New Brand Storms the Specialty Fitness Industry

AFG Challenges Retailers and Consumers to ‘Rethink Fitness’

A new brand in the specialty fitness category was introduced today at the Health + Fitness Business Expo in downtown Denver. AFG (Advanced Fitness Group) is an exclusive specialty fitness brand and a division of Johnson Health Tech, Taichung, Taiwan. AFG started as a special team of product managers and engineers within Horizon Fitness. Now, AFG has evolved to become a specialty-only brand within the Johnson portfolio, offering a wide range of fitness products including treadmills, elliptical trainers, exercise bikes and functional strength training equipment.

“The AFG mentality is all about designing smarter fitness equipment that focuses on the needs of the end-user – the customer experience,” said Todd Boerboom, brand manager for AFG. “All too often, the fitness industry creates products that incorporate bells-and-whistles no one wants or uses. At AFG, we talk to consumers to find out what they want from their fitness equipment. In doing so, we put our resources into the things that matter most – the features and tools consumers need to accomplish a fitness goal. This process results in highly functional, easy-to-use fitness equipment that empowers people to look, feel and live better.”

The AFG brand is also designed to help specialty fitness dealers create a clear line of distinction from sporting goods retailers who sell comparable brands at competitive price points. AFG creates differentiation by offering specialty retailers a compelling brand and value-added products that consumers desire.

“The specialty market is extremely important to us,” Boerboom said. “We want to make sure we give our specialty retailers a brand they can stand behind and the products and marketing support they need to grow their business.”

The new AFG product offering includes 18 SKUs, many of which are on display at the Health + Fitness Business Expo. The line includes:

Seven treadmills, ranging in price from $999 to $1,999 (MSRP). The line includes five folding treadmills and two non-folding models. The treadmill line blends quality and performance with integrated entertainment. All models offer solid construction and powerful motors, all backed by a lifetime guarantee. In addition, select models come with features designed to keep people motivated and entertained, including iPod® integration with speakers and ProFILE™ performance tracking.

Five elliptical trainers, ranging in price from $999 to $1,999 (MSRP). The line includes two incline ellipticals and three traditional models. The incline ellipticals feature a power incline that allows users to target specific areas of the lower body (target toning) at varying levels of intensity.

Five exercise bikes ranging in price from $799 to $1,499 (MSRP). The line includes two hybrid designs and three recumbent bikes. The hybrids feature a unique, proprietary design that incorporates the best features of a recumbent bike with those of a traditional upright model. The end result is the most comfortable, easy-to-use bikes on the market. The AFG recumbent line includes a model with a side console design, which uniquely positions the controls to the right side of the bike. This smart design makes it easier to get on and off the bike, doesn’t obstruct one’s view while watching TV and makes it more comfortable to work out, especially for those who are overweight.

One functional strength home gym that retails for $1,199 (MSRP). This gym is designed for non-traditional strength users including women, seniors and those new to fitness. These users are looking to lose weight or better their quality of life. Whether it’s keeping up with the kids, or creating more strength and stamina for the pick-up game, these users are looking for functional, rather than traditional, strength training solutions. Users can complete a total body workout in as little as 20 minutes on the AFG gym. The equipment allows an individual to shift from one exercise to the next without having to reroute cables, which is common on competitive models. Users can select from more than 70 exercises using integrated components as well as various attachments. High-quality cables and commercial-grade pulleys equipped with bearings make lifts extremely smooth, minimizing stress on the body while prolonging the life of the equipment.

AFG is a subsidiary of Johnson Health Tech Co., Ltd., the fourth-largest fitness equipment manufacturer in the world with roughly $348 million in annual sales revenue (2006). AFG products are sold exclusively at specialty fitness retailers around the country. AFG offers a wide variety of smart, value-added fitness equipment, including treadmills, elliptical trainers, exercise bikes and functional strength training equipment.

All AFG equipment is designed with one thing in mind – the end user experience. Before a product is conceived, AFG talks to consumers to find out what they want in their fitness equipment. Based on this knowledge, AFG focuses its resources on the things that matter most, developing the tools and features people need to accomplish a fitness goal. The end result is smart, highly functional fitness equipment that empowers people to look, feel and live better.

Editorial Note: For interview requests, product photography or product demos, please call Brian Meehan at 262.789.7630, ext. 133, or send an e-mail.