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Nordictrack, John Foley

The War To Bring Down Peloton

The war to bring down Peloton:

7/23/2021 7:45:00 AM

The war to bring down Peloton :

Though new billionaire Scott Watterson’s iFIT started selling home fitness equipment 33 years before John Foley ’s Peloton , it got quickly eclipsed—but now the OG home exercise brand is launching an all-fronts battle to regain lost ground that spans the mountains to the courtroom.

a new workout mode that automatically adjusts incline and resistance based on a target heart rate.Those closely-held patents are at the heart of iFIT’s fight against Peloton: iFIT first sued Peloton in 2016 for patent infringement over its signature bike, claiming Foley had copied the technology from iFIT. While that case was

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settledin 2017, the legal battles heated up again when Peloton sued iFIT in May last year, and there are now at least three ongoing lawsuits between the two companies.“I like to keep the keys to my front door and don't like to share those too often,” says Watterson.

Scott Watterson was raised in a Mormon family in the small college town of Logan, Utah. He didn’t stray too far from home until 1977, when he was age 22. That’s when he took a break from his studies at Utah State to travel to Taipei for a two-year mission to spread the Mormon faith. It was also the same year he and his classmate Gary Stevenson started a company called Weslo—with the help of a $2,000 loan from Watterson’s father—that sold imported furniture from Asia. After returning home from Taiwan and graduating with a business degree and a minor in Chinese in 1979, Watterson pivoted to selling wood-burning stoves and later exercise bikes and treadmills, sold under the ProForm brand and largely manufactured in Taiwan. headtopics.com

Watterson and Stevenson sold most of the company to Weider Health and Fitness for an undisclosed amount in 1989, with the two cofounders still minority partners and Watterson CEO. Five years later, private equity firm Bain Capital—then led by Mitt Romney—

acquireda majority stake in Weslo from Weider in a $370 million leveraged buyout. Under Bain’s stewardship, the firm quickly snapped up fitness brands such as NordicTrack in 1999 and Freemotion in 2000. In between another three-year mission to Taiwan in 2004 and the departure of his cofounder Stevenson in 2008 to serve as a member of the Mormon Church's First Quorum of the Seventy, Watterson and Bain built the company into the world’s largest maker of fitness equipment.

Read more: Forbes »

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The War To Bring Down PelotonThough new billionaire Scott Watterson’s iFIT started selling home fitness equipment 33 years before John Foley ’s Peloton , it got quickly eclipsed—but now the OG home exercise brand is launching an all-fronts battle to regain lost ground that spans the mountains to the courtroom.

The War To Bring Down PelotonThough new billionaire Scott Watterson’s iFIT started selling home fitness equipment 33 years before John Foley ’s Peloton , it got quickly eclipsed—but now the OG home exercise brand is launching an all-fronts battle to regain lost ground that spans the mountains to the courtroom. Peloton will be tough to take down cuz they have Mind-Share in the 'Connected Fitness' industry. Their brand, community & network effects will be tough to recreate. PLUS - they're a market leader in a growing industry w/ a product that requires no customer education - Bikes!

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