After Intellectual Property Lawsuit, Lululemon and Peloton Form Co-Branding Partnership
Lululemon, arguably the biggest tastemaker in the booming athleisure market, announced that it has signed onto a five-year partnership with Peloton, another disruptor of the fitness industry, to become the primary athletic partner for the brand.
Through the partnership, customers across the world will be able to get branded athletic apparel made by Lululemon and featuring both brands' logos.
Lulu and Peloton are swolemates
Canadian athleisure large Lululemon (LULU/NASDAQ) is teaming up with the previously mighty health machine ma...
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This is an interesting development for the two companies, as just last year they were locked in a lawsuit over apparel intellectual properties. The case goes back to 2021, when Peloton started selling its own athletic apparel. A few months later, Lululemon sent Peloton a cease-and-desist letter that claimed certain products copied Lululemon apparel.
Lululemon went ahead with the lawsuit, and Peloton responded by asking for a court declaration that it did not infringe on Lululemon's designs on the basis that its merchandise doesn't mimic Lululemon's. Peloton lost.
Going back even further, before the lawsuit, Peloton and Lululemon had produced co-branded merchandise before. So this sort of goes full circle for the two brands after what could've been a relationship-ending court battle.
"“We’re excited to collaborate with Peloton to connect with our highly engaged communities across North America and in markets around the world,” said Celeste Burgoyne, president, Americas and Global Guest Innovation for Lululemon, in a press release. “As a leader in technical athletic apparel, this partnership will create a powerful product offering for Peloton members and fans. Our two companies share a vision to advance wellbeing through movement, and this partnership ensures our Lululemon Studio members will have access to the most expansive and dynamic offering of fitness content possible.”
The co-branded merchandise hit Peloton retail stores today, as well as on Peloton's online store at apparel.onepeloton.com. The products made their full debuts during a promotional tour event throughout the U.S. and Europe. They're typical of other Lululemon apparel, using minimal logo placement and seasonal colors to create an understated and sleek design. The line includes long sleeved shirts, yoga pants, shorts, and more, creating a collection that covers any athletic activity the end-user might be doing.
Part of the upcoming Peloton x lululemon apparel collection is available for those attending Peloton on Tour Chicago to see & buy #Peloton #OnePeloton #PelotonBike #PelotonTread https://t.co/xam0WNCAYG
— Pelo Buddy - Unofficial Peloton Resources & News (@PeloBuddy) October 6, 2023
“Our brands create transformational experiences, products, and content that build meaningful connections and unlock greater possibilities for our members, anytime, anywhere,” said Dion Camp Sanders, chief emerging business officer at Peloton, in a press release. “By bringing together the best in fitness content with the best in athletic apparel, we’ll give our communities one-of-a-kind experiences and special content that will inspire them to achieve their goals.”
After the legal battle, the two forming a strategic partnership now is a bit of an example of "If you can't beat them, join them."
Lululemon is also going into the college sports space through a new partnership with the University of Tennessee that includes a limited line of Vols-branded products.
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The team store stocked basics like Lululemon's cross body bag (which has become a huge hit in recent years), hoodies, and more.
According to Knox News, the gear has been in such high demand that people can reserve spots to shop the collection and join a waiting list.
What this proves is that, for one thing, people still want quality athleisure apparel, especially if it reps something else they're interested in. The other is that Lululemon is still one of the biggest players in the athleisure world, and suppliers and distributors can take their cues from what they're doing. Just don't rip them off, or you might end up in court.