Fitness

The least likely star to emerge from 'House of Cards': A rowing machine

  • People line up outside a "House of Cards" guerrilla marketing campaign in Greenville, South Carolina, February 12, 2016. Actor Kevin Spacey plays the role of Frank Underwood in the Netflix series

    People line up outside a "House of Cards" guerrilla marketing campaign in Greenville, South Carolina, February 12, 2016. Actor Kevin Spacey plays the role of Frank Underwood in the Netflix series  (REUTERS/Carlo Allegri)

  • A man uses a rowing machine at the gym.

    A man uses a rowing machine at the gym.  (iStock)

An obscure piece of exercise equipment has become an unlikely star.

The WaterRower, a rowing machine distinguished by a tire-shaped tank of water at its front, has gained fame through repeat appearances on the Netflix hit “House of Cards.”

Frank Underwood, the power-hungry politician played by Kevin Spacey, and his wife Claire, played by Robin Wright, retreat to the machine to burn off frustrations from their conniving exploits. The machine even surfaces in Mr. Underwood’s dreams.

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Each time a new batch of episodes is released, Internet searches for “House of Cards rowing machine” spike. The searches reached their all-time peak in March, according to Google Trends. That’s when the show’s fourth season was released.

David Jones, director of sales and marketing for WaterRower, calls Mr. Spacey “the most famous ‘rower’ in the world.”

Click for more from the Wall Street Journal.