Daily Insights

ESPN Comes Along for the Ride

By: Mackenzie Baker | May 29, 2020

ESPN has enlisted 16 pro athletes for a competitive, virtual race. The sports network is partnering with Peloton to create the “Peloton All-Stars Ride”, airing on May 30. The competition consists of two teams—a male team and a female team, each with eight pro athletes—and includes two 20-minute classes. ESPN invited athletes from all different sports, but each pro involved is a current Peloton member. At the end of the classes, if each team has reached an output of 3,000, Peloton will donate one million meals to the Food Bank for New York City

Peloton members can join the all-star race and ride alongside the pro-athletes. The classes will be available on-demand through the Peloton bike and app. For the men’s team, the lineup includes two-time Masters Champion Bubba Watson, Boston Celtics player Gordon Hayward, and six-time Olympic medalist swimmer Matt Grevers. The women’s team consists of Olympic gymnast Kyla Ross, professional tennis player Victoria Azarenka, and the most decorated female track and field Olympian Allyson Felix. Between the sixteen competitors for the Peloton All-Stars Ride, there are 25 Olympic medals, two-time Masters winners, two-time Super Bowl Champions, and a Grand Slam Winner. Though they are all gifted athletes, none of them are cycling professionals, making the competition a little more even.

Peloton is known for its cult following, which has grown since the Coronavirus pandemic began. As gyms closed and social distancing took effect, more consumers purchased a Peloton bike to effectively exercise from home. In fact, the brand has seen a 66% increase in bike sales and a 64% boost in app usage. Creating a members-only experience, like watching or riding along to the All-Star Ride, further incentivizes community loyalty for Peloton members, according to a Gartner report. This partnership could allow ESPN to make the most of Peloton’s growing popularity, potentially opening up the network to a new method of reaching consumers. With the cancellation of many live events, sports networks have had to develop new strategies for reaching fans from home. While Peloton can strengthen its community of riders, the All-Star Ride could also help ESPN tap into a new audience eager for sports entertainment. 

Peloton is putting a spin on traditional cycling classes by including 16 of America’s best athletes. Partnering with ESPN allows Peloton to present innovative content to its members, ESPN viewers, and sports enthusiasts all at once, while opening up the opportunity for more star-studded rides in the future.