Less wheel, more fly: Flywheel moves beyond the bike to full-on fitness

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Eight years after its founding as a cycling studio, Flywheel Sports is seeking to establish itself as a full-on fitness brand that offers training classes both on and off the bike. On Wednesday, the New York-based company is rolling out "Say Never," a marketing campaign that pushes Flywheel as more fly, less wheel.

"We're really coming out of the saddle," says Andy Wong, who joined the brand as chief marketing officer in August after a stint on the business side of the Daily Beast. "We want to be a multi-modality fitness company to serve the needs of all of our consumers. We're introducing studio workouts that our community can engage in and get better at."

Its new 50-second spot showcases weightlifting classes, movement classes, and outdoor training as well as cycling. Two supplemental spots will also be pushed out on Flywheel's digital channels. The campaign was created in-house, Wong says, noting that he has a 15-person marketing team. Flywheel now has 42 studios.

"We now offer a full suite of workouts, in studio and with Fly On Demand," says Sarah Robb O'Hagan, chief executive of Flywheel, alluding to the brand's Fly Anywhere home bike product.

The new push comes as Flywheel faces a lawsuit from fast-growing rival Peloton which was filed in the U.S. District Court in the East District of Texas on September 12. The latter alleges that the Anywhere bike, which Flywheel debuted last year, violates Peloton's patents with a "copycat" version of its own home-bike product. Wong has denied Peloton's claims. And Flywheel is no stranger to controversial competition: It was founded by Ruth Zukerman, who years earlier had started SoulCycle, another popular cycling brand.

"We want to be part of a category continually growing," says Wong. "On one side it's scary because competition is competition, but we are also excited by it."

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