We’re no strangers when it comes to identifying a solution that aims to improve the quality of life for so many. That’s why we were thrilled to hear Matthias Metternich, the founder and CEO of Art of Sport, speak as a panelist at our Future of Fitness and Wellness event. Matthias’ vision was to engineer a body care collection for the modern athlete, with formulas developed by leading scientists and in partnership with world-class athletes. To learn more about how Matthias got his start and what he thinks the future holds for Art of Sport, keep reading.
What was your “come up” story and how did it lead you to developing Art of Sport?
Growing up in 12 different countries, I discovered two passions that I could always count on as a source of comfort and familiarity—computer coding and sports.I was always business savvy, and as a young entrepreneur, I had a keen sense of discovering what was missing or what could be improved in the marketplace. As an athlete (I played at the collegiate level) I recognized no one was applying the same innovation to skin and body care the way Nike approached apparel or the way Gatorade created fuel. It was clearly a tremendous opportunity that happened to marry two of my lifelong skills.
Your brand engaged athlete insights to develop products—what were those? And how did you use them?
In building Art of Sport, we knew it was critical to be credible in order to engage with high-performing athletes. All of our athletes have tested every single product, and they’ve all helped feed the process. Their input and insight was invaluable in creating a brand that really addressed their skincare needs. We were fortunate to build the brand with seven all-time greats, including James Harden, Javier Baez, and Ryan Sheckler… They’ve all provided essential and unique points of view, insights, and needs. For example:
As a pro surfer, Sage encountered issues with most sunscreens either running into and burning her eyes, or washing off easily in the ocean. Creating a product and formula that held up to the environment was important to her.
Ken’s level of commitment to his recovery after suffering from a debilitating injury is legendary. Creating a recovery plan that allowed him to not only heal quickly, but stay competitive, was central to his existence.
How are you most effective when it comes to engaging with communities and instilling trust with your customers?
For us, it’s all started with our world-class scientists creating better-for-you, performance-driven formulas that are powered by key active ingredients and natural botanicals that were enhanced and improved by our roster of professional athletes. It was important that our athletes were a part of the vision from the beginning and represented a diverse cross-section of body care needs. We know that when customers choose a product that is better for them and actually works, they’re loyal. Beyond that, we’re committed to building a platform for all athletes that spotlights what it means to compete, to be challenged, and to rise.
What does the future hold for Art of Sport?
Our focus is on the athlete and creating a brand that truly provides what they need to feel and perform at their best. Art of Sport will be the brand that touches an athlete’s skin, from morning until night—starting with our body wash, ending with the recovery cream, and everything else in between.
What key moment helped lead you to where you are today?
As an entrepreneur, there often isn’t a key moment. Nothing happened overnight. There was no magical lightbulb moment. My whole life has shaped and driven me to this point and to this brand.
What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
"Maybe you should just get a good, safe job." –My parents.
How has your personal style evolved over time?
As a boy, I used to want to wear suits. But you don't need a suit when you build stuff behind a computer. So, in my 20s, I started to upgrade my wardrobe with staples from Scotch & Soda, Zadig & Voltaire, and Acne (to name a few). Now, I care about what I do and not what I wear, so you’ll typically see me in the same black uniform consisting of pants and a tee or sweatshirt, unless I'm attending an occasion that calls for something more formal.