Peloton Instructors Look To Become Next Wave of Bankable Athletes

    • Tunde Oyeneyin recently became the first Peloton instructor signed by a major agency.
    • Instructors often have thousands of Peloton subscribers take part in live streamed classes.

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Peloton has successfully rode the pandemic to new heights, and is now launching two new products that will look to build out its lead in the connected fitness equipment space.

That popularity has also helped emerge a new category of potential stars on the platform that one major sports agency is looking to develop: the instructors.

Peloton instructor Tunde Oyeneyin, whose spinning classes have as many as 20,000 participants, has signed with Wasserman, the agency’s first deal with a subscription-based fitness instructor.

“She’s an athlete who has influence,” said Spencer Wadsworth, Wasserman’s senior vice president, global soccer. “She’s not just an influencer. I see the same deals as any athlete. It just depends on goals of different brands. The benefit of our company is that we have worked with so many different brands in different sports. Having her is a one-of-a-kind thing for our company.”

Oyeneyin worked as a makeup artist for 16 years and joined Peloton’s elite instructor group last year. Oyeneyin, who is Black, uses both her social media accounts and her Peloton classes to raise issues of racial inequality. She has more than 161,000 followers on Instagram.

She teamed up with Chelsea Jackson Roberts, a Peloton yoga and meditation instructor, for a “Speak Up” series of cycling mixed with meditation classes to magnify the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement.

“We protect ourselves from knowing the pain of others because it’s painful and it’s uncomfortable,” Oyeneyin said during a “Speak Up” class. “It floods our senses until it overwhelms us. But if we want to wake up, we have to be able to lean into it. … Ultimately, we are given the power, the freedom, to find our voice to speak up. Black Lives Matter, but they have always mattered.”

Oyeneyin is also the founder of SPEAK, a platform where she has brought in celebrities and sports stars — including Serena Williams, rapper/actor Common and sprinter Allyson Felix – for one-on-one interviews via Instagram Live.

“We have more than 30 amazing instructors in three countries, all of whom are best-in-class, experts in their field, and are extremely passionate about and engaged with our community.” a Peloton spokesperson said in a statement to Front Office Sports. “What’s special about this ensemble is that they all have different backgrounds, unique personalities and special skill sets. Our hope is that you find certain instructors you love and follow, but that all bring something special to your wellness journey.”  

The pandemic has been a boon to Peloton, which has seen its stock price more than triple year-to-date as of Sept. 9. It reported a 92% increase in subscription revenue year-over-year in its third quarter. 

The demand has resulted in wait times of several weeks for delivery of Peloton’s original bike and treadmill, but new options were just announced.

The company announced the addition of a new bike —the Peloton Bike+ for $2,495 — and a lower-priced treadmill  — Peloton Tread for $2,495. The original bike dropped to $1,895 and the original treadmill, which is now known as Peloton Tread+, goes for $4,295.

“Our goal is to be the go-to at-home fitness solution for as many people as possible, and with these new product launches, we’ll be able to offer access to Peloton’s best-in-class fitness content at various price points, depending on what consumers are looking for, especially in a world where people are increasingly working out at home,” John Foley, Peloton’s co-founder and CEO, said in a statement that announced the lineup additions on Sept. 8.

The company reported it had 886,100 subscribers to its connected bike and treadmill line, and another 176,600 paid digital subscribers. Monthly subscriptions range in price from $39 per month for its bike and treadmill memberships to $12.99 for its digital memberships on smartphones and streaming devices like Roku and Apple TV.

Bank of America analysts Justin Post and Joanna Zhao estimated a 21% increase in Peloton’s subscription base in the fourth quarter in a note to investors — the company will report its fourth quarter earnings Sept. 10.