Creativity Is the Cheat Code: How Peloton Empowers Its Teams To Shake Things Up
Photo Credit: Peloton x AfroTech

Creativity Is the Cheat Code: How Peloton Empowers Its Teams To Shake Things Up

Imagine riding your Peloton bike and Instructor Cody Rigsby gives you a piece of motivation based on the current song: “Girl! Enjoy the lunch!” While this moment had the internet in a comedic chokehold for a while, this is the type of creativity and authenticity Peloton encourages its team to embrace.

Creativity, ingenuity and authenticity are concepts Peloton values deeply for its Members. These concepts translate to the company’s investment in its team, which strives to think outside the box to move the brand forward. Christopher “Skip” Wilson leads Global Brand and Communications for Peloton Commercial, and he’s shaking things up as a leader in this space.

Skip is part of the team responsible for crafting brand, creative and communications strategy for Peloton Commercial. The team aids discovery and trial of the Peloton branded experiences in commercial settings, which could include schools, hotels, residential and work environments. The goal is to ensure Peloton can connect with Members anytime, anywhere, and Skip and his team are mastering that goal.

Recently, AfroTech had the opportunity to sit down with Skip to discuss his work and the impact it’s having on Peloton’s culture.

Every Stop Counts

Defying the status quo shouldn’t be a surprising feat for Skip because he’s a super creative and self-proclaimed master of the miscellaneous. His vast experience is one of his biggest assets. Before joining Precor, which was acquired by Peloton in 2021, Skip worked with big-name brands like Ralph Lauren, Sony Entertainment and MTV. Those roles helped him quickly land, get acclimated and begin making a positive impact at Peloton.

“Just because we wander doesn’t mean we’re lost. I think I stole that from Lord of the Rings, but I’ll claim it. Truthfully, having these broad unique experiences provided me with the expertise required to really navigate the Peloton organization and a competitive market in so many different ways,” Skip explains.

It was those deep-rooted experiences with different brands that helped Skip build his toolbox to empower his team and achieve the organization’s business goals. As a marketer, trying multiple disciplines gave him the ability to identify and close gaps, which will help propel brands forward. Peloton supports this “table-shaking” approach and encourages Skip to dig deep into his creative bag to push innovation and drive culture.

It’s More Than Colors and Fonts

People often have a misconception that marketing executives spend their days finalizing brand colors and typography designs. This couldn’t be further from the truth — at least at Peloton. More than a fitness company, Peloton is a tech leader and cultural maven that’s committed to building community through connection. This tech-inspired communal approach is seeking to change the way its Members live their lives. Peloton is focused on being equitable and inclusive in a way that shakes up how people see wellness and well-being by driving connection beyond a product.

Part of Skip’s role is to help translate the tight knit Peloton community experience that individual Members experience to the commercial space. He believes fitness and wellness travel with you beyond the traditional confines of the gym. It could be in your daily walk or mindful meditation or your ability to access a fitness center at work or during travel. In an effort to broaden the scope of wellness and increase access to it, Peloton is focusing on these diverse connection points that people have to fitness.

Your Favorite Creative’s Creative

Years ago, being creative was a role few people aspired to, but now leaders like Skip are letting the world know that the gag is on them. Skip gets turned all the way up about the creative process and journey. So much so that he has an incredible TedX Talk dedicated to the subject. In it, Skip explains that creativity is a tool and advantage for individuals and that everyone should invest in being creative.

“What I am able to do with creativity is connect the dots between a business and a campaign or a business objective and an actual human being. So, what I do and how I use creativity is to create and map out a narrative that becomes greater than the core objective of a campaign. That’s what gives me the feels,” Skip emphatically stated.

Skip recognizes that Peloton has its core objectives, but as a true creative, he sees the advantage of pushing the bounds to really tell the story of the business and touch the consumer emotionally. He learned this perspective from previous leaders and mentors who gave him the space and guidance to feel safe and show up as his authentic self. Nurturing that same psychological safety is core to Peloton’s culture, and Skip amplifies it with his team by removing hierarchy from brainstorm meetings and encouraging risks to foster greater levels of creativity to get to the best idea.

Doing It for the Culture

One of Peloton’s values is to “Empower Teams of Smart Creatives.” It’s clear that Skip checks that box, but for him, it goes deeper than face value. He recalls that it was a new experience for him to be on a call that had four Black executives or majority women executives or Brown people, as well as having access to ERGs that empower conversations internally. Peloton is an organization that goes beyond talking and focuses on doing and being aware of how it shows up as a leadership team. Authenticity to the people is what’s most exciting and empowering for Skip since the Precor acquisition.

“Having been the co-chair of a diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging group, it is painstaking work. You need leadership support. You need a DEI office that actually has the ability to affect change — in pay, in hiring. No organization is going to get it right 100% of the time, but Peloton is an organization that is really, really trying, and I believe that,” Skip explains.

Skip is committed to aligning with the work Peloton is doing and working to help it go further in terms of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. As an active member of Black@Peloton, he believes allyship is a key way to ensure the culture remains safe and inclusive. As a Black team member and member of the LGBTQIA+ community, intersectionality gives Skip a unique perspective and pushes the need for empathy and speaking out when change is necessary. He uses his place in this world to not only be a change agent but a representative of what’s possible.

“That’s the burden of Black Man, right? I do feel I have an important responsibility to reach out to our community because I must honor that I didn’t get here alone. I want the next crop to know that you can look like you want, be who you want, express who you are and still have that professional success,” Skip explains.

Skip has forged a path that’s devoted to the idea of change and innovation, and that perspective is leading the work he’s doing with Peloton Commercial. Skip compares the commitment to change to muscular adaptability: You have to keep evolving if you want to keep moving.

Peloton is not just about the bike and the treadmill. The organization provides points of engagement and connection to individuals. Behind the scenes is a solid community of people like Skip who ensure its Members and team are poised to make positive change. And, if you are wondering if the team members walk it like they talk it, catch Skip on the bike and join him for a ride.

Want to learn more about Peloton? Check out its blog here. 

This editorial is brought to you in partnership with Peloton.