The Super Bowl ads began running in 1985 and were run again in 1987 and 1995. These were the most expensive forms of advertising for any business and absolutely the most expensive advertising Soloflex had ever done. These ads on the Super Bowls were huge for Soloflex. Just like any company would dream of, these launched the Soloflex world into more homes than any other type of advertising could do. One of the ads was just mentioned in US Today’s “Sexy” Super Bowl ads. These were fantastic ads. Soloflex has been a leader in putting sexy in advertising and that is one aspect about the company that will never change. Soloflex took the body beautiful exposed out of the motorcycle world and put it in over 10 million house holds.
By late 1991 Soloflex was running two shifts just to keep up with the demand. Their advertising agency, 53rd Street Advertising, was putting out some of the most popular ads of the day. Sexy, Sexy, Sexy. These ads were in major magazines, television and newspapers. By the end of the 90′s television was soon to end however. Ad costs along with DVR and TIVO just made the television ads not a good investment any longer.
Two buildings were added in the late 80′s and early 90′s. Production demanded it. A total of 125,000 square feet was now available for ordering, making and shipping all Soloflex products.
A peak of 400 employees were running Soloflex by the mid early to mid 90′s. Selling the number one home weight lifting equipment took a lot of people.
Soloflex introduced the Rockit in 1993. This lower body exercise machine has been Soloflex’s 2nd best seller. It is the perfect equipment for legs. All of the strain put on the back when doing lower body exercises is eliminated. Over half a million have been sold to date.
The rubber coated hand weights plates were introduced in 1995. These are very special and unique in that they have a rubber coating around the iron plate to help with the clanking of noisy plates as well as adding some protection if dropped on a foot. Their sales have been climbing ever since.
The Armchair Quarterback was introduced in 1985 but I forgot to mention that in Part I. Sorry. The Armchair was made famous by Gold Medalist, Mitch Gaylord. It was a full body exercise machine. The use of your own body weight was how this machine worked. That is very hard for the average person. The Armchair Quarterback is no longer in production for that very reason. A very well made machine just too hard for all of us.
In 1994 Soloflex was forced to into battle with NordicTrack. A lawsuit was filed. NordicTrack was in violation of copy right infringement and trademark. This was settled between the two companies and an undisclosed amount was paid to Soloflex by NordicTrack. Both companies said the settlement was fair.
In 1999 a second lawsuit was filed against Direct Food, Inc. or Nautilus, Inc. This is the company that manufactures Bowflex and Nautilus Fitness equipment. The suit was also won by Soloflex. The same reason for the lawsuit, copyright and trademark infringement. Nautilus tried to copy the Soloflex way too closely. When you make the best home weight lifting equipment you are bound to be copied. Others want to be like you, the best.
Soloflex is still a family owned business. Marilyn and Jerry Wilson are still involved in the company along with their daughter Connie.
P.S. The picture at the top of the story will is from a book Mr. Wilson wrote. It covers Soloflex from day one to now.