Thursday, November 15, 2007


Sportbrain makes pedometers -- not very interesting.  However, Sportbrain makes pedometers that link to their website to allow you to track the number of steps you make and do other cool things like join groups and participate in challenges to win prizes -- more interesting. 

virgin life care

Enter Virgin Life Care that has rebranded the Sportbrain web portal and put their branding on the pedometers.  Virgin Life Care re-packages the product for large companies that can start a wellness program that encourages employees to get active and provides rewards for staying active.  I have to imagine, though I don't know for sure, that there are tangible benefits in the way of discounts from health insurance carriers for opting in (and paying in) to a wellness program for all of your employees.  Even if there aren't active discounts, healthier employees generally have lower health care costs than those that are not active and healthy, so I would assume that there is some quantifying that can be done.

spectrumI contacted Virgin Life Care to provide some information to the company that I work for a couple of months ago, but have yet to hear back from them, so I can't really quote any of their projected savings figures back to you -- if I ever get contacted, I'll be happy to share.  One way to get involved with Virgin Life Care without being part of an affiliated company is to be a member of Spectrum Athletic Clubs -- they've re-branded the Virgin Life Care product (I think that's 3rd degree branding) as an up-sell to their membership program, which is unique in the health club world, though pretty easily duplicated if someone were to set their mind to it.

Due to the lack of response from Virgin, I decided to try out the Sportbrain myself.  One of the things that initially attracted me to the Virgin program and therefore the Sportbrain was the form factor of the pedometer itself.


What's nice about this pedometer as opposed to others is that it is designed to be worn on the belt/waistband and has a large display that is easy to read without detaching the pedometer.  Further, the pedometer can be comfortably worn inside the edge of a shoe and the display is big enough to view by looking down at the shoe.

While Sportbrain provides some social features on its site in the form of discussion boards, groups, etc. it would be nice to see them work on something like a Facebook widget; granted that wouldn't directly generate revenue for Sportbrain, but would likely result in additional hardware sales as friends wanted to engage in social competition with the number of steps.  For that matter, Sportbrain could even create a Facebook edition of the pedometer that automatically enables the widget data.  Just a thought.


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