As the lines between fame and fitness blur, athletes are transforming the fitness tech industry with prominent investments in revolutionary sports and fitness technologies.

The latest and greatest news in this space has been Cristiano Ronaldo and Whoop, the innovative wearable fitness tracker company. Whoop recently welcomed Cristiano Ronaldo as its newest global ambassador and investor as the human performance company specializing in fitness wearables eyes new markets including Asia.

Image: Whoop Podcast

In this article, AST explores the dynamic intersection between fame, sports, and technology, where renowned individuals leverage their influence and resources to back innovative startups. 


The Rise of Fitness Tech and Motivations behind Athlete Investments

The global fitness tech market size was valued at USD 53.94 billion in 2023 & is projected to grow from USD 62.03 billion in 2024 to USD 290.85 billion by 2032 exhibiting a CAGR of 21.3% (Fortune Business Insights). Innovations range from wearable devices and fitness apps to virtual training platforms and AI-driven analytics. Celebrities and athletes are drawn to this sector for several reasons.

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of home fitness solutions. With gyms closed and people confined to their homes, there was a massive surge in demand for home workout equipment and virtual fitness classes. This shift created a fertile ground for companies offering innovative home fitness solutions, such as Peloton and Tonal, attracting significant celebrity investment.

Financially, the high growth potential of tech startups offers lucrative opportunities for diversifying investment portfolios. Personal passion also plays a significant role; many athletes and celebrities have a genuine interest in health and fitness, making these investments a natural extension of their personal lives. Associating with cutting-edge technology enhances their personal brands and extends their influence, aligning them with innovation and forward-thinking.

Additionally, there is a social impact aspect to these investments. By investing in health and fitness tech, celebrities promote wellness among their massive and engaged fan bases, fostering a culture of health consciousness. This dual benefit of financial gain and social good makes the fitness tech sector particularly appealing to high-profile figures.


Notable Celebrity and Athlete Investments 

Diving headfirst into the sports and fitness tech arena, celebrities and athletes are wielding their star power and fresh perspectives to revolutionise the industry.

Serena Williams has invested in Tonal, joining other high-profile investors like Amazon’s Alexa Fund and NBA star Stephen Curry. Her investment in Tonal aligns with her commitment to fitness and innovation, reflecting her belief in the importance of health and wellness. Serena Williams via Serena Ventures along with many other existing investors helped bring the total capital raised to USD 90 million (Tonal).

Jayson Tatum, the Boston Celtics star forward, has made a strategic investment in Wellnify, a health and wellness platform aimed at improving users’ overall well-being. Wellnify focuses on providing personalized wellness plans and resources, leveraging technology to offer insights into nutrition, fitness, mental health, and more. Alongside Jayson, WNBA All-Rookie First Team member and NCAA Champion Haley Jones, as well as NHL All-Star Mitch Marner, have joined Wellnify as brand ambassadors (Wellnify).

Link My Ride, the social cycling app, has announced it has received investment from a range of high profile names from across the sport, including ace cyclist Tom Pidcock and F1’s Valtteri Bottas. Outside of motorsport, following in the footsteps of many F1 drivers taking up the sport for both fitness and social reasons, Bottas has made a name for himself in cycling over the past few years (BikeBiz).

Asian athletes are not far behind at all. Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the former captain of the Indian cricket team, has made significant investments in the fitness industry, underscoring his commitment to health and wellness. One of his notable ventures is his partnership with “Tagda Raho.” Launched in 2021, Tagda Raho, which translates to “Stay Strong,” aims to promote a culture of strength, fitness, and resilience, reflecting Dhoni’s personal commitment to health and wellness. Another cricketer Shikhar Dhawan, launched a USD 75 million Sportstech fund last year.

Keisuke Honda, the renowned Japanese footballer, has ventured into the world of investment with his fund, X&KSK Angel Fund launched with an initial capital of around USD 100 million (Asia Tech Daily). X&KSK Angel Fund focuses on supporting and nurturing startups, primarily in the tech and innovation sectors. Honda’s foray into the investment space highlights his entrepreneurial spirit and his commitment to fostering technological advancements and business innovation.


(AST Graphic: Notable Athlete Investments)

Impact of Celebrity and Athlete Investments

The involvement of not only athletes, but also celebrities has significantly boosted the visibility and credibility of sports and fitness tech. For instance, Tonal’s association with 30+ athletes has not only attracted media attention but also increased consumer trust and adoption. Tonal, the most cutting-edge strength and personal training platform, fusing artificial intelligence, expert-led coaching, and proprietary digital weight announced USD 250M in funding during 2021 (Tonal).

Moreover, the strategic involvement of celebrities often brings additional resources and opportunities for collaboration. These investors can leverage their extensive networks to attract further investment from other high-profile individuals. 

Image: Pvolve, Centr

The biggest partnership being a functional Fitness brand Pvolve reaching a new level of mainstream recognition and notoriety this year, partnering with celebrity A-lister Jennifer Aniston (Athletech). Centr, a fitness app founded by actor Chris Hemsworth before being acquired by HighPost Capital (CNN); provides users with fitness routines, meal plans, and mindfulness tips, positioning itself as a comprehensive wellness solution. 

The linked fitness startup CLMBR received funding from Grammy Award-winning musician and Marcy Venture Partners (MVP) co-founder Jay-Z and tennis player Novak Djokovic. The capital raised is aimed to support the launch of CLMBR Connected and CLMBR Pure vertical climbing machines (American Spa).


Future Trends and Predictions

Looking ahead, several emerging areas in sports and fitness tech are likely to attract celebrity interest. The future of wearable technology promises even more advanced capabilities.

As technology advancements continue, we can anticipate better biometric sensors, smoother integration with other devices, and improved data analysis algorithms. This will allow users to receive personalized insights, track their progress more accurately, and optimize their workouts for superior results.

However, the rapid pace of change in the fitness tech sector means that products can quickly become outdated, requiring continuous innovation and adaptation. The dynamic nature of tech innovations requires thorough due diligence and strategic planning.

Celebrities and athletes will continue to seek out innovative startups in these areas, driving further advancements and competition. Their involvement is expected to accelerate the adoption of new technologies and shape the future landscape of health and fitness.

As these technologies evolve, they will provide more personalized, engaging, and effective fitness solutions, catering to the diverse needs of consumers and enhancing overall wellness.



The fusion of celebrity influence, athletic prowess, and cutting-edge technology is transforming the sports and fitness industry. High-profile investments are driving groundbreaking innovations such as VR fitness, AI-driven personal training, and smart apparel. This convergence is not only reshaping market trends and consumer behavior but also delivering increasingly personalized and effective fitness solutions.

As celebrities and athletes continue to leverage their influence and resources, the sports and fitness tech sectors are poised for sustained growth and transformation. The commitment to health and wellness, coupled with technological innovation, ensures a bright future for the industry.

The opportunities for investment and innovation in this evolving landscape are immense. By staying informed and engaged, investors can capitalise on the burgeoning potential of this dynamic sector. Embrace the future of fitness tech and be part of the exciting journey toward a healthier, more connected world.

If you have any questions about the companies or concepts mentioned in this article, reach out to us today!