SoulCycle: Reputation Management Strategies in Response to Controversy


In August 2019, billionaire Stephen Ross hosted a fundraiser luncheon for President Donald Trump. Ross owned a minority interest in SoulCycle, and this news sparked calls for boycotts against the fitness company. Customers responded, and the company experienced notable declines in attendance. SoulCycle studios located in the liberal locales of Los Angeles, New York City, and San Francisco represented almost half of the company’s attendance and had the largest decreases. The fundraiser news and boycotts affected the reputation of SoulCycle and prompted company leaders to employ reputation management strategies to counter the negative narrative. This case study asks readers to review the details of the news story and identify ways for SoulCycle leaders to improve the reputation of the company and restore faith with their customers.

This case was prepared for inclusion in SAGE Business Cases primarily as a basis for classroom discussion or self-study, and is not meant to illustrate either effective or ineffective management styles. Nothing herein shall be deemed to be an endorsement of any kind. This case is for scholarly, educational, or personal use only within your university, and cannot be forwarded outside the university or used for other commercial purposes.

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