Peloton switches up its marketing structure, names two new heads
Peloton, one of the few marketers able to benefit from the pandemic, hasn’t needed to do much advertising in recent months—but it still needs executives to lead marketing, for both the brand and its growing roster of products.
On Thursday, the New York-based fitness company announced the hire of Dara Treseder as senior VP, head of global marketing and communications. Treseder, a veteran with stints at Apple and GE and an Ad Age Woman to Watch in 2018, had most recently been chief marketing officer of Carbon, the software company. She is expected to help build the Peloton brand on a global level as the company pursues international expansion.
Peloton also promoted Karina Kogan to lead product marketing. Kogan had been senior VP-general manager of digital, tasked with working on Peloton’s fast-growing app, and is now senior VP-head of global product marketing. She will handle marketing on products including bikes, treadmills and digital apps. She will also spearhead performance marketing and media.
Both executives fill the marketing hole left by Carolyn Tisch Blodgett, Peloton’s former head of global marketing who left the brand in May. Instead of having one chief marketing officer leading the department, Peloton has divided its structure into global branding and product marketing—a strategy several tech firms also deploy.
Peloton, recently named to Ad Age’s annual America’s Hottest Brands list, has only gotten hotter during the pandemic. Homebound consumers eager for exercise turned to the brand’s stationary bikes, justifying the high price as a gym membership replacement, in some cases. As a result, Peloton’s sales soared. In its third quarter, Peloton reported a 66 percent rise in revenue to $524.6 million, noting that its subscriber base grew 94 percent over the year-earlier period. As a result, Peloton said it was pulling back on marketing and re-examining its strategy moving forward as it was able to rely more on word-of-mouth marketing and organic growth.
The company will report fourth-quarter earnings on Sept. 10.
Peloton has also been exploring more creative partnerships in recent months. In May, the brand hosted a live ride with ESPN where viewers could see popular athletes racing on stationary bikes—consumers were so starved for live sports that they tuned in.
Yet, not all of Peloton’s branding has been successful. Late last year, the company came under fire for a holiday-themed ad, created by ad agency Mekanism, that many accused of tapping into a male fantasy of promoting unrealistic health goals for women. Though many consumers complained, the “Peloton Wife” ad did little to dent Peloton’s sales, which rose during the crucial holiday selling period.