How Influencer Marketing Turned Gymshark Into a Million Dollar Business
Gymshark is arguably one of the most influential fitness brands of the 21st century – a bold statement to make considering the eCommerce empire only launched in 2012. But, a statement that is totally justified nonetheless.
Born from the bedroom of teenager Ben Francis, Gymshark has grown from a small start-up to a global business that is expecting a $100 million turnover by the end of the year.
Their ingenious use of influencer marketing has often been considered a key factor in stimulating the company's growth. To get the business off the ground, Francis recruited a small number of social media stars and laid the foundations for what is now known as the Gymshark ‘athlete’ community.
The Gymshark Athlete Community
The Gymshark athletes are sponsored content creators who are given freebies from the company, with the expectation that they would wear the clothing in front of their online audience.
To start with, Francis signed huge YouTube names such as Nikki Blackketter and Lex Griffin, who exclusively wore the brand. As a result, the brand was quickly exposed to millions of fitness fans and sales began to go through the roof.
Whilst influencer marketing is now used by thousands of brands, it was a risky tactic to take when Gymshark started six years ago. However, it’s a move that got Gymshark to where it is today.
Leveraging The Power of Social Media & Influencers
Since first forming their partnership with Nikki Blackketter and Lex Griffin, the Gymshark community has continued to grow and expand.
By leveraging different social media platforms, the company has been able to connect with new social media influencers and dramatically increase their reach. Over the years, Francis has continued to sponsor more social media stars and now Gymshark has an audience outreach of over 20 million and a total of 14 athletes on their website.
By investing in the power of influencers, Gymshark has fostered not only a significant following but also a community of like minded people - something that now makes their brand unique and more desirable than their competitors. Through its digital campaigns, social media channels and network of influencers, the company has created a space for people who share common values and a serious interest in fitness. By creating this community, the brand has become more than just a fashion line; it has become a community that people invest and believe in.
More recently, the brand has been utilising the power of influencers offline and attracting crowds globally to their pop-up stores across the UK.
In May of this year, the company organised an event in their hometown of Birmingham. This event saw hundreds flock to meet their favourite fitness personalities and exclusively purchase the aesthetically pleasing athleisure.
In the past, Gymshark has enlisted the help of big names in the bodybuilding community to promote the brand at popular exhibitions. By offering each bodybuilder a free fit tracksuit, the brand got invaluable exposure to thousands of fitness fans from across the world. As a result, Gymshark were able to expand their strategy and sponsor 18 top global YouTubers who have supported their sales growth in over 131 countries.
The rise of Gymshark is just one of many success stories that have emerged as a result of influencer marketing. More brands than ever before are realising the potential of working with top influencers and are consequently are reaping the enormous benefits.
With the ambition to grow their revenue to £300m in the next three years, Gymshark has a long way to go, but with a strong community and the continuing support of influencers, the sky is the limit for Francis and his team.