In less than a year, the fitness industry has been transformed.

Almost every day, there was news that altered the landscape as we know it.

Looking back, here are 13 headlines that leave no doubt, 2020 changed fitness forever.

1/ Setting the scene

In early 2020, a few storylines stood out:

- ClassPass raised $285M at a $1B+ valuation
- Xponential Fitness & F45 Training planned IPOs
- After its IPO and ill-fated holiday ad, Peloton had a lot to prove

Then the pandemic changed everything...
2/ The Shutdown Begins

On Mar 13, President Trump declared a national emergency. By Mar 16, most major fitness chains had closed.

- ClassPass saw its global revenue fall by 96%
- MINDBODY reported that 95% of its 60K fitness partners were shut down.
3/ The Industry Pivots

Free online content was a stopgap measure. As time went on, brands needed a new business model to survive.

When layoffs hit, fitness pros transformed into digital creators, setting the stage for widespread disruption to come.
4/ Home Fitness Takes Hold

With gyms closed, interest in home fitness equipment increased by 500%. Free weights sold out as Peloton, Tonal, and many others saw record demand.

Apps like Strava, Nike Training Club, and MapMyRun saw downloads surge.
5/ Rogue Rises

As demand skyrocketed, Rogue Fitness scaled up.

Since March, the fitness equipment manufacturer doubled its workforce, increased pay for employees, operated around the clock, and began making PPE for frontline workers.
6/ Gyms Struggle

Prolonged shutdowns bankrupted 24 Hour Fitness, Gold’s Gym, Flywheel Sports, Town Sports, Cyc Fitness, YogaWorks, and Youfit.

By some estimates, gyms have lost $14B in revenue since March. By year’s end, 25% of US gyms could close for good.
7/ CrossFit Changed Hands

In a whirlwind of events, CrossFit saw its sponsors and community revolt — leading founder and CEO Greg Glassman to sell off his fitness empire.

With a new CEO, the $4B brand is eyeing a turnaround.
8/ lululemon x Mirror

A move with implications across retail, fitness, and technology, lululemon acquired Mirror for $500M in cash.

So far, so good — Mirror is on pace to do more than $150M in revenue this year.
9/ Amazon Enters Fitness?

In Sep, the all-new Amazon “Prime Bike” sold out, sinking Peloton’s stock.

Then, Amazon pulled the plug, scrubbing it from the site:

“This bike is not an Amazon product… Echelon does not have a formal partnership w/Amazon.”
10/ Recovery Booms

Preparing for and recovering from exercise has created a multi-billion-dollar category. Oura Ring added $28M in funding, Hyperice secured $47M, WHOOP raised $100M at a $1.2B valuation.
11/ SoulCycle Stumbles

Last year, boycotts overshadowed the launch of SoulCycle’s at-home bike. This year, shutdowns stunted its studio business as delays plagued its digital platform.

In 2021, the brand hopes to rebound with a new CEO.
12/ Investors Flock to Fitness

In '20, investors poured more than $1B into digital and connected fitness companies, including Zwift landing $450M, ICON Health & Fitness adding $200M, Tonal securing $110M, Tempo raising $60M, and Freeletics closing $25M.
13/ Apple Unveils Fitness+

Fitness+ has been painted as Apple’s “Peloton killer,” but that's not the point.

Armed w/deep pockets & walled gardens, Big Tech wants in on fitness. The battle for content, talent, distribution, & users has only just begun.
14/ Peloton Pulls Ahead

In Jan, Peloton was worth $8B. Nine months later, its stock is up some 300% with a market cap of $36B —a number on par with the value of the entire US fitness industry in 2019. Now, its biggest problem is keeping up with demand.
15/ Read the full report

In Issue No. 109 of @fittinsider, we broke down the year that changed fitness.

Read the report and subscribe to our weekly newsletter on the business of fitness & wellness.
You can follow @JoeVennare.
Tip: mention @twtextapp on a Twitter thread with the keyword “unroll” to get a link to it.

Latest Threads Unrolled:

By continuing to use the site, you are consenting to the use of cookies as explained in our Cookie Policy to improve your experience.