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House of Cards’ Breakout Star Might Be a Rowing Machine

2 minute read

Hopefully fans of Netflix’s House of Cards know not to imitate Kevin Spacey’s portrayal of the Machiavellian Frank Underwood when it comes to lying or, say, murder. But the show’s followers do seem interested in copying one part of Underwood lifestyle: his WaterRower brand rowing machine.

The Wall Street Journal reports the WaterRower has been a hit with the show’s fans, and its popularity has grown as the show has gone on. With each season’s release of the Netflix series, Google searches for “House of Cards rowing machine” grow, according to the paper, and that volume reached its high-point last month with the release of season 4.

Part of the machine’s popularity likely comes from its distinctive for its wooden frame and donut-like water tank at the front, a design that has gotten even the Museum of Modern Art stamp of approval. Since 2014, the rowing machine has been the only exercise equipment the MoMA Design Store sells.

The machine’s consistent onscreen use in House of Cards has exposed the WaterRower to a whole new demographic, and the promotion has been a smashing success. “We exceeded what we ever thought we would have gotten from this relationship.” said the company’s director of sales and marketing, David Jones, who told the WSJ that Kevin Spacey is “the most famous ‘rower’ in the world.”


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Write to Julia Zorthian at julia.zorthian@time.com