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Conde Nast Publications' Self hoped for a few hundred women when it staged a small fitness event in New York's Central Park in 1994 to celebrate its 15th anniversary.

What it got was an event so successful it has burst into five cities, targeting fitness-minded wo-men eagerly sought by advertisers. As many as 7,500 women are expected at the fourth annual Self Workout in the Park.

Thirteen new major sponsors, paying at least $10,000 each, are on board this year. One new market has been added, taking the event to Chicago Sept. 6, New York Sept. 13, Dallas Sept. 27, San Diego Oct. 4 and San Francisco Oct. 18.


"It's become a real two-way street for advertisers to meet their target customers, and vice versa-and each year the level of creativity in product marketing and sampling goes higher," said Self Publisher Beth Brenner.

New sponsors include Eastman Kodak Co., Club Med, Liz Claiborne's Liz Sport fragrance, Jockey for Her and Target Stores. Returning are Nike, Reebok International, Lady Foot Locker and Volkswagen of America.

A handful of partial sponsors not in the accompanying special advertising in the August issue of Self includes Sara Lee Corp.'s Hillshire Farms and FIT TV.

National Media Group, New York, has coordinated the event since its inception.

In each city, an estimated 1,500 participants will pay a $10 admission to join in 4 hours of fitness activities ranging from step and funk aerobics to boxing for fitness. Each event culminates in the "World's Greatest Workout," a huge outdoor aerobics session.

Some sponsors are backing specific activities. For example, Jockey for Her is sponsoring a kick-boxing workshop; Reebok, bicycle "spinning" classes; and Club Med, a volleyball clinic.

Food, fragrances and haircare products will be sampled and demonstrated, along with Target's new Pro Spirit sportswear line.

The event will be covered for the first time by NBC-TV's "Today," Ms. Brenner

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