Home fitness pioneer Peloton takes Australians for a high-tech spin

Peloton believes its digital interactive experience is the perfect fit for sports-mad Australians. With its launch in Australia, the company aims to be the go-to anytime, anywhere fitness solution.

13 August 2021

Peloton Australia General Manager, Karen Lawson, explains why the fitness technology pioneer sees Australia as a major opportunity:
Australians have embraced the trend for home and boutique fitness.
Australians are early adopters of new technology.
Australia is a regional gateway to the Asia-Pacific.

Interactive exercise platform inspired by studio classes

Founded in New York City in 2012, Peloton is a global interactive fitness platform. It brings the energy and benefits of studio-style workouts to the convenience and comfort of home. For its Australian debut, Peloton introduced the original Peloton Bike, the Peloton Bike+ and the Peloton app.

Australians have access to thousands of live and on-demand classes across 10+ disciplines using the Peloton app. These include indoor cycling, running (outdoor and indoor), cardio, strength and yoga. All Peloton content is available anytime, anywhere and does not require purchasing Peloton hardware.

‘What we do is bring the same energy, excitement and comradery into your home that you would get in a boutique fitness class,’ says Lawson. 

‘You get the best instructors, amazing music, and work out with people alongside you. You can choose your hashtags and through them, find your crew all over the world. At any given time, thousands of people are using Peloton.’

First-rate workouts at your fingertips

Peloton has 5.4 million users across the US, Canada, the UK, Germany and now Australia. Membership had been growing, but interest soared when COVID-19 forced people to exercise in their homes. Lawson believes Australia is the model market for this new way of working out.

‘Australians are very much defined by their love of fitness,’ she says. ‘The uptake of boutique fitness here has been faster and more aggressive than anywhere else in the world.

‘Australians are early adopters of technology. Fitness apps have long played a major role in their daily lives.’

The Peloton app allows users to work out whenever and wherever they choose. ‘You can do yoga on the beach. You can do high-intensity interval training in the park, your garden, or a hotel room. It brings the experience of a class to you.’ 

Investing in the long-term, cementing a presence

Peloton plans to invest heavily in Australia to build its presence. It will open several retail showrooms and hire teams for sales, logistics and delivery. The company will have 2 showrooms in Sydney, and a presence in Melbourne.

‘Our investment in Australia is significant,’ she says. ‘It’s not only infrastructure and retail, but also services. We’re hiring PR, advertising and media-buying agencies. 

‘We’ve partnered with an Australian business to set up our logistics processes. We’ll have our own vans and teams delivering and setting up the bike. We’ll also train people on how to use it. It’s a full end-to-end, white glove service.’

Connecting fitness fans around the globe

Lawson is confident Peloton will catch on, insisting there’s no competitor doing anything similar in Australia.

‘We’re connecting working groups, friends and families around the world,’ she says. ‘We bring this incredible content, community and convenience. That’s been important during COVID-19.

‘You can link up with a colleague anywhere. One could be running in New York’s Central Park, the other in Sydney’s Centennial Park.’

She stresses it’s not just about physical fitness. There are also meditation, and sleep meditation classes for mental well-being.

Taking businesses along for the ride 

Peloton will roll out a corporate wellness program in Australia later in the year. The program will offer businesses subsidised subscriptions to membership programs and exclusive benefits on connected fitness products. 

Peloton is also eyeing collaborations with Australian hotels, luxury suites and premium holiday house-letting agencies.  

‘We created a hotel finder in the US because of member demand,’ says Lawson. ‘You choose your hotel based on which one has a Peloton. People are changing their travel behaviours because they want to work out with a Peloton.’

As of May 2021, Peloton members averaged 26 workouts a month. ‘This isn’t a bike that’s going to become a clotheshorse,’ she says.

Working with Austrade to open doors

Lawson admits that it’s been ‘extraordinarily challenging’ to launch Peloton in Australia during COVID-19. 

‘Austrade was immensely helpful,’ she says. ‘They advised us on travel restrictions and came up with solutions. They put us in touch with government and industry so we could explain our launch plans. This included the jobs we were creating and our contribution to economic growth. 

‘Austrade was a real game changer for us. We moved so fast with their help.’

The Global Business and Talent Attraction Taskforce and Austrade advised on relocating critical Peloton staff to Australia. 

Expanding into the Asia-Pacific region

‘Success is about member happiness,’ says Lawson. ‘We want to reach all of Australia, and we have that capability with the app.’

Regional expansion is also on Peloton’s radar. 

‘Australia is a beachhead into the Asia-Pacific region,’ says Lawson. ‘When conditions are right, we will expand. We’re passionate about growth and bringing great experiences to people. 

We’ll look at Australia’s Free Trade Agreements and determine the conditions under which we could operate most successfully.’

About Austrade

The Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) is the Australian Government’s international trade promotion and investment attraction agency.

We deliver quality trade and investment services to businesses to grow Australia’s prosperity. We do this by generating and providing market information and insights, promoting Australian capability, and facilitating connections through our extensive global network.

To discover how we can help you and your business, visit austrade.gov.au or contact us on 13 28 78 (within Australia).