Corporate activism is important. Businesses can be very influential. When a brand makes a bold statement of support for social justice and relevant issues, consumers listen. The murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and the most recent incident involving Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, has sparked uproar and protests in America and throughout the world. It is not enough to simply acknowledge oppression; we need to be better as a whole.
People from different backgrounds are showing up and supporting Black Lives Matter and the fight for racial justice. Many individuals wonder how brands will continue to show up and drive social justice using their platforms and influence.
The fitness industry has long been called out for a lack of inclusivity and diversity. It’s not a thing of the past; it’s currently happening in our world. This type of thinking and under-representation in the fitness industry needs to be addressed. Whether it’s body type, gender, or ethnicity, it’s time for fitness to be accessible and inclusive.
Fitness brands are now proactively tackling the issue and supporting social justice. Let’s take a look at how six brands commit to racial justice and drive inclusivity and accessibility in the fitness industry.
With 20,000 clubs worldwide offering Les Mills training programs, Les Mills is a global fitness brand. In light of recent issues, Les Mills is taking action in the form of seven steps. The root of their change lies in education. They intend to use their platform to not only educate themselves but the wider community.
One of the main takeaways from Les Mills is its commitment to diversify its team. They are committing to hiring people of color, black people, and women until they represent 50% of their board members. They are taking active steps to drive change and will continue to review their core values and practices.
Whoop is a system that automatically tracks your physiological state. This helps to let you know when you are ready to perform at your best each day. It’s more focused on performance management than your typical activity tracker.
The company’s CEO Will Ahmed announced a $20,000 donation to the Equal Justice Initiative. This shows how brands are ready to show up for the cause and promote social justice. On top of the donation, the company is trying to improve diversity by adding $10,000 to its marketing budget. These sponsored recruitment ads will target people of color. The company will also train and educate all its employees, looking to learn more about anti-racism and civic engagement.
Brands tend to tread tentatively on controversial issues, but Nike’s new powerful ad campaign lets consumers know exactly where they stand. Nike’s campaign “For once, Don’t Do It” arrived four days after the death of George Floyd in police custody. With a black background and white text, the anti-racism campaign was simple but effective.
In addition to this, Nike plans to donate $4 million to social justice causes to support Black Lives Matter, over the next four years.
Peloton announced it would be donating $500,000 to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. The social media post encourages others in the Peloton community to give. The fitness brand will not be tiptoeing around the issue and have openly announced their support for Black Lives Matter.
To keep the action going, Peloton hosted two special classes to honor the Black Lives Matter movement: Speak Up ride with Tunde Oyeneyin and Speak Out meditation with Chelsea Jackson Roberts. Peloton continues to be very vocal about where they stand on the issue and drive the fitness industry forward.
Lululemon has pledged to donate $100,000 to the Minnesota Freedom Fund. As the Minnesota Freedom Fund has seen a ton of financial support recently, Lulelemon gave $250,000 to local Minneapolis organizations that stand against inequality and injustice. The fitness clothing brand uses its platform to address social change and is speaking up.
The UK leg of Barry’s Bootcamp donated 100% of its profits for a week to the British charity: Give Racism the Red Card. The international fitness studio has been donating 100% of its profits from around the world. Barry’s USA donated a weekend’s worth of profits in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. They continue to share educational resources on their platforms and plan to support ongoing issues.
These are just six brands in the fitness industry. No doubt, many businesses are making moves to show their support and committing to social justice. As the wellness and fitness industry gets louder on these issues, fitness will become more accessible and inclusive.