After airing a holiday commercial so tone-deaf it inspired a Saturday Night Live skit, Peloton has been racing to put itself back in the limelight for all the right reasons. The twittersphere lit up in November over the ad in which a husband gifts his wife the high-tech stationary bicycle, and 7 months later Peloton has found a star-studded way to redeem itself.
In its first media collaboration, Peloton joins forces with ESPN to bring some familiar faces to a sports-starved world. Chief Content Officer Jen Cotter notes that “With sports cancelled, we were seeing pro athletes turn to Peloton, more than ever, and posting, tweeting, and challenging teammates and our community to join them in rides. We loved the idea of highlighting our pro-athlete fans and quickly developed the idea to create a friendly competition among some of them in the community, while continuing to support one of our partners, Food Bank for New York City. The entire concept and execution came together in about six weeks.”
Stars like Rory McIlroy, Bubba Watson, Booger McFarland, and Allyson Felix are hopping on their bikes to engage in a little friendly rivalry with their fans. Peloton owners can see if they can measure up to their sports heroes via an epic virtual race. Celebrities and athletes will come together for 20 minutes, racing against each other and the clock. As an added incentive, Peloton has pledged to donate $1 million to the Food Bank for New York City if athletes reach a collective output of 3,000.
At a time when gyms are closed and more and more people are turning to home workouts, Peloton tapped into a booming virtual market. Last month they hosted a record-breaking class, with 23,000 online attendees. “This project also gave us the opportunity to show the world what makes the Peloton community and experience so unique,” Cotter went on to say. “It is really fun, fiercely competitive—if you want it to be—and the home for competitors of all levels to feel welcome and included.”