Echelon Fitness announced the appointment of Alex Kaplan as president. Kaplan joins the connected fitness company after a career managing and scaling sports media and DTC businesses.
As a member of the Discovery, Inc. leadership team, Kaplan served as president of Discovery Golf and GolfTV, where he built and launched its global golf business and partnerships with the PGA Tour, Tiger Woods and the purchase of Golf Digest. Previously, Kaplan grew Discovery’s Eurosport digital business and held executive positions at the NBA where he led its global DTC strategy. He also spent ten years at DIRECTV overseeing the NFL Sunday Ticket, Paid Premiums and PPV businesses.
Kaplan’s appointment follows a series of investments, including a $65 million round led by Goldman Sachs and other investments from North Castle Partners and United Talent Agency.
“We are investing in a leadership team with a proven track record of growing highly-scaled businesses in related industries,” said Jon Canarick, North Castle Partners. “Alex is the perfect leader to spearhead the next phase of our business strategy and guide the executive team through plans for continued growth.”
Kaplan is expected to help accelerate Echelon’s growth by building out the company’s membership, content and digital offerings. The company said its brand projects revenues would increase 25 percent in 2021 over 2020 and will see a 10x growth over the past 24 months.
“I couldn’t be more excited to work with our Founder and CEO Lou Lentine and the Board to help continue Echelon’s incredible growth trajectory,” said Kaplan. “Connected Fitness is a dynamic, massive market, and I believe Echelon is uniquely positioned to take more market share.”
Echelon’s distribution footprint includes more than 25 worldwide retail partners with exclusive products designed for Amazon, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Costco, and Sam’s Club. The company has studios in Miami, Chattanooga, France, Germany, Columbia, the UK, and Japan in 2022. It is also making investments in building out live and on-demand content.
“As our company continues to innovate, we have fine-tuned our leadership team to propel and solidify Echelon’s future,” said Lou Lentine, CEO of Echelon Fitness. “Alex Kaplan has the exact experience, capability and mindset for the job ahead. We have already shown our keen ability in meeting consumer demand. Now, we’re focused on what’s next.”