SoulCycle has decided to take public its brand of spandex-powered, celebrity-style boutique fitness workout. The brand, which runs fitness classes that involve stationary cycling in a candle-lit room, filed documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission this afternoon.
Here are five things learned about the brand from the filing:
The company has seen really good growth over the last three years.
Soulcycle earned $112 million in revenue in 2014, up from $75 million in 2013. It added 235,000 riders in 2014.
Each Soul studio — there are 38 in all — generated an average of $4 million in revenue in 2014. Revenue from studio fees represents 84 percent of all revenue. “Other revenue,” from retail and equipment sales is on the increase — it went from $12 million in 2013 to $18 million.
SoulCycle may turn into an exercise video company.
The filings indicate that the company sees a clear opportunity to expand its platform to create online video. “We believe there is also an oppotunity to expand SoulCycle class content to an at-home audience.” The brand also plans to explore line extensions in digital publishing and media going forward.
SoulCycle’s biggest brand problem may be an over-reliance on urban areas.
The following table shows where Soul studios are open as of March 31. There are 23 in the New York area alone — which might explain the $9.1 million it paid in rent and occupancy expenses in 2014, an increase of almost 50 percent from the year before.
IPO watchers are worried that this may be a risk factor, since as investors will demand scale that the company might not be able to deliver on. SoulCycle classes cost $34 each, and while the company’s filing says there is no target demographic it appeals to, only those of a certain level of affluence can afford it.
— Leslie Picker (@LesliePicker) July 30, 2015
Another risk factor is an overreliance on celebrities: Karlie Kloss and Victoria Beckham are two of their most high-profile clients. The brand said it does benefit “from favorable publicity related to celebrities riding in our studios. If in the future we lose such celebrity ridership, this could have a negative effect on our business.”
The brand recognizes that its instructors are the “soul” of the company.
In the filing, SoulCycle writes that the core identity of the brand is “fueled by the personalities of our instructors.” Soul instructors are active on Twitter, Instagram and other social media channels. They befriend regular customers and create a powerful army of loyal evangelists. As Digiday reported earlier, SoulCycle instructors are “mini-celebrities,” and customers often follow them from studio to studio. Avid New York cyclist Jenna Garofolo, for example, said she considers her instructor, Akin Akman, to have his “own brand separate from SoulCycle.”
“Our riders arrive early and stay after class,” said the filing. “Riders voraciously consume, comment on and share content from our blog and social media channels.” Compensation and related expenses cost the company $42.2 million last year.
The brand is more than the classes.
The prospectus paid special attention to the company as a “lifestyle brand,” pointing out that SoulCycle apparel has become the uniform of choice both inside and outside studios. “Our silver retail bags can be seen in airports, on street corners and in households across the country,” it said. The plan is to extend and monetize the brand with clothing lines beyond just what you can wear at the gym, the filing said.
Why companies like iHeartMedia, NBCU rely on homegrown IP to build metaverse engagements
The success of recent brand activations is evidence that media and entertainment brands are the companies best equipped to build metaverse spaces that can dodge online skepticism, thanks to their wealth of owned IP.
How sunglasses brand Quay retooled its advertising to be less reliant on performance marketing following iOS changes
Prior to the iOS changes, Quay was spending the majority of its ad dollars on performance marketing tactics and influencer marketing.
What beauty brand Fenty can gain from Rihanna’s Super Bowl halftime show
Following a roughly six-year hiatus from music, Rihanna is returning to headline the NFL Super Bowl halftime show. The residual effects for her Fenty brand will be paramount.
SponsoredHow FAST channels are redefining primetime opportunities for advertisers
Sponsored by Vevo With the competition from content providers continuing to build, the traditional primetime TV slots are no longer guaranteeing the mass audiences they once did. Television viewership is evolving, and the primetime window of 8–11 p.m. is less broadly reflective of younger audiences’ content consumption habits. In 2022, attracting TV viewers is a […]
As destination travel takes off, the ‘Big Easy’ is experimenting with AR/VR to draw visitors
As travel, and travel tourism, return to pre-pandemic levels, New Orleans is leveraging AR/VR technology marketing to stand out and capture more traveler attention.
This charging company wants to reach electric vehicle drivers with digital displays
A company that makes charging stations for electric vehicles, Volta, is aiming to attract current drivers to electric vehicles with its educational ad spots through its social media channels, website, and OOH network.