LeBron James just made a big bet on the future of the gym
We now know what home fitness equipment NBA star LeBron James will be using during the off-season while he is crushing a Mountain Dew Kickstart energy drink (under his new promotional deal with PepsiCo).
Tonal announced James as an investor and brand partner on Wednesday. James will also appear in Tonal's new ad campaign. The amount of James' investment has not been disclosed.
“Anyone who strives for greatness must prioritize efficiency. Whether you're an athlete, CEO, artist, or someone trying to be great, maximizing your time and getting the most out of every minute is important. To me, Tonal and the technology it uses to maximize efficiency while getting a full workout is a perfect fit, ”James said in a statement.
"Investing LeBron James - one of the greatest athletes in the world - in Tonal is a highlight for us," added Tonal Founder and CEO Aly Orady.
Tonal is a digitally connected power machine considered by many to be Peloton's main competitor. The company competes more directly with Mirror, the home device maker owned by Lululemon. Yahoo Finance sister publication TechCrunch reported that Tonal saw sales grow 800% in 2020 as gyms closed and people exercised at home.
LeBron James strengthens the Tonal team as an investor.
James joins several other prominent sports names that have invested in Tonal. These include Serena Williams (tennis), Klay Thompson (NBA), Tony Gonzalez (soccer), Stephen Curry (NBA) and Michelle Wie (golf).
The arrival of James - along with other recent moves - could only fuel speculation about a possible Tonal IPO.
In late March, Tonal announced a new $ 250 million financing round. The round valued Tonal at $ 1.6 billion. That capital increase quickly followed a $ 110 million infusion in September 2020 led by early peloton supporter L Catterton.
The company also said it signed a new collaboration with Nordstrom this month to open stores in 40 U.S. stores by the end of the year.
Brian Sozzi is an editor and presenter at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.
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