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Year End 2020 letter from Peloton CEO John Foley

Peloton CEO John Foley is closing out 2020 with an email letter to Peloton members. This is becoming something of a tradition, as 2019 ended with a letter to members as well. Unlike last year’s letter, where most of the focus was on the year ahead, the 2020 letter mostly looks back at the following year (you can find the letter in its entirety at the bottom of this article).

For the next year, all that is teased is some “Great new features.” Previous rumors have pointed to this being a class stacking feature. It’s also safe to assume that we’ll see the return of Sessions as a permanent feature as well. The letter also teases “exciting content, including new Artist Series classes”

In recapping the year, John Foley highlights the five new coaches who have been added (and don’t forget, more are likely coming soon, like Bradley Rose in the UK, and Mariana Fernandez teaching Yoga in the US). We cover some of the other new instructor teases Peloton has made recently here. He also highlights some of the new class types that were added to the platform like Bike Bootcamp, Pilates, and Barre. If you’re wondering when you might see some new Barre classes, Peloton has said to look for those in March 2021. Also highlighted are some of the new features added in the last year, like Leaderboard tags, as well as the Instagram story sharing feature.

A couple of partnerships Peloton launched are also specifically called out – including the Beyonce partnership, the Shonda Rhimes “Year of Yes”, and the ESPN All Star Ride and ESPN Last Dance special.

The letter also highlights some of Peloton’s social initiatives, including their stance on Black Lives Matter and the Peloton Pledge. Other highlights included $1mm worth of free memberships to members affected by the pandemic + 100 free bikes to healthcare workers through The Comeback, a $500,000 donation to the NAACP, and a $1 million donation to several charities during Pelothon.

Of note is that nowhere in the letter is the Peloton Bike+ mentioned – Peloton’s first new hardware in more than 2 years. The new lower cost Tread which is now on-sale in the UK, and coming soon in the US & Canada, is also not mentioned. He does apologize for the backlog of new orders that are taking place:

I also want to take a moment to acknowledge the challenges we faced as a company this year. The pandemic has accelerated a permanent shift to working out from home which led to incredibly high demand which has not subsided. I realize the impact this has potentially had on your experience as a Member with shipping delays and unexpected rescheduling of deliveries caused by unprecedented disruptions to everything from our supply chain to our last-mile logistics. It pains me that we have not always delivered the experience that we believe you deserve from us. We are working tirelessly to increase our manufacturing capabilities and expand our delivery and support teams, and we thank you for your patience.

We’ve covered the shipping delays extensively, and they show no signs of letting up soon. There is now an entire Facebook group dedicated to discussing issues with Peloton deliveries. Peloton is attacking the manufacturing capabilities on two fronts: one with their new Tonic factory, opening in the next few months, and also longer term with their planned aqusition of Precor, which gives them US manufacturing capability. The expansion of support teams will also come from an expansion of their Plano, Texas regional campus, where more than 1,600 jobs will be added.

You can find the entire text of the letter below:

Dear Members,

2020 has been a year like no other. Every day has brought new challenges. At times, it’s been incredibly trying. It’s been unpredictable. It’s been exhausting. I sincerely hope that Peloton has been able to play a meaningful role in your life and served as a source of positivity during this unusual year.

More than ever, we are grateful for you, our Members. You are the inspiration for everything we do, and our teams have been working tirelessly to continue to make your experience better and your Peloton Membership the best value. In 2020 we have:

Added five new instructors to our world-class roster: Adrian Williams and Chelsea Jackson Roberts here in the U.S., and Erik Jäger, Cliff Dwenger and Mayla Wedekind in Germany

Pivoted to produce classes live from instructors’ homes in the midst of the pandemic with incredible support from our community

Introduced a variety of new class types
• Fun new ways to work up a sweat with Dance Cardio and Fit Family
• The ability to build strength with barre and Pilates
• The combination of cardio and strength both in one class with Bike Bootcamp

Brought you additional features
• Tags to bring sub-communities to life which inspired our We All Have Our Reasons brand campaign which highlighted real Members and their Tags
• A non-binary gender identity option to empower Members to express themselves authentically
• Instagram story sharing to allow you to share your workout in an engaging and animated way
Continued to introduce new platforms to experience Peloton with Android TV, Roku and Apple TV (especially useful for getting the entire household working out together)

Found ways to give back
• Pledged $1M to offer two months of Membership free to Members facing financial hardship at the start of the pandemic
• Gifted 100 Bikes to hospitals and healthcare professionals through The Comeback program
• Donated $500,000 to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund
• Donated $1M during Pelothon to Food Bank for New York City (U.S.), The Trussell Trust (U.K.), The Tafel (Germany) and Daily Bread Food Bank (Canada)

Created new partnerships to keep you engaged
• Introduced Peloton x Beyoncé with Artist Series classes and gifted two-year Peloton Digital memberships to students at 10 Historically Black Colleges and Universities
• Partnered with professional athletes to compete during our ESPN All-Star rides and shared Alex Toussaint’s Last Dance Ride to celebrate the music from their docuseries
• Embarked on a Year of Yes for 2021 with prolific executive producer, author and creator Shonda Rhimes

Expanded our branded apparel offering to include outerwear, more inclusive sizes and more styles of high-quality athleisure wear

We also, importantly and unequivocally, stated that Black Lives Matter and committed ourselves to fighting for racial justice and equality with the Peloton Pledge. This is a social issue that I care about deeply. We all have a part to play, and I am committed to ensuring that Peloton is an anti-racist organization and that we do our part in helping eliminate racism in our broader communities. We increased the hourly wages of our workforce and have been investing in numerous initiatives focused on diversity, equity and belonging, including Learning and Development programs that I’ve been a part of along with our senior leadership team.

I also want to take a moment to acknowledge the challenges we faced as a company this year. The pandemic has accelerated a permanent shift to working out from home which led to incredibly high demand which has not subsided. I realize the impact this has potentially had on your experience as a Member with shipping delays and unexpected rescheduling of deliveries caused by unprecedented disruptions to everything from our supply chain to our last-mile logistics. It pains me that we have not always delivered the experience that we believe you deserve from us. We are working tirelessly to increase our manufacturing capabilities and expand our delivery and support teams, and we thank you for your patience.

Our goal is to constantly add value to your Membership, which we’ll continue to do in 2021 with exciting content, including new Artist Series classes and introducing some great new features which I think you’ll love.

A big thank you for your continued support of Peloton. Our Members and the community is our True North, and you continue to inspire all that we do. Together, we are one Peloton.

Happy holidays,

John Foley
CEO and Co-Founder

Chris L
Chris is the founder of Pelo Buddy. He purchased his Peloton in 2018, and has been riding and running ever since. You can find him on the leaderboard at #PeloBuddy.

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