Peloton, a SoulCycle Rival, Spins New Campaign

Four-Year-Old Brand Tasks New CMO With Growing Brand As Competitors Expand

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Lori Marcus is the new CMO at Peloton.
Lori Marcus is the new CMO at Peloton. Credit: Peloton

Cycling brand Peloton is peddling a fresh marketing push and has hired a new chief marketing officer to do it. The four-year-old, fast-growing startup has hired marketing veteran Lori Marcus to expand its global reach.

Peloton has set itself apart from traditional spinning brands by focusing on the at-home experience. The New York-based company offers an app for streaming cycling classes—monthly subscriptions cost $39—and also sells its own stationary bikes for $1,995. Though the brand has raised nearly $120 million in funding from investors including L Catterton, it still must build awareness with customers.

"The company has created such disruptive innovation in a new category that we have some explaining to do to consumers in terms of what is this product," said Ms. Marcus, an executive whose resume includes stints at PepsiCo., The Children's Place and, most recently, Keurig Green Mountain Inc. Ms. Marcus starts as CMO on April 11.

In May, Peloton will debut its new ad campaign. Similar to an effort late last year, the campaign will include a mix of print media and TV. Ms. Marcus emphasized that education will be a big component as Peloton strives to reach new cyclists. The company worked with Partners & Spade.

Though she declined to provide specifics, Ms. Marcus said that Peloton plans to significantly increase its marketing spend this year. In 2015, the brand spent $6.3 million on measured media, according to Kantar Media.

Already, the company, which reportedly generated around $50 million in revenue last year and employs 300 people, has outgrown its old, 10,000-square-foot New York City headquarters and plans to move into a 50,000-square-foot space in the city's Chelsea neighborhood later this year.

While other spinning companies, such as Equinox-owned SoulCycle and Flywheel Sports, are also in growth mode, Ms. Marcus doesn't necessarily view such brands as competition. Rather, Peloton offers another option for consumers who may be too busy to commute to a class or prefer to do some workouts in the comfort of their own home.

"They're not competitive, they're complementary," she explained of other cycling brands. "They do a great job of getting people invested in fitness and spinning but then people need a complementary home solution."

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