×

Extending the King brand into fitness realm

Maestro brings royal touch to branding

Jamie King’s vision is embodied by some of pop music’s top-selling performers like Britney Spears and Madonna. As their tour director, he “pulls the levers (and) makes them look incredible,” King’s manager Daniel Sladek says.

But establishing the Jamie King brand apart from the stars he props up on tours posed a bigger challenge, even with a company as ubiquitous as Nike as his partner.

The King-Nike Rockstar Workout partnership began in 2004. When Nike approached King, he was working with Christina Aguilera, who was in the midst of a worldwide trek with Justin Timberlake.

The Nike Rockstar project grew to encompass clothing, accessories and workouts, as the company put King’s face and dance fitness on a global scale. “You couldn’t walk into a Nike store without seeing Jamie King,” says Sladek.

And yet despite his stature in the realm of traveling road-show extravaganzas, King does not have the same name identification as such exercise gurus as Jane Fonda, Jillian Michaels, Denise Austin, Cindy Crawford or Richard Simmons.

King’s “Rock Your Body” fitness DVD, released in 2007, has sold in excess of 100,000 units, according to its distributor Rodale Press, which also published the accompanying book. (Fonda’s fitness video debut eventually sold 17 million copies, which is a record.) The trade paperback version of the King workout sold only a fraction of that number, at 1,000 copies, according to Nielsen BookScan.

Nevertheless, as Nike’s global spokesman, King traveled from Prague to Taipei teaching dance workshops and filming online dance videos with step-by-step instructions. Five one-hour dance workouts choreographed by King were available at Crunch Fitness gyms across the U.S.

He even enlisted then-newcomer Rihanna to star in his hip-hop themed video set to her second single, “S.O.S.”

“I just loved the way she carried herself and I thought ‘what a great representation of woman, and a woman who just loves to dance and smile and be happy,’ ” says King of Rihanna in her “Pon de Replay” video.

“I wanted to create the coolest workout that I could imagine that was based around dance, and that’s really what started Rock Your Body,” he says.

King says developing the Rock Your Body workouts entailed a kind of tightrope balance.

“To make it hard enough for the dancers and to make it accessible enough for the non-dancers, that was a challenge,” he says.

After a few years, Nike began to taper off its involvement with dance fitness. Plans for continuing his Rock Your Body brand are on hold, given that his dance card is full with Rihanna and Britney Spears tours, not to mention a Michael Jackson-themed Cirque du Soleil road show.

“Right now there aren’t direct plans,” says King, “but I plan to come back around to that. Once a dancer always a dancer, I say.”

BILLION-DOLLAR TOUR DIRECTOR: JAMIE KING
King aims large without sacrificing intimacy | Playing Kingmaker in the manner of ‘Idol’ | Resurrecting Michael via Cirque Du Soleil | Channeling MTV devotion into a career | Extending the King brand into fitness realm

More Music

  • Taylor SwiftMTV Video Music Awards, Arrivals,

    Vivendi's Third Quarter Results Up Nearly 17%, UMG Still Rising

    Vivendi saw its third quarter revenues increase by 16.7% to €3.97 billion ($4.4 billion) compared with the third quarter of 2018, once again boosted by the growth of Universal Music Group, while Canal Plus Group remained stable. For the first nine months of 2019, Vivendi’s revenues reached €11.3 billion ($12.5 billion), an increase of 14.6% [...]

  • Parliament-Funkadelic and George ClintonIEBA Annual Conference,

    George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, Sheila E. to Perform in ‘Grammy Salute’ Airing Friday

    Parliament-Funkadelic stars George Clinton and Bootsy Collins, along with Sheila E. and many others, perform in the “Grammy Salute to Music Legends” airing as part of PBS’ “Great Performances” series Friday night. The show, the fourth annual all-star concert offering a primetime spotlight for the Academy’s 2019 Special Merit Awards recipients, premieres nationwide Friday, Oct. [...]

  • Lola Marsh

    Ping Pong Sets the Beat in Hypnotic, Green Screen-Ambitious Lola Marsh Video (Watch)

    Forrest Gump has nothing on Lola Marsh. The Tel Aviv-based twosome of vocalist Yael Shoshana Cohen and multi-instrumentalist Gil Landau transform into ping pong rivals in the video for “Only for a Moment.” The indie-pop jam combines Cohen’s Lana Del Rey-esque vocals over an upbeat blend of snaps, claps, shakers, and a driving melody courtesy [...]

  • Tekashi 6ix9ine Docuseries Coming From Showtime

    Tekashi 6ix9ine Docuseries Coming From Showtime and Rolling Stone

    Showtime Documentary Films today announced a new limited docuseries profiling controversial rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine. Titled “SuperVillain” and inspired by the Rolling Stone feature written by Stephen Witt, the three-part series will trace how a New York City deli clerk named Daniel Hernandez became superstar rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine — who racked up 2.6 billion streams and [...]

  • Fader Label Logo

    Fader Label Signs Two New Acts, Boosts Staff

    The Fader Label, home to Clairo, Matt and Kim and others, announced two new signings today along with three new hires on its staff. Charlie Burg and Zachary Knowles have joined the label’s talent roster, while Carson Oberg has come aboard as general manager, Yasmine Panah as project manager and Josh Hymowitz as label coordinator. They [...]

  • Kane Brown CMT Artists of the

    Kane Brown Pays Tribute to Late Drummer Kenny Dixon in Tearful 'CMT Artists' Speech

    Country star Kane Brown, unabashedly distraught over the death of his touring drummer Kenny Dixon just four days earlier in a car accident, dedicated his “CMT Artists of the Year” award to Dixon in a heart-rending appearance on the telecast Wednesday night. Brown ceded the performance slot he would have been allowed to friend Chris [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content