With already more than $50 million racked up in infomercial sales and another $20 million coming from retail outlets, Guthy-Renker expects total sales of the fitness product to easily surpass $100 million by yearend.
"We knew we had a home run right when we saw the product," says Greg Renker, co-CEO of the infomercial company, who directed the marketing rollout of the product. "Although we weren't the first out with this type of product, our timing was excellent" with the infomercial.
DirectAmerica created the 30-minute program, which features fitness experts explaining benefits of the $200 product. Guthy-Renker has committed $22 million in media spending to hawk the Fitness Flyer via infomercials.
Ironically, Guthy-Renker was embroiled in a lawsuit with National Media, originally a distribution partner in the venture. When National Media's inventory demands for Fitness Flyer weren't being met, it began selling a similar product instead; a lawsuit ensued. The two companies settled their dispute a few months ago; National Media no longer sells the Fitness Flyer.
But Guthy-Renker is beginning to take the product international.
"Our biggest problem with this product is keeping up with inventory demands," says Mr. Renker, who adds that fitness equipment is always a great product to hawk via infomercials.
"We're reaching Baby Boomers who have some disposable income, want to be more fit and grew up as TV watchers."