F45 Training Enlists Mark Wahlberg Amid Turnaround

Business Wire

F45 Training is rebuilding its reputation after a tumultuous period of financial challenges and leadership changes.

Leading the way. The first step, actor Mark Wahlberg was named F45’s chief brand officer. Making another key addition, the HIIT studio franchise announced GNC vet Tom Dowd as its new CEO.

For his part, Wahlberg previously invested in the franchise, buying a $450M stake before its 2021 IPO. With the company’s stock falling nearly 90% since then, the fitness buff has a vested interest in a comeback.

Of note, Dowd and Wahlberg aren’t strangers — the team co-founded supplement brand Performance Inspired, where the celeb serves as the frontman.

Pumped. Under new leadership, F45 is expected to pursue a more sustainable strategy, a departure from ex-CEO Adam Gilchrist’s plan for rapid expansion.

Getting a boost, F45 has also secured significant financing, including a $90M debt facility, to fund franchisee development and support long-term growth.

Still, as we pointed out in Issue No. 204, the company has plenty of work ahead as it attempts to get its shares back in shape:

“While many questions remain unanswered, the disconnect between franchise demand, new studio openings, and sustainable business results ultimately hindered F45’s performance and prospects as a public company.”

Looking ahead: As publicly traded brick-and-mortar gyms like Xponential Fitness, Planet Fitness, and Life Time post consistent gains, F45 is an outlier in its backslide. While Wahlberg will bring plenty of external promotion, whether or not the brand can overhaul internal operations remains to be seen.

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