Jim Baugh has been around sports and the sporting good industry for a long time.
In fact, Baugh is a member of the Sporting Goods Industry Hall of Fame and he's also a former President of Wilson Sporting Goods. His work now revolves around a cause, PHIT America, a non-profit education and worthwhile organization designed to combat the inactivity and obesity crisis in America.
PHIT is going grassroots to try and get the word out about this ongoing crisis that has now reached critical mass.
"The sports and fitness industry has not done a good job explaining the value of sports and fitness," admits Baugh. "At PHIT America, we see there is an obesity crisis and inactivity pandemic in America."
A startling statistic; in a list of 104 possible activities, 25-28% of our youth are not doing one of those activities in a year.
Baugh and his team started asking themselves some questions.
How can the sporting goods industry help?
How do we get kids active?
Can we push this through local programs... ie family, schools, community?
How to get kids engaged for the fun of activity?
First things first.
Baugh said the first thing that needed to be done was to communicate all of this to America
"Michelle Obama's, "Let's Move" is great, but we need to mobilize the industry," adds Baugh.
PHIT America is doing just that.
They started a "Mayor's Fitness Challenge" which is free to cities and sets up friendly competitions.
"It rolled out (a few months ago) and cities are showing interest," says Baugh. "It's being tested by New Smyrna Beach, Florida."
The Mayor's Fitness Challenge can be for any size city, but coordination is the key for setting up the 10-week program.
To get the word out, PHIT is also turning to celebrity ambassadors who know something about exercise and fitness.
They have announced that NFL great Hershel Walker, tennis legends Mike and Bob Bryan, fitness guru Denise Austin and Golf Channel instructor Michael Breed will be the first celebrity ambassadors.
The collective goal here is to create “A Movement for a Fit and Healthy America” by educating men, women and children about the benefits of an active lifestyle and how it can improve overall health.
Just in 2013, more than 130 leading companies and associations from the sports, fitness, retail and media industries have contributed funds and aided the cause.
You can too, check out http://www.phitamerica.org.