Not to stress you out, but time is ticking to get your ticket to this year’s 50 on Fire awards show, our annual event celebrating the top trailblazers and tastemakers in and around Boston across 11 different categories. It all goes down Wednesday at the Moakley Courthouse. We’ll be there; you should come, too.

If you need some incentive, we’ve thrown the spotlight on this year’s finalists, from retail to food and drink, education to technology. Below, you can read more on the companies and individuals in our Sports & Fitness category; it’s a veritable who’s who of coaches, companies and all-star athletes.


CoachUp continues to add big-name athletes to its cache of credibility, like NBA forwards Nerlens Noel and Steph Curry, and the Patriots’ Julian Edelman. Founder Jordan Fliegel, who stepped down as acting CEO in April, continues to play a role, while also advising local companies like Pretty Instant and Fortified Bike. The Cambridge native also has a new book, Coaching Up!

CoachUp founder Jordan Fliegel with NBA forward (and CoachUp athlete) Nerlens Noel.
CoachUp founder Jordan Fliegel with NBA forward (and CoachUp athlete) Nerlens Noel.

Crossfit Southie

CrossFit isn’t making headlines quite as much these days, but in Southie it continues to captivate, and motivate, a growing cadre of fitness enthusiasts who flock to the classes despite the intensity and price. It’s a testament to the results they’re seeing, and the group of people running one of the city’s most popular boxes.

EveryBody Fights

George Foreman III’s fitness studio and boxing gym, Everybody Fights, had a big year, securing an investment from Breakaway to expand its concept both in Boston and nationally. “Since day one, and even prior to that, we always wanted to franchise, it was always our goal,” Foreman said. His online certification program allows Foreman to virtually train boxing instructors across the U.S.

Fortified Bicycle

The company that began with theft-proof bike lights now has its first complete bike, called “Invincible,” which it launched via Kickstarter at the beginning of the year. It comes packed with urban amenities like puncture-proof tires and anti-theft bolts. But its Fortified Protect is what makes it innovative, an available plan that guarantees full replacement within 24 hours if a bike is stolen while locked with their U-lock.

Jessica Gelman: Kraft Analytics Group

Gelman helped build business intelligence technology for the New England Patriots ownership, an offering so robust it became the basis of a spinoff startup she’s not in charge of. The cloud-based tech focuses on “data management, analytics, data visualization and strategic marketing.” “We’re looking into the college market, which we think is very ripe for needing this kind of technology and strategic guidance,” she told us.

Jessica Gelman.

Lose It!

The weight loss iPhone app added a new feature this year called Snap It, which tells users nutritional information about meals they’re eating with a simple snap of the camera. Lose It! was also involved in CES’s first ever Step Challenge back in January.

Martellus Bennett: Patriots

Bennett has been a welcome, much-needed addition to the Patriots this season, especially after Gronk’s latest injury. But the tight end does as much off the field as he does on: He’s got an Imagination Agency that produces, among other things, creative and thought-provoking books for children. He also spoke at this year’s Forbes Under 30 Summit.

Matt Taylor: Tracksmith

Tracksmith had made a name for itself by targeting old-school runners, pushing heritage while eschewing many of the trends and buzzwords pervading the apparel industry these days. The Wellesley company has successfully popped-up on Newbury Street and even came out with a line of presidential T-shirts this year.

Tracksmith founder Matt Taylor.


Runkeeper was bought by Asics this year for a cool $85 million, a deal aimed at bolstering the footwear company’s presence in the running tech space. “When we look ahead, it seems clear that the fitness brands of the future will not just make physical products, but will be embedded in the consumer journey in ways that will help keep people motivated and maximize their enjoyment of sport,” founder Jason Jacobs said of the deal.

Spartan Race

Spartan Race continues to separate itself in the competitive push for dominance of the obstacle race industry. The company raised $10 million in April, in part, we’re assuming, to continue its push into more national and global markets. In 2016 alone, one million people ran a Spartan Race.


The bike-sharing startup opened a its first West Coast office in 2016, and now operates more than 140 programs in companies, apartment buildings and corporate campuses across the U.S. They also teamed up with Zipcar to bring their networks of bikes to about a dozen universities.

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