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 has just become a £1billion+ company. 

The investment from General Atlantic will see them take a 21% stake in Gymshark, allowing the online retail business to surpass a valuation of over one billion pounds in just eight years. The former pizza delivery driver is set to become Britain’s richest self-made person under the age of 30.

Influencer Marketing

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.

What started as sending a number of fitness influencers free Gymshark sportswear to wear and promote the brand in a bid to attract consumers and reach a larger audience across social media, proved to be a highly effective strategy as many of these influencers are now highly recognised ‘Gymshark Ambassadors’. Now, those influencers such as Nikki Blackketter and David Laid, are well-known representatives of the brand.

Over time, other popular influencers such as Saffron Barker have begun working with the brand and regularly posts photos and uploads YouTube videos wearing the clothing. 

Whilst influencer marketing is a very well-used marketing method these days, it was a risky tactic to use over eight years ago. However, it was a risk worth taking as it is a move that got Gymshark to where it is today.

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 has over 10 popular athletes and ambassadors on their website.

Leveraging the power of social media

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 feel a belonging to and thus, 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.

As well as working with influencers, the brand has utilised their own social media channels perfectly. Regularly connecting with consumers on Twitter and Instagram, Gymshark also have their very own YouTube channel, often sharing workout videos as well as motivational tips.

The rise of Gymshark is just one of many success stories that have emerged because of influencer marketing. More brands than ever before are realising the potential of working with top influencers and consequently, are reaping the enormous benefits.

Across his own social media accounts, the founder of Gymshark, Ben Francis, regularly shares updates about the business and his goals for the future. On a mission to take Gymshark to the next level, Ben’s dream is to make his brand one of the greatest on the planet… And he is well on his way to achieving that dream!