SoBeFit Magazine Launches with Sizzle

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

If you live in Miami, consider yourself among the most attractive people in the United States.

The Sunshine State's metropolis has the most beautiful people, according to an online survey of "America's Favorite Cities" by Travel & Leisure magazine. Tonight, I was definitely basking in the glow of a room full of beautiful and physically fit people. Tonight, was the official launch of the SOBeFit Magazine [a quick translation for non Miami residents and visitors: "SoBe" is short for "South Beach"].

Picture: Christine and models/trainer

At the Four Seasons Hotel on Brickell Avenue in downtown Miami, the SoBeFit Magazine event sizzled with all the Miami glitz and fanfare--SoBeFitinis (martinis), finger food, lithe models sporting white and orange tank tops to show off buff bods, contemporary mood music, a fashion show, a celebrity and guests dressed in their "notice me" best outfits. I know I tried. More on the event details in a just a moment.

As a resident of Miami, I'm thrilled to live among the beautiful people (Note: I said "among" as I believe "beauty is in the eye of the beholder"). Apart from the topless sunbathers on South Beach, Miami does boast attractive and fit women and men. What is the secret? An exotic melting pot of genes? Let's see--I am half Hispanic and half Polish and born and raised in USA. Does that count? Perhaps, but fitness, exercise, nutrition and an active lifestyle are definite contributors for radiating inner beauty. However, achieving and maintaining a healthy lifestyle poses its own challenges. Thus enters SoBeFit magazine to guide, teach, and motivate.

My first thought as a professional marketer "Another fitness magazine?" A quick search on GOOGLE resulted in a slew of national magazines devoted to woman's fitness or body building for men and women. SoBeFit magazine's mission is to provide "the latest on fitness, sports, health, and nutrition, written especially by and for the men and women of South Florida." A niche magazine devoted to health and fitness geared to an audience who live it everyday. Makes perfect sense.

My next question: "Why now? In this shaky economy?" The founder with the purse strings, Enrique Auvert, explained "why not?". According to Auvert, an active, large audience already exists and no other fitness magazine speaks directly to both men and women with regards to all four pillars within the South Florida area. This could be my new health Bible!

The first issue of SoBeFit magazine is scheduled to launch on December 24, 2008 but last night was the unveiling of the "launch issue". The cover features the title in appropriate Sunny Florida orange font, the recognizable signature of famous pop artist, Romero Britto, as the watermark wallpaper, and a local hero of Miami--Alonzo Mourning encouraging readers "to be the fittest person in South Florida". Definitely eye-catching. My full review of the magazine and its content can be found on my personal blog by clicking here. I know most of you want details of the event. So here it goes...


Invitees, such as myself, and all other guests were greeted in the foyer by waiters serving SoBeFitinis (a sunny, yellow martini drink--the ingredients I can't remember). Upon entering the ballroom, female models with slender curves and male models with sinewy leg and arm muscles (yes I was already melting) beamed a smiling "welcome" and ushered us in to mingle with other guests in a room decorated in orange and white and moving spotlights, similar to the magazine cover. It's all about branding. Nice job.

Attendees were of all ages and as Alonzo Mourning said later in the program--"there are a lot of fit people tonight in the audience". Indeed.

Fitness equipment such as elliptical machines and body core rolls were scattered throughout the room and trainers were demonstrating proper form and use.

Luckily, I ran into renowned pop artist, Romero Britto and his Sr. Art Consultant, Andres Ponieman. A local and national celebrity, Romero is always gracious and allowed me yet another picture with him (we often run into eachother at events). The beauty of a small, big city. Romero is a true supporter of local events, both charity and for-profit. In the end, they benefit the community.

Picture: Andres Poneiman, Christine Michaels, Romero Britto

The program was about to begin. Editor- in-Chief, Marta Montenegro took the stage and her petite stature was larger in life. Ladies, you are going to envy Marta. She has everything--looks and brains! Guessing she's a size ZERO and in her 30's, Marta is a journalist, author, financial analyst, fitness expert and professor at Florida International University. Marta holds a Master's Degree in Exercise Physiology and one in Finance. Her daily fitness routine consists of running at 4:30am (I hate her already! Just kidding. This is the role model I need. See her picture at bottom of posting).

Next, the fashion show. Models and trainers alike strut the catwalk showcasing fashion wear for the gym, golf, tennis and bathing suits. Did someone turn up the temperature? Admiring the fleshy, fit models spurred my inner Zeus or fitness voice. Could I wake up at 6am to exercise? It's 1am and I'm still blogging--not going to happen! I'll stick to my after-work routine.

Then the introduction of local celebrity athlete, Alonzo Mourning from the basketball team the Miami Heat. (The modifier of "basketball" is for the benefit of some of my mature readers--like mom--who don't follow sports). Alonzo, handsomely dressed in a gray, haberdasher tailored suit, and stylish eye glasses, pronounced the official launch of SoBeFit magazine. Then he challenged the audience to be the "Fittest Person in South Florida". What does it entail? Well, you'll have to read the magazine or visit their website (smirk on my face). In the end, Alonzo graciously accepted a $25,000 check for his charity, the Alonzo Mourning Charities.

Complementing the "sports" aspect of the magazine, I casually strolled over to the Cliff Drysdale Tennis station. Louanne Fischer, Executive Director, handed me a tennis ball and racket and encouraged me to serve it. Who me? I failed cut-n-paste class in Kindergarten, much less physical education (aerobics and kickboxing are the extent of my athleticism). Little did I know a tennis facility with expert instruction existed blocks from my condo. On the opposite corner of the room were golf instructions. I avoided it like the plague--only so much humiliation I can take. I'll stick to miniature golf. Other attendees soaked it up like an oasis in a desert.

Kudos to Boden PR. The event was a success all around. Attending the event alone and criss-crossing the room, guests were approachable or approached me and our common passion for fitness lead to business card exchange. In some cases, we became instant BFFs. The decor, ambiance and program were all brand enhancing. The event was upbeat the entire evening.

It really is 1:03am. Time to sleep. My secret to looking young at 40--getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night. Let's see what SoBeFit experts say about that.

Picture: Alonzo & Tracy Mourning, Romero Britto, Marta Montenegro

[Photo courtesy of Boden PR]

Special Thanks to Dominic Dorsey for the use of his camera. He's the hunk trainer in the top picture. Dominic noticed my camera died the minute I arrived and lent me his camera for the evening. You can visit his website at or

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