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Industry veterans launch fitness-specific sales/marketing firm

Fitness-industry veterans Ken Germano and Marc Onigman have launched Stone Hearth Fitness, a sales-and-marketing firm that specializes in commercial fitness products and services.

Fitness-industry veterans Ken Germano and Marc Onigman have launched Stone Hearth Fitness, a sales-and-marketing firm that specializes in commercial fitness products and services.
The company’s first three clients are the American College of Sports Medicine; Bionic Gloves, a division of the venerable “Louisville Slugger” baseball-bat manufacturer Hillerich & Bradsby; and Koko Fitness, a Massachusetts company that develops interactive software and hardware for the worldwide fitness and wellness industries.
Germano, the creator and founder of Operation FitKids, will be working with Onigman to launch a new program with the ACSM, called “ReFit,” which is aimed at creating children’s fitness facilities nationwide, including professional fitness mentoring, educational materials, and an environment that will encourage the participants to consider professional fitness-industry career paths. The first facilities will be developed in conjunction with ACSM’s Annual Meeting, to be held this year in New Orleans, May 30-June 2. High-value sponsorship opportunities are available for the ReFit program through Stone Hearth.
Stone Hearth has already begun selling Bionic Gloves into the fitness distribution channel of clubs and specialty fitness retail stores. The Bionic Glove is unlike any glove on the market because it incorporates the science of anatomy and ergonomics. Unlike conventional gloves, Bionic Gloves feature a pre-rotated design that follows the natural motion of your fingers. The result is a custom fit that maximizes comfort, dexterity, and performance.
Koko’s products, such as the Koko Smartrainer®, engage both the mind and body to deliver more efficient, more engaging, and more effective exercise experiences for each and every individual. Founded in 2004, the company is comprised of a dedicated group of experienced technology entrepreneurs, product developers, and engineers from leading fitness companies as well as the Director of the Center for Sports Innovation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Stone Hearth is working with Koko’s sales department for all markets.
The Stone Hearth Fitness concept is a first-of-its-kind nationwide distribution system for commercial fitness products and services, comprised mainly of a consortium of independent sales professionals spread throughout North America and Europe, with plans for global coverage by the beginning of 2008.
The unique Stone Hearth distribution paradigm will allow new fitness suppliers to “outsource” their sales functions. This will acccelerate the introduction of new products into the marketplace, across all categories.
Germano, who most recently served as the first President/CEO of the American Council on Exercise (ACE) and Onigman, one of the founders of Club Industry magazine and the Club Industry trade shows, bring 60 years of experience to the venture, along with many longstanding and key industry relationships.
“Our growing network of salespeople is comprised of top-notch independent reps and rep firms who know the ins and outs of the industry,” says Onigman, who, in addition to creating the concept of vertical markets while at Club Industry, has held sales and marketing positions with Keiser, Trotter, Xystos, and MyFoodPhone.
“For our manufacturing clients, there will be exactly zero ramp-up time for them to get product sold into the marketplace,” adds Germano, who, in addition to his considerable association experience, has been a sales executive for CYBEX and Lifecycle and a co-founder of ReebokCCS. “This is usually where new-product introductions stumble in this industry: failure to quickly achieve critical mass in the distribution arena. Those days are over.”
In addition to the distribution division, Stone Hearth offers marketing, communications, and branding services to fitness-equipment companies, club-management companies, associations, publishers, trade groups, and service providers who have products for the commercial fitness industry and its many vertical segments.
For more information, contact Ken Germano at 858-442-7935; or Marc Onigman at 617-413-2830;