Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia put muscle behind Athleticon
Dwayne Johnson and business partner Dany Garcia are putting their combined strengths behind a new, ambitious venture in 2020 called Athleticon.
The event, set to take place next October in Atlanta, Georgia, will celebrate athletics, wellness and entertainment — three things the pair knows plenty about. The convention, billed in an announcement as the first of its kind, is a joint venture between The Garcia Companies, Seven Bucks Companies and IMG.
In an exclusive conversation with CNN, Garcia, CEO and Chairwoman of The Garcia Companies and TGC Management, called Athleticon a “culmination” of her and Johnson’s body of work throughout the years.
Three years in the making, Garcia said Athleticon was influenced by their experiences at fitness competitions and entertainment conventions like San Diego Comic Con and CinemaCon.
The plan is to have panels, speakers, interactive experiences, a bodybuilding pro show featuring domestic and international competitors and exhibitors that appeal to people of all ages and on all levels of the fitness spectrum, Garcia said.
“And to do it as entertaining as possible,” she added.
They have hopes to host a movie premiere. Garcia, also a competitive bodybuilder, noted that many of the most popular films today — from those with Marvel superheroes to Johnson’s films — allow for a “natural” and accessible entry point for conversations about fitness and health.
“There’s not one specific conversation,” Garcia said. “There’s multiple conversations so people have the ability to enter the experience [in a way] they feel is comfortable.”
If it seems like a lot to bite off, it’s because it is. But Garcia said the convention is stitched together by the singular idea that fitness and wellness are not niche worlds, “it’s the world,” she said.
“We’ve always been committed to fitness and health — it’s what sustains us mentally and physically,” Johnson said in a statement. “Creating Athleticon is a natural extension of everything we do for our global audience who are connected to the people and brands that inspire them.”
Garcia added: “We are going to help to bring the best of this world to [people] so that you want to come in. It’s so we can empower people. At the end of the day, we’re really just trying to make people happier and healthier.”
Well, mostly healthier. She said there are plans to have some Cheat Meal Sunday-centric programming, a nod to the fan-favorite recurring posts on Johnson’s Instagram.
“Cheat meals are the fruit of our labor,” Garcia said, laughing. “Wellness and health does not live in deprivation…So we are looking [to highlight] the best of the best in culinary experiences.”
Garcia teases there will be more announcements to come as the date gets closer, but for now, she’s excited to see the idea finally taking shape after years of work.
“Sometimes what cooks a little longer is the most savory, and it happens to be that for Athleticon,” she said.