Lululemon Athletica Inc. is doubling down on Mirror, bringing in an Amazon veteran to run the interactive home gym just a day after Nike Inc. accused its active rival of infringing on its high-tech patents.
Michael Aragon, who spent five years as chief content officer on Amazon’s successful Twitch livestreaming platform, was named chief executive officer of Mirror and Lululemon Digital Fitness, starting Jan. 17.
Aragon is charged with overseeing the development and expansion of Mirror, reporting to Lululemon’s CEO Calvin McDonald.
Lululemon said the appointment “accelerates Lululemon’s ability to fully realize its vision for Mirror to build and extend the Lululemon community globally.”
During his time leading Twitch, Aragon expanded the platform to 8 million content creators from 1 million and pushed the business beyond the streaming of video games.
McDonald said Aragon “is the ideal leader to chart the path forward for Mirror as we engage with the more than 10 million Lululemon guests who live the sweat life.”
Aragon added, “Mirror has a strong market position with a growing subscriber base, and I look forward to building upon this solid foundation and defining the next chapter of growth with the talented Mirror team.”
Lululemon bills Mirror as “a nearly invisible, interactive home gym featuring live and on-demand fitness classes and personal training in a variety of workout genres.”
The initiative is a major focus for Lululemon, which has a market capitalization of $47.7 billion and is looking to keep expanding its approach to active. The company spent $500 million to bring Mirror into the fold in 2020, but faced some headwinds in the business last year and projected annual revenues of $125 million to $130 million, down from the $150 million previously cited.
While Lululemon’s spin on sports is heavy on wellness and community, Nike, with a market capitalization of $254.9 billion, sees a competitor.
Nike this week filed suit in Manhattan federal court against Lululemon, claiming that the Beaverton, Ore.-based behemoth “spent decades creating game-changing digital sport technologies” and is now having its hard work ripped off.
In the suit, Nike pointed to a long list of its digital and high-tech products and innovations, including the Nike+ FuelBand and the Nike+ Kinect fitness video game on the Xbox 360.
“Nike’s digital ecosystem has more than 75 million people who actively engage in its digital ecosystem of products,” the suit said. “These digital and digital sport innovations contributed, and continue to contribute, to Nike’s success and competitive positioning. Partially because of this, Nike pursues intellectual property protection for its digital sport innovations, and Nike protects its hard-earned rights against infringement.”
The company said Lululemon is infringing on several of its patents “by making and selling the Mirror Home Gym and accompanying mobile applications.”
Nike said it notified Lululemon of its infringement, but that the company “summarily dismissed Nike’s claims.” It is seeking a jury trial and damages to “compensate Nike for Lululemon’s infringements.”
A spokesperson for Lululemon told WWD, “The patents in question are overly broad and invalid. We are confident in our position and look forward to defending it in court.”
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