Icon Health & Fitness

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ICON Health & Fitness
Formerly
Weslo, Inc.
Private
Founded1977 in Utah
FounderScott Watterson
Gary E. Stevenson
Headquarters,
Area served
Global
Key people
Scott Watterson, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer
Troy Thornton, Chief Financial Officer
David Watterson, Chief Merchandising Officer
ProductsTreadmills
Elliptical Trainers
Stationary Bicycles
Weight Machines and Benches
Yoga and Pilates equipment
BrandsFreeMotion Fitness, Gold's Gym, HealthRider, iFit, Image, NordicTrack, ProForm, Weslo, and Weider.
Number of employees
~3,263 (2019)
Websiteiconfitness.com
Footnotes / references
[1][2]

Icon Health & Fitness, Inc. (stylized as ICON Health & Fitness) is an American manufacturer, developer, and marketer of exercise equipment based in Logan, Utah, United States.

Company overview[edit]

ICON Health and Fitness is the world’s largest manufacturer of exercise equipment.[3] The privately held company employs about 2500 people in 9 locations, including facilities in China, Europe, and North and South America. The company manufactures treadmills, elliptical trainers, stationary bicycles, weight machines and benches, and yoga and Pilates equipment. ICON is ISO 9000 certified, and holds about 250 patents.[4][5]

Brands[edit]

ICON Health & Fitness has a wide range of brands, products and technologies, including the brands NordicTrack, ProForm, Weider, Gold's Gym and FreeMotion Fitness.[4] Their fitness technology brand, including WiFi-enabled fitness equipment and fitness wearables, is iFit.[6] The company previously owned a running and trail shoe brand named Altra footwear.[7]

Under a license agreement with Gold's Gym, ICON Health & Fitness designs, manufactures, markets and sells a full line of fitness equipment under the Gold's Gym brand name.[8]

In 2016, Golf Digest named the Free Motion Fitness Dual Cable Cross as the best universal fitness equipment in their Editor's Choice award.[9]

History[edit]

1970s – 1980s[edit]

In 1977, Utah State University students Scott Watterson and Gary E. Stevenson founded Weslo, Inc.,[10] a company that imported Asian kitchen and tableware, along with marble products. In 1979, Weslo began selling wood-burning stoves under the Fire King brand. In the 1980s, they began manufacturing trampolines, and then, under the name ProForm Fitness Products, treadmills, exercise bikes, indoor rowers, and home gyms.[4]

In 1988, Weider Health and Fitness acquired Weslo and ProForm, and in 1990, moved them into the current 300,000 square feet (28,000 m2) headquarters in Logan.[4]

1990s[edit]

In 1994, Weider sold ProForm and Weslo, along with Weider Care, to IHF Capital Inc,[11] a group led by Mitt Romney's Bain Capital, in a deal equaling US$450 million. The companies were renamed ICON Health and Fitness, Inc.[10]

ICON acquired HealthRider in 1996,[12] NordicTrack in 1999, and FreeMotion Fitness, Inc in 2001.[4]

2010s[edit]

In late October 2015, manufacturing activities at the Logan, Utah facility were moved offshore. This resulted in the laying off of more than four hundred workers.[13]

The former manufacturing space will now become a television studio to make advertisements, a showroom, and engineering and innovation offices. Some of the manufacturing jobs are now being replaced with industrial design, marketing, engineering and computer programming positions.[5]

In 2017, ICON created a partnership with Southern Virginia University where the company established an on-campus call center allowing paid employment and flexible hours for students to be employed while attending the University. ICON also donated branded fitness equipment to the student fitness center and the athletic training center.[14]

In March 2018, Icon sold the Altra Running brand to VF Corporation for an undisclosed amount.[2]

Legal History[edit]

ICON Health & Fitness was central to a United States Supreme Court case regarding frivolous lawsuits and fee shifting. ICON Health & Fitness had sued Octane Fitness in 2009 alleging patent infringement. Octane was granted a summary judgement stating its designs did not infringe, and asked to be reimbursement for attorneys' fees. Ultimately, the Supreme Court held that Octane deserved reimbursement of its legal fees. ICON was held liable for $1.6 million in fees by the district court, which was later upheld on appeal.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Icon Health & Fitness Inc". Retrieved 2019-08-27.
  2. ^ a b Dawson, Andrew (2018-03-14). "Altra Footwear Brand Sold to Owners of North Face, Timberland". Runner's World. Hearst Digital Media. Retrieved 2020-04-13.
  3. ^ "Poll: Americans are spending less on exercise". MSNBC. NBCNews.com. 2009-10-19.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Icon corporate website". Archived from the original on 2009-11-18. Retrieved 2009-11-07.
  5. ^ a b Opsahl, Kevin (2015-12-14). "ICON optimistic in wake of big layoff". The Herald Journal. Retrieved 2015-12-14.
  6. ^ Nelles, Barbara (October 2015). "Mattress news from Las Vegas Market". BedTimes Magazine. Retrieved 2015-10-27. Icon’s patented iFit technology syncs wearable devices and home exercise equipment with a cloud-based app that allows users to track their progress.
  7. ^ Frazier, Lance (2015-03-06). "In four short years, Icon's Altra shoes have carved out a significant niche". The Herald Journal. Retrieved 2015-10-27.
  8. ^ "Gold's Gym Announces Strategic Alliance to Market Fitness Equipment with ICON Health & Fitness". 2001-07-25. Retrieved 2016-03-16.
  9. ^ "Best Fitness Equipment For Golfers". Conte Nast. 2016-04-19. Retrieved 2016-05-03.
  10. ^ a b "Proform, Weslo Health-Equipment Firms Sign a Deal to Boost Their Financial Fitness," The Deseret News, November 15, 1994]
  11. ^ "ICON says it’s scrapping stock offering," The Deseret News, September 27, 1996
  12. ^ "ICON Health & Fitness to Acquire HealthRider," The Deseret News, July 9, 1996
  13. ^ Opsahl, Kevin (2015-07-14). "ICON to eliminate 400 jobs at Logan plant". The Herald Journal. Retrieved 2015-10-27.
  14. ^ Bowers, Anna (2019-04-04). "ICON Health & Fitness CEO Scott Watterson Teaches Students About Critical Optimism". Southern Virginia University. Archived from the original on 2019-03-05. Retrieved 2019-08-28.
  15. ^ Mullin, Joe (28 August 2017). "Fitness company that took its patent case to Supreme Court gets $1.6M fee award". Ars Technica. Retrieved 28 August 2017.