Kevin Hart is not only the hardest-working comedian in the business, he’s also one of the fittest. He proudly declares himself “a fitness freak” who regularly tweets out images of his hard-core workouts and thinks nothing of enlisting people in spontaneous 5K runs. “I’m moving up to 10Ks now,” he declares. “I’m a motivating force and an example of a mindset that everyone can have. When most people think fitness, they think of pro athletes at the highest level, but we can all bridge that gap. You don’t have to win a Super Bowl or Grand Slam or Tour de France to be considered an athlete. Everyone can push the envelope.”
Hart is somewhat coy when it comes to discussing his ambitious plans for the fitness sector. “I don’t want to put a cap on what I want to do there,” he says. “This is all new, the fact that I’m endorsed by the most powerful athletic brand in the world. Let’s see where it goes, and what relationships unfold.”
This year, Hart became the first comedian to sign an endorsement deal with Nike, “and now I have my own line of sneakers.” A nice touch for the 5-foot-5 former shoe salesman.
But the multimillion-dollar deal isn’t just about money. “He’s working with Nike, and Tommy John Underwear — he’s an investor and also getting his own line of clothing,” reports manager Dave Becky. “He loves being involved with top brands, but it has to always start with something he likes and uses personally, so there’s that integrity. Yes, Nike pays him, but he truly believes in the brand and the message. And with Tommy Johns, he already wore their underwear, and loves it, so they reached out to him.”
Hart also partnered with tennis legend Serena Williams to shoot promo videos for his training-app workout, and will also soon be shooting more spots with his odd-couple partner David Beckham after the success of their clothing campaign for H&M menswear last year.
Becky confidently lays out their branding strategy and business model for the next five to 10 years. “He’s going to continue doing movies — acting, producing, directing — and he’ll produce more and more TV and streaming content at Laugh Out Loud. And for the next decade, he’ll keep performing and doing standup and writing shows and producing them. Maybe at some point he’ll start to slow down and scale back, but right now he’s working 24/7 and he’ll continue to build and own businesses and invest in them. As he says, the sky’s the limit.”