LeBron James just made a big bet on the future of the gym

·Anchor, Editor-at-Large
·2 min read

We now know what at-home fitness equipment NBA great LeBron James will be using in the off-season while he crushes a Mountain Dew Kickstart energy drink (per his new endorsement deal with PepsiCo). 

Tonal announced on Wednesday James as an investor and brand partner. James will appear in Tonal's new advertising campaign, too. The size of James' investment wasn't disclosed.

“Every person striving for greatness must prioritize efficiency. Whether you are an athlete, CEO, artist or anyone who is trying to be great, it’s important to maximize your time and get the most out of every minute. So for me, Tonal and the technology it uses to maximize efficiency while still doing a complete workout is a perfect fit,” said James in a statement.

“To have LeBron James — one of the greatest athletes in the world — invest in Tonal is a pinnacle moment for us,” added Tonal founder and CEO Aly Orady.

Tonal is a digitally connected strength machine that is seen by many as Peloton’s main rival. The company more directly competes with Mirror, the at-home equipment maker owned by Lululemon. Yahoo Finance sister publication TechCrunch reported Tonal saw sales surge 800% in 2020 as gyms closed and people shifted to working out at home.

LeBron James joins the Tonal team as an investor.
LeBron James joins the Tonal team as an investor.

James joins several other prominent sports names invested in Tonal. They include Serena Williams (tennis), Klay Thompson (NBA), Tony Gonzalez (football), Stephen Curry (NBA) and Michelle Wie (golf).

The arrival of James — along with other recent moves — may only fuel speculation on a potential Tonal IPO. 

In late March, Tonal announced a new $250 million funding round. The round valued Tonal at $1.6 billion. That capital raise followed quickly on the heels of a $110 million infusion in Sept. 2020, led by early Peloton backer L Catterton

The company also said that this month it secured a new tie-up with Nordstrom to put shops in 40 U.S. stores by year-end.

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

Follow Yahoo Finance on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Flipboard, LinkedIn, YouTube, and reddit

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting