Readers’ favorite SNEWS fitness stories of 2009: Are yours on the list?

As we begin to watch the clock tick down on the final few days of 2009, SNEWS® is taking a look back at the top 10 stories and news releases of the year -- the ones you clicked to read in the highest numbers. Some of the results may surprise you – they did us. Bankruptcies, scams and layoffs, are your faves on the list?

As we begin to watch the clock tick down on the final few days of 2009, SNEWS® thought we’d all enjoy a look back at what you, our readers, found to be the most compelling stories of the year – the ones you clicked to read in the highest numbers. Some of the results may surprise you – they did us. Certainly, we expected to see our coverage of BPA in aluminum bottles at or near the top — SNEWS® is proud to have been the source that broke this news to the entire world. But we were stunned that the bad news of the year, including bankruptcies and layoffs, seemed to grab your eager eyes the most. Was that like not being able to avert your eyes from a bloody horror movie or the aftermath of a train wreck? Or was SNEWS the only place you could find out what was truly going on with whom?

And were your favorite reads on our top 10 list? If not, use our “Chat” function at the end of this article to let us know which stories moved, inspired or simply had you talking the most in 2009.

Here is the list of the top 10:

  1. Aluminum bottles you are selling may NOT be BPA-free(Aug. 19, 2009) – True or false: All aluminum bottles are BPA-free. The answer would be false. When concern over BPA in polycarbonate bottles reached a feverish pitch in late 2007 and early 2008, those selling aluminum… (read more)
  2. Industry Watch: Keeping an eye on layoffs, bankruptcies and closings… Who’s next?(Feb. 2, 2009) – Among mainstream stores and suppliers, lists grow longer each day it seems of shutterings, bankruptcies, layoffs and rumors of demise. The same sadly holds true for our industries. We hear reports and rumors daily about a manufacturer or store that is or will be laying off more employees or reducing stores — or filing for bankruptcy protection…. (read more)
  3. SCAM Alert: Did you book your hotel rooms at OR or HFB with Travel House Services?(June 26, 2009) — If you or anyone at your company booked hotel rooms for either Outdoor Retailer Summer Market or Health & Fitness Business for 2009 using Travel House Services, r room reservations do not exist and you do not yet have hotel rooms for either show — even though your credit card has likely been charged! Apparently, in early February 2009,… (read more)
  4. IHRSA ’09 hosts product previews, prototypes, program launches (March 30, 2009) — Despite some caution on both sides of the aisles, the IHRSA show with its focus on the commercial side of the fitness business managed to show off some new equipment, launch or update a few programs, and showcase some prototype gear. But, like last year, new product releases weren’t the theme of the annual show, but rather a bit of an afterthought… (read more)
  5. What’s going on at The Fitness Group? Sudden store closures leave industry wary, wondering(May 6, 2009) — In the last week, six of 11 HEST Fitness and Texas Home Fitness stores operated by The Fitness Group in Houston and Dallas have shut their doors, leaving empty or nearly vacant spaces. At two of six Houston stores, announcements were posted on April 27 by landlords on the doors noting repossession… (read more)
  6. SNEWS takes a look at Dick’s presentation of Life Fitness, Sport Chalet’s of Precor(April 13, 2009) — With the first quarter of the New Year behind us — and plenty of time for Life Fitness to settle in at Dick’s and Precor at Sport Chalet — SNEWS® dispatched its shopping team into a number of each chain’s stores on both coasts to see how it was going in the fitness department… (read more)
  7. Bankruptcy updates: Busy Body shuts more stores, Keys case closed, Leisure delays filing financials, Bally financials AWOL(Jan. 19, 2009) — The status of a series of bankruptcy cases in the fitness industry remain at various stages. They, of course, change constantly, but as of Jan. 19, the status was… (read more)
  8. American Home Fitness files Ch. 11, Nellie’s files Ch. 7 as the economy continues to wreak havoc(July 8, 2009) — A less-than-stellar high season for fitness followed by slower-than-normal summer doldrums due to continued economic stress has seen two more retailers enter the bankruptcy courts…. (read more)
  9. FHI to gut business: Omni to close out, Busy Body sliced, what’s next? (Feb. 25, 2009) — On the evening of Feb. 23, when the Omni Fitness website home page changed to a stark scream of 50 percent to 90 percent off all inventory, the writing was on the wall. That morning, several insiders told SNEWS®, the district’s employees had been called to a surprise conference call. During that call,… (read more)
  10. Fitness Movin’ & Shakin’: Altus, Fitness4Home, Consumer Reports, Expresso, Spirit, Home Fitness Equipment, Nevada Home Fitness, and more…(Oct. 9, 2009) – In our occasional “Movin’ & Shakin’” updates on the happenings in the industry, we looked at both retailers, manufacturers, executives and other news, including an update on what was up at Expresso Fitness and Consumer Reports reviews…. (read more)

2009 SNEWS Fitness magazine

Of course, our summer SNEWS Fitness magazine – all-digital for the first time as a showcase of how technology can make content come alive – amassed many, many thousands of views – placing it about at the top of the list. But since it’s not really a story, we’ve not included it on the list, above.

Nevertheless, it deserves call-out. If you didn’t see the magazine, take the time to flip its virtual pages since it is packed with industry news and trends, not to mention our meaty feature honoring “25 Years of Fitness” with people, products and events. Click here to see the 2009 SNEWS Fitness magazine and don’t miss our archives of full interviews with 25 industry founders plus many dozens of 25-year-old photos in our “magazine extras” section by clicking here.

Readers’ most-read fitness news releases of 2009

For several years now, SNEWS® has given its All Access subscribers the ability to post and edit their own news releases directly on our site. As a result, those news release headlines posted by subscribers go out in the regularly scheduled SNEWS headline alert emails and they are included in our SNEWS Digest that is published each week. So, we also wondered, which were your most highly read fitness news releases for 2009?

  1. Get Fit While Giving Back(Aug 12, 2009) — Can a piece of fitness equipment help in the fight against cancer? That’s the goal behind a new brand of treadmills, ellipticals and indoor cycles launching this fall at Dick’s Sporting Goods stores nationwide. Johnson Health Tech North America (JHTNA) has partnered with the Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF) to create LIVESTRONG-branded fitness equipment – a new breed of cardio products designed to inspire and motivate while raising money to fight cancer. (read more
  2. New Balance Launches “Total Fit” Global Brand Campaign(March 5, 2009) — Global athletic leader New Balance debuts a brand campaign this month that reinforces the brand’s heritage in performance running and introduces its Total Fit™ philosophy, the complete dedication to achieving the perfect fit. The Total Fit™ campaign continues to highlight the struggles of the athlete’s relationship with running that is fundamental to the brand’s LOVE/hate this is the new balance brand platform. (read more)
  3. Sporting Goods Industry Hall of Fame Elects Four(Sept. 1, 2009) — The Sporting Goods Industry Hall of Fame Committee announced today that it has elected four new members to be inducted into the Hall of Fame next May, one retailer and three manufacturers. (read more)
  4. LiveStrong Brand Emerges on Fitness Equipment(May 12, 2009) – A formal agreement was recently signed between Johnson Health Tech North America (JHTNA) and the Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF) granting JHTNA exclusive rights to the LIVESTRONG™ brand on its consumer and commercial fitness equipment. (read more)
  5. XYIENCE Unveils NOX-V2, the Second Generation of its Popular Pre-training Formula (Sept. 3, 2009) — XYIENCE established itself as a leader in sports nutrition in 2004, with the introduction of the first supplement line formulated specifically for the mixed martial arts (MMA) athlete. (read more)
  6. Somnio Running Launches Line of Customizable Running Shoes(May 28, 2009) — Santa Cruz-based Somnio Running announced today its new line of customizable running shoes that will be sold exclusively in specialty running stores nationwide on June 1, 2009. Breaking new ground in the running shoe industry, Somnio shoes feature an adjustable component system that creates a custom-fit to match each runner’s unique biomechanics. (read more)
  7. Gold’s Gym names Matrix Fitness Equipment Vendor of Year(Aug. 24, 2009) — Johnson Health Tech North America, Inc. today announced that its commercial brand, Matrix Fitness, was named Gold’s Gym International’s Equipment Vendor of the Year at its annual convention. Matrix was added to the Gold’s Gym National Vendor Program in May of 2007. (read more)
  8. ING New York City Marathon 2009 Official Pace Team will be Powered… (Oct. 26, 2009) — Timex Group USA, Inc., a principal sponsor and the exclusive official timing partner of the ING New York City Marathon, today announced that the Timex® Ironman® Sleek 150-lap watch with TapScreen™ Technology will play a key role in the ING DIRECT Pace Team’s efforts to pace the field. (read more)
  9. “Biggest Loser is a Loser” Says Nationally Renowned Fitness Expert(May 11, 2009) — Sal Marinello, outspoken fitness authority and a personal trainer who has appeared on ESPN and other national outlets, claims that The Biggest Loser, a popular reality show about getting into shape, is a mess. (read more)
  10. Interactive Fitness Holdings acquires Expresso Fitness’ assets and intellectual property(Nov. 10, 2009) — Interactive Fitness Holdings® (“IFH”), announced that it had acquired the assets and intellectual property of Expresso Fitness as part of a larger strategy to acquire, organize and deliver a wide range of interactive fitness solutions to commercial customers. (read more)

–Therese Iknoian