Fitt Insider Debrief: Adidas Offloads Reebok, Beckham Joins F45, Rowing Gets Gamified

Welcome to the Fitt Insider Weekly Debrief. Every Saturday, we’ll compile the top stories impacting the business of fitness and wellness from the past week.

Here’s what you need to know…

  • Reebok trades hands
  • David Beckham to rep F45 Training
  • Planet Fitness, Nautilus, Beachbody report earnings
  • Connected rowing company Aviron and others raise funding

Adidas Offloads Reebok

Adidas is selling Reebok to Authentic Brands Group for up to $2.5B (€2.1B). The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022.

The plan. Adidas acquired Reebok for $3.8B in 2006. Having peaked in the 1980s, the brand hoped it could recapture the hearts and wallets of consumers. If the turnaround was successful, Reebok would help Adidas compete with Nike.

In reality. As the New York Times reported, “[Reebok] got lost inside the broader Adidas empire and struggled to connect with consumers. Sales of Reebok fell 19 percent in 2020 to 1.41 billion euros, from 1.75 billion euros the year before.”

One brand’s trash… Authentic Brands CEO Jamie Salter said Reebok is “one of the best athletic, footwear, apparel brands in the world,” adding:

“We’ve had our sights set on Reebok for many years… Reebok not only holds a special place in the minds and hearts of consumers around the world, but the brand also has expansive global distribution.”

For Authentic Brands, this deal comes as the company prepares for an IPO, bolstering a portfolio that includes Forever 21, Brooks Brothers, Aéropostale, Izod, and Van Heusen, among others.

F45’s Star Power

International soccer legend David Beckham is F45 Training’s newest ambassador, joining friend and fellow studio spokesperson Mark Wahlberg, who introduced Beckham to the brand.

Cashing in. The Australian-born fitness concept recently went public, netting Wahlberg, who previously invested in the company and owned 4.6% pre-IPO stake, north of $200M.

Fame and fitness. From athletes and celebrities to social media influencers, fitness brands are using high-profile partnerships, including equity investments, to stand out from the competition.

With Wahlberg and Beckham leading the way, F45 hopes to open more than 20K studios worldwide.

Earnings Round-up

Nautilus. At-home fitness equipment manufacturer Nautilus reported fiscal ’22 first quarter results, with net sales reaching $184.6M, up 61.7% compared to the same period last year.

Of note, the company notched a 25.7% increase in direct-to-consumer sales, as well as a ​​559.4% increase in sales among strength training products. And Nautilus continues to invest in its digital platform JRNY, partnering with FitOn to license virtual fitness content.

Planet Fitness. High-volume, low-price gym chain Planet Fitness announced Q2 ’21 earnings, with revenue increasing from the prior year period by 241.1% to $137.3M. An improvement from 2020, when gyms were closed due to the pandemic, the numbers were well below Q2 earnings of $181.7M in 2019 and $140.6M in 2018.

On the bright side, the company added 700K members in the second quarter. But the ongoing threat of COVID-related restrictions could stifle projections of $530M+ in full-year revenue.

Beachbody. After a SPAC merger with MYXfitness and Forest Road Acquisition Corp., Beachbody shared its first earnings report since its public market debut — with second quarter revenue reaching $223.M, a 2% increase compared to 2020 and a 21% increase compared to 2019.

Looking closer, the company reached 2.7M digital subscribers, accounting for $94.3M in revenue, a 20% increase compared to 2020. Going forward, Beachbody is forecasting full-year revenues up to $960M.

Funding Headlines

Aviron. Connected rowing startup Aviron raised $4.5M in a funding round that included Samsung Next, Formic Ventures, GFC, and Y Combinator.

Combining multiple trends reshaping the fitness landscape, Aviron is focused on gamified content, not instructor-led classes. Additionally, the upstart is among a growing number of companies, including Hydrow, Ergatta, and CITYROW, competing in the connected rowing wars.

ICYMI. Other standing investment news included Elektra Health landing $3.75M for its menopausal care platform, precision nutrition company Rootine nabbing $3M, and Humanity adding $2.5M for its anti-aging app.

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