Adidas x Peloton

Let’s be real - Adidas and Peloton could’ve sleep-walked through this collab and still found success. After all, the fabled internet connected stationary bike-cum-media brand and an activewear brand make a natural pair: they share a similar style and attitude , and of course their customer bases have a an inevitable overlap

So the temptation to be lazy, dress up some department store mannequins, stick ‘em on bikes, and call it a day could have been overwhelming. But that would’ve been too easy, and neither of these companies is about doing things the easy way (rest days notwithstanding). 

Both encourage their target audience to challenge limits and see something greater in themselves. Their July 2022 collection – the third in an ongoing collab dating back to March 2021 – is even named ‘Capable of Greatness,’ a label  Peloton says is ‘inspired by the belief that there is greatness inside all of us.’

Capable of greatness is then a rallying call…and also a challenge to the brands themselves to develop a collab that lives up to this promise. Adidas and Peloton developed a collaboration strategy focused on reinforce their sporting values and credentials.   Identifying with their shared audience to drive brand awareness and capture potential new buyers sitting on the fence. 

It’s an effective playbook because each brand brings unique strengths to this collab.Peloton offers a built-in audience and the ability to bring the collaboration right into people’s living rooms each day. They also made their habitual smart use of their cycling instructors’ star power and devoted followings by involving some of Peloton’s top trainers - including Robin Arzon, Ally Love, and Cody Rigsby - in the design process for the original collection and allowing the fitness stars to talk about what inspired them. Ally Love put it nicely: “Never aim to fit in. Always be willing to stand out. … That is us encouraging everyone to uniquely be themselves and celebrate difference.”

Featuring the trainers as designers and highlighting their inspiration puts forward a powerful message of inclusivity and helps subtly reinforce the brands’ values alignment. It allows them to approach their shared audience through the essence of the collab itself rather than beating people over the head with targeted messaging. The trainers also make natural brand ambassadors. Peloton’s Leanne Hainsby recently helped launch the ‘Capable of Greatness’ collection:

Meanwhile, one of Adidas’ key strengths in this collab is their sprawling customer base. They’re strongly positioned as an active lifestyle brand, outfitting athletes of all levels, from mall power-walkers to Olympians. As a result, Adidas helps Peloton break away from being perceived as a high-intensity, elite-level fitness experience by including styles for rigorous workouts as well as relaxed fits and inclusive sizing within the collections. The gear is even modeled by Peloton members with a variety of body types. Adidas and Peloton make it clear: don’t let your collaboration skip leg day. Dig deep and live your brand values through your collab to yield big gains on a variety of levels.

Andy Heddle
Andy, heads up our business development work here at Colaboratory. Originally from England, he married a Scot and now lives in Minneapolis with his wife and two American-born daughters.