- Peloton and Beyoncé announce a deal to deliver Homecoming-themed workouts and gift two-year memberships to students at 10 Historically Black Colleges and Universities across the US
- Peloton says it will build on relationships with each of these schools to pursue “long-term recruiting partnerships at both internship and undergraduate levels”
- News of the collaboration with Beyoncé triggered a $1.52 billion jump in Peloton’s market cap valuation to $30.78 billion
NEW YORK CITY, United States — Last week Peloton and Grammy award-winning entrepreneur Beyoncé announced a multi-year partnership to commemorate Homecoming season for the fitness platform’s 3.6 million members.
The collaboration involved creating a series of Beyoncé-branded Homecoming-themed workouts across cycling, running, strength workouts, yoga and meditation.
It also included rolling out social initiatives designed to broaden access to Peloton’s platform, expand employment opportunities and deliver on the company’s pledge to “democratise access to fitness, and bring health and wellness to all communities”.
“The launch of our collaboration with Beyoncé commemorates Homecoming season, an annual fall celebration for students at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) that honours tradition and legacy,” read a statement from Peloton.
“As most homecoming festivities shifted to virtual celebrations due to the global pandemic, we worked closely with Beyoncé to provide HBCU students with access to classes.”
As part of the collaboration, students at 10 HBCUs, including Howard University and Texas Southern University, are being gifted two-year Peloton Digital memberships, providing access to the app’s full library of fitness classes that can be used with or without equipment.
Additionally, Peloton says it will build on its relationships with each of these schools to pursue “long-term recruiting partnerships at both internship and undergraduate levels”.
Speaking to Welltodo about how this latest initiative with Beyoncé aligns with the billion-dollar company’s commitment to promote health and wellbeing for all, Peloton’s Dara Treseder underlined how wellness brands need to actively root out systemic racism by being proactively anti-racist.
“Peloton is committed to being an anti-racist organisation,” said Peloton’s SVP Head of Global Marketing and Communications.
“One component of this is providing cultural access to health and fitness across diverse communities. Our collaboration with Beyoncé and subsequent digital membership gifting to historically Black colleges and universities was a strong first step in crystallising the importance of this pledge for Peloton,” she added.
In June, Peloton’s co-founder and CEO John Foley announced the billion-dollar company would invest $100 million over the next four years to fight racial injustice and inequity.
Peloton’s latest initiative comes almost six months since George Floyd, a Black man in Minneapolis, was killed in police custody.
It sparked a global outcry of support for the Black Lives Matter movement, with many leading brands across the wellness industry pledging to better cater for and support Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities.
Peloton’s efforts to engage with HBCU students is one example of action backing up well-intended promises, but what else is the industry doing? And what more can be done to keep the momentum going across the sector?
Black Lives Matter
In September, connected fitness platform Fiit launched a raft of initiatives to tackle racism, including partnering with Hackney Council in London to offer traineeships for young people in their local community, as well as overhauling its recruitment process to reach more diverse candidates.
Last month, Canadian activewear brand Lululemon released its impact agenda, which outlined their commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity and action.
As well as investing $7 million to “disrupt inequity in wellbeing” by funding civil rights and social justice organisations, the company has recruited a Head of Global Diversity Equity and Inclusion and drawn up an anti-racism and anti-discrimination curriculum for all employees.
British cycling apparel brand Rapha has also pledged to invest $1 million each year to specifically support Black, Asian, minority ethnic and female-focused programmes and initiatives.
In 2021, Rapha says it will allocate at least 50% of its athlete sponsorship investment to support a more diverse spectrum of athletes, specifically BAME, LGBTQ+ and female teams and riders.
Earlier this year Peloton also cut the price of its most popular bike by 15%, supposedly to make it slightly more affordable to lower-income consumers.
Yet this latest initiative appears to be the brand’s first step towards delivering on promises to make the company more diverse and inclusive internally and externally.
“Beyoncé’s commitment to empowerment and artistic expression is an inspiration to the entire Peloton community,” said Peloton’s Head of Music Gwen Bethel Riley. “It is a privilege to be able to work closely with her and her extraordinary team to broaden access to our platform and collaborate on incredible offerings we think our members will love.”
Beyoncé’s star power
Far from a one-off publicity stunt, Peloton has underscored its commitment to raise standards in diversity, inclusivity and access across the wellness industry. And it’s already paying off.
On the day Peloton announced its hook up with the former member of Destiny’s Child, its share price closed 5.2% up on the previous day, triggering a $1.52 billion jump in its market cap valuation to $30.78 billion.
Peloton’s digital memberships will go to students at Bennett College, Clark Atlanta University, Grambling State University, Hampton University, Howard University, Morehouse College and Morehouse School of Medicine, Spelman College, Texas Southern University, and Wilberforce University, by the end of November.