SOURCE: Nautilus, Inc.

March 07, 2007 14:34 ET

Nautilus, Inc. Joins NFL Legend Dick Butkus in Fight Against Steroid Use

Butkus Educational Campaign Endorses Texas Legislative Initiative Introduced Today

AUSTIN, TX -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 7, 2007 -- Nautilus, Inc. (NYSE: NLS), a pure fitness company, announced it has joined forces with NFL Hall of Fame legend Dick Butkus for an all out blitz to eliminate steroid use among high school athletes.

The announcement was made here as Butkus joined Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst and the Dallas, Tex.-based Taylor Hooton Foundation in supporting the introduction of state legislation that requires anti-steroid education and training, and calls for random testing of high school athletes. The bill is expected to be a model for legislatures across the country.

"Everyone involved with our youth must help put an end to the use of life-threatening steroids. All these young athletes need to thrive is proper physical training and a healthy attitude," said Butkus, the former Chicago Bear who is regarded by ESPN, Associated Press and The Sporting News as one of the best football players of all time.

Butkus became an outspoken critic of steroids after learning that their usage had penetrated the high school ranks when he starred in the 2005 ESPN reality show Bound for Glory and through consultations with medical experts.

"With the leadership of Dick Butkus and the Texas legislature, we are mobilizing to help coaches, teachers, parents and fitness trainers to not only understand and discourage steroid use but to embrace proper fitness training," said Gregg Hammann, Chairman and CEO of Nautilus, Inc. "We need to take dramatic steps now to eliminate steroid use which deserves no place in sports or fitness."

As part of the partnership with Nautilus, Butkus is intensifying his "Lean Mean and Clean" educational campaign to emphasize proper fitness training and nutrition as an alternative to the highly dangerous and life-threatening path of using illegal steroids. Recent reports estimate that steroid use among high school students is gripping as many as one-in-10 students, including both young men and women. Steroids are associated with heart disease, cancer, liver damage, other life-shortening conditions, and severe depression known as "roid rage."

Nautilus and Butkus expect to announce more details of the "Lean Mean and Clean" campaign later this year. Butkus has trained on Nautilus equipment for more than 30 years following his rehabilitation after playing in the NFL, and representing the company in the 1970s and early 1980s. Although the Butkus-Nautilus connection is natural, the campaign will also seek additional like-minded partners.

Butkus highlight videos are played in locker rooms across the country and his accomplishments are celebrated annually with the annual Butkus Award for the top college linebacker. Nonetheless, Butkus views it a greater honor and responsibility to protect the lives of young athletes, such as Taylor Hooton, an aspiring Texas high school pitcher who began using steroids and claimed his own life in 2003.

"If we can save just one kid like Taylor Hooton, it's worth all the effort," Butkus said.

About Nautilus, Inc.

Headquartered in Vancouver, Wash., Nautilus, Inc. (NYSE: NLS) is a pure fitness company that provides tools and education necessary to help people achieve a fit and healthy lifestyle. With a brand portfolio that includes Nautilus®, Bowflex®, Schwinn® Fitness, StairMaster(R), and Pearl iZUMi®, Nautilus manufactures and markets a complete line of innovative health and fitness products through direct, commercial, retail, specialty and international channels. The Company was formed in 1986 and had sales of $682 million in 2006. It has 1,600 employees and operations in Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Oklahoma, Illinois, Virginia, Canada, Switzerland, Germany, United Kingdom, Italy, China, and other locations around the world. More information is at