Visualizing and developing a product with mass marketing potential is one thing, but executing that marketing is something else altogether.
The key, says Marco Island inventor John Hobbs, is perseverance.
Hobbs has spent the past 11 years conceptualizing, patenting and developing his Athletes’ Oasis brand of dual drinking fluid bottles.
Now it’s the age-old business strategy of getting the word out.
Hobbs has had a measure of interest in his product as he’s soldiered on — attending trade shows, running marathons with his bottles in hand, seeking Press coverage — but he thinks his latest opportunity might just represent the proverbial pot o’ gold.
Athletes’ Oasis is to be featured on the Home Shopping Network (HSN) as a result of teaming up with Bob Circosta, an HSN veteran who has publicly endorsed the bottles.
“John’s Athletes’ Oasis product solves a problem, and is a solution with mass appeal,” Circosta said in the endorsement.
Other corporate moves in the cards for Hobbs include a wholesale partnership with LTD Commodities, a packaging and distribution agreement with Pro Star South, and senior management appointments to handle strategic planning and supply chain logistics.
In addition, moves are afoot to collaborate with Overstock.com as well as SkyMall merchandisers.
For Hobbs, the inventor’s light went on in 1996 while he was sweating up a storm during his daily seven-mile run on Marco Island.
Instead of having to make water stops wherever he could, or tote along a bouncy bottle of fluid, he thought, why not devise a comfortable liquid-carrying system that would be ergonomic and distribute the weight evenly on each hand during a run?
What followed was a long, painstaking and sometimes frustrating trip, but Hobbs overcame design glitches, patenting red tape and lack of financial backing to the point where he now believes he’s right on the cusp.
The dual bottles feature simple trigger mechanisms enabling the holder to drink while on the move, without having to remove a cap. Instead, the trigger opens and closes a valve below the mouthpiece with a flick of the thumb.
By drinking alternately from bottles, Hobbs said, users can maintain equal weights.
The bottles merely have to be balanced, not grasped. So users can run with open hands or closed fists — depending on what they find more comfortable.
Down the line, planned accessories have included add-on weights, for more intense muscle training, flashlight and strobe accessories for safety during evening runs, an alarm and a digital clock.
They sell at the moment for $29,95 a pair.
For more information visit www.athletesoasis.com.