Mark Wahlberg steps in to save troubled fitness empire F45
Mark Wahlberg has stepped up to save troubled fitness empire F45 with a series of training sessions.
The Hollywood superstar will take part in special promotions such as ‘Mark Wahlberg week’ The Daily Telegraph reported on Sunday.
In addition to offering personal training, the 51-year-old has also been named the company’s Chief Brand Officer.
‘I really love helping inspire people with my commitment to fitness and hearing from the people I have inspired,’ the star told the paper.
‘From its start, F45 has differentiated itself by its innovative workout. What I know for sure is that innovation is going to continue to be at the core of what’s to come. I’m very excited about the future’ he added.
Mark Wahlberg (left) has stepped up to save troubled fitness empire F45 with a series of training sessions
It comes after the company offloaded mountains of branded gear on Facebook marketplace in February, amid a plunging share price, board shakeup and looming class actions.
F45 Training stocks slumped 60 per cent last year after the company sacked 45 percent of its corporate staff as part of a restructure, and announced it would only open 40 per cent of the new gyms it promised.
Shares had traded for about US$16 during its initial public offering, but have not traded above US$4 since then.
The struggling company announced three high-profile Australian tech gurus – Travel CEO Vanessa Douglas, Canstar chief technical officer Angelo Demasi and sports lecturer Lee Wallace – had resigned from the board.
The Hollywood superstar will take part in special promotions such as ‘Mark Wahlberg week’ The Daily Telegraph reported on Sunday
Australian co-founder Adam Gilchrist, not the former Australian cricketer, and Hollywood actor and investor Mark Wahlberg had retained their positions.
In the days following the board bloodbath, mountains of branded gym gear was put up for sale on Facebook marketplace.
The gear in question is being sold gyms in Brisbane, which were owned by Wider Fitness Group.
‘Huge clearance sale! Commercial grade gym gear for your studio or home workout space’, one of the 21 ads read.
The mounyain of equipment for sale includes dumbbells, kettlebells and medicine balls, which are all priced from $2 per kilo.
It comes after the company offloaded mountains of branded gear on Facebook marketplace in February, amid a plunging share price, board shakeup and looming class actions
Wahlberg (pictured with David and Candace Warner) was the second-largest shareholder in F45 but managed to sell 1.1million of his F45 shares last year
Chin-up bars, foam rollers, ski machines, spin bikes, battle ropes, and bands range from $10 to $1200 each.
Along with fitness equipment, the group is also selling foam mats, storage cubes, fans, racks, and fridges.
Discounts are offered to anyone who can buy in bulk.
F45 did not respond when contacted by Daily Mail Australia.
According to the company’s official statement in February, the board members resigned after the company closed an AU$130million subordinate debt facility with US-based private equity fund, with the three Australian board members being replaced by Americans.
Subordinate debt is a type of loan that ensures all corporate debts are repaid before stockholders in the event of company collapse.
F45-beanded spin bikes were among the items up for sale in the gym gear ads on Facebook Marketplace
Gilchrist had teamed up with Rob Deutsch to create F45 out of the Rollex gym in Sydney’s White City – which Mr Deutsch established in 2012 with a $100,000 redundancy cheque from his former life as an equities sales trader.
The pair rebranded Rollex as F45 and established the gyms’ franchise model which became a fitness business juggernaut on its upward trajectory.
Mr Gilchrist, who was CEO until he suddenly stepped down in July 2022, enjoyed a lavish lifestyle as F45 became an international success.
He hobnobbed with celebrities and netted $500million overnight when actor Mark Wahlberg invested $450million in F45.
Mountains of dumbbells for sale, from $3 per kilo, while kettlebells are being sold from $2 per kilo
The franchisee is selling medicine balls and a range of other gym gear, according to Facebook ads
The gym was floated on the New York stock exchange in July last year in a $US1.6 billion stock market debut which saw the share price soar to $17.28.
Mark Wahlberg recruited David Beckham in 2021 as a global ambassador for US$5million, with a similar amount ($7.2million) in a cash payment due to the soccer star in July last year, on the first anniversary of the share float.
Basketball legend Magic Johnson received a cash payment of US$4m, golfer Greg Norman was another sport celebrity recruit and supermodel Cindy Crawford received $US5m of stock.
Now, instead of expansion, F45 plans to slash staff and downgrade earnings and revenue forecasts for the financial year 2022-2023.
Mr Gilchrist stepped into the role of F45 director in March, 2020, as Rob Deutsch was leaving the company. He was in the position for little more than two years before he resigned from the company in August.
Pictured is F45 co-founder Rob Deutsch and Mark Wahlberg at one of the gym’s franchises
Mr Deutsch said he was devastated to hear what had happened since he left F45.
‘Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined this,’ Mr Deutsch wrote on Instagram.
‘When I exited, and sold out of F45, I left a healthy, phenomenal, beast of a business, all the way from the company culture to the heart beat of the business … the workouts.
‘F45 was special. I genuinely hope all of the 110 laid-off staff, find happiness and opportunities elsewhere.’