From Pop-ups to Property: Propel Water’s Co:Labs Fitness Festival Program Expands

From Pop-ups to Property: Propel Water’s Co:Labs Fitness Festival Program Expands

In an effort to differentiate itself from its Gatorade sister brand, and hyper-engage its fitness enthusiast target, Propel Water, a PepsiCo brand, created the Propel Co:Labs program. What began as pop-up fitness events in L.A. and New York City, that morphed into a multi-city pop-up program punctuated by a festival, is now a nationwide fitness festival program—the Propel Co:Labs Fitness Festival—that this year made stops in Los Angeles (May 5-6), Miami (June 2) and New York City (July 14), and wrapped in Chicago Aug. 11.

propel fitness teaserMore From Propel’s Co:Labs Platform:

This year, the festivals were ticketed events ($50 per ticket), which allowed Propel to get commitment from attendees and better control and design the experience, according to Laura Barnett, brand director of Propel at PepsiCo. Propel managed registration from a dedicated microsite, and a portion of proceeds raised from the festival tickets are benefitting actress and Propel partner Julianne Hough’s Love United foundation, focused on bringing bring clean, sustainable drinking water to people in developing nations.

“The program really has grown in tandem with the rise of the fitness movement,” Barnett says. “We observed that fitness was becoming more and more fragmented as it grew, so everyone was finding their ‘tribe,’ whether it’s boot camp, boxing, people were finding their niche in the community, and what Propel intended to do with this platform is unite the community and pull people together under one roof who have one common love of fitness and working out. And really bringing an experience that is special and can’t be found anywhere else.”

The festivals kicked off with Industry Day, which brought together leading fitness experts, instructors, trainers and fitness enthusiasts for thought leadership discussions and insights into the latest in business, marketing and nutrition. Speakers included Pia Arrobio (skincare expert), Gunnar Peterson (celebrity personal trainer), Brooks Laich (professional hockey player and husband of Hough) and Harley Pasternak (trainer and motivational speaker).



Attendees experienced a sampling of more than 40 workouts from around the country.


For the festival, proper, attendees (approximately 2,000 of them) experienced a sampling of more than 40 workouts from around the country—all set to live musical performances by stars like Ludacris, Yuna, Daya, and Icona Pop. There were mashup workouts led by top instructors and studios, like Nicole Winhoffer (of the “The NW Method”), Fhitting Room and The Wall. Classes ran the gamut, from boxing to barre to yoga to strength training.

Partner sampling and wellness services rounded-out the experience, like complimentary hair braiding by Stylebee, massages by Soothe and popsicles by Dream Pop. Food was available to purchase on-site from Sao Acai, Pico House and Key’s, and attendees had access to personal lockers, sweat towels and equipment for classes.

“A person who attends a Propel Co:Labs Fitness Festival may come in with some awareness of the brand, but they leave 85 percent more likely to purchase a Propel and their perception of Propel is improved as well, so we’re noticing the more people that we can connect with on this one-to-one-level is really helping drive the modern point of view that Propel has in today’s fitness landscape,” Barnett says. Agency: Invisible North, New York City.


Scenes From the Propel Co:Labs Fitness Festival:

Photo courtesy: Jessica Nash

Rachel Boucher
Posted by Rachel Boucher

Rachel joined Event Marketer in 2012 and today serves as the brand's head of content. Her travels covering the experiential marketing indust ry have ranged from CES in Las Vegas to Spring Break in Panama City Beach, Florida (hey, it's never too late)—and everywhere in between.
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