How Gymshark Became a Unicorn Business with Influencer Marketing

Published on

March 3, 2023


Brands & Agencies


Julian Slosse

In the business world, there is a term known as"unicorn." This refers to a company that has achieved a billion-dollar valuation. There are very few companies in the world that can claim this title, but one business that has managed to do so is Gymshark. How did they achieve such incredible success? Much of it can be attributed to their clever use of influencer marketing. In this blog post, we will discuss how Gymshark became a unicorn business and learn some of their secrets to success.

Who is Gymshark?

Gymshark is a fitness apparel company that was founded in 2012 by students Ben Francis and Lewis Morgan. The company is based in the United Kingdom and sells its products online. Their target market is people who are passionate about health and fitness. They took the world by storm with their innovative and high-quality products. Gymshark now turnover £100 million each year and have a cult following.

How Gymshark Achieved Success with Influencer Marketing

Gymshark's success can be attributed to their use of influencer marketing. Influencer marketing is a type of marketing that focuses on using key leaders to promote a product or service.These key leaders, or influencers, have a large following of people who trust their opinion. Gymshark was very clever in their use of influencer marketing.

They gave free products to fitness bloggers and Instagram stars. In return, these influencers would take photos wearing the Gymshark clothing and post them on social media. This created a lot of buzz around the brand and got people excited to buy their products.

Early Gymshark Influencer Marketing Campaigns

For the brand's early marketing strategies, YouTube was very essential. Fitness YouTubers Nikki Blackketter and Lex Griffin were early collaborators for Francis. These YouTube celebrities decided to only use Gymshark items in their videos.

Because Blackketter and Griffin are two of the most popular fitness YouTubers in the world, their appearance in Gymshark gear was seen by millions of fitness lovers. Gymshark was exposed to millions of people as a result of this, and the up-and-coming brand was given a hip image.

Ten years ago Influencer marketing was nothing like it is today. Social media platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat were not as popular yet. However, Ben Francis, the founder of Gymshark, knew that he could use these platforms to his advantage.

Gymshark knew from being involved in the fitness world already that these gym lovers had a loyal following that would benefit greatly from seeing their favourite fitness model or athletes wearing and using Gymshark gear that improved their performance.

This was the beginning of a long line of successful influencer marketing campaigns for Gymshark that has led to its current statusas a 'Unicorn' company.

How Does Gymshark use Influencer Marketing?

There are many different ways that Gymshark uses influencer marketing. The most effective way that they use it is through ambassadors.

An ambassador is an influencer that is contracted by Gymshark to produce content, typically one Instagram post and one story per week, as well as attending events. Below are some other great ways  Gymshark uses influencers to market their products.

Pop Up shops

Gymshark takes use of the fact that they have influencers' names tied to them. They host events that include influencers while also advertising their business and clothing. This implies that fans of influencers attend events and pop-up stores in order to meet the influencer and, as a result, wind up supporting the company.

The entire event or pop-up shop revolves around the idea that influencers will be there. They promote the event as a ‘meet and greet,'rather than a promotional event. This encourages more individuals to attend, particularly those who are familiar with the influencers.

Long term contracts

The faces that symbolize Gymshark are the first thing that springs to mind when people think of it. The reason for this is that, unlike many other firms, Gymshark did not hire hundreds of 'influencers' to share a single sponsored photo.

Instead, Gymshark does an incredible job of turning every influencer they deal with into a brand ambassador. This implies that each influencer signed a long-term deal with Gymshark, pledging to promote their clothing exclusively.

This works so well because it establishes a solid link between the influencer and Gymshark. Fans of influencers know that the influencer has made a long-term commitment to the brand, which gives them confidence that the person they follow truly cares about the company and so improves their trust in the influencer and, as a result, the brand.

They focus social media content around influencers

Gymshark's YouTube account contains inspiring and encouraging workout videos, as well as a variety of fitness challenges completed by the ambassadors. Gymshark is at the top of its game when it comes to social media marketing because of this.

When social media influencers appear in the title and thumbnail of videos, their fans are more likely to click and watch them, allowing more people to learn about Gymshark.

Why is Gymshark Effective With Influencer Marketing?

It's important to remember that when using influencer marketing, you need to choose the right influencers.They need to be relevant to your target market and have a following that trusts their opinion. If you can find the right people to work with, your business will benefit greatly from their influence. Here are some of the reasons why Gymshark is so effective with its influencer marketing campaigns.

They have a dedicated team

Gymshark has an entire team whose job it is to manage its influencer marketing. This allows them to focus on finding the right people to work with and making sure that their campaigns are effective. If you are not able to dedicate a member of the team to managing your influencer campaigns, then you can use influencer DNA to help you find a selected list of qualified influencer partners.

They use a mix of macro and micro influencers

Gymshark uses both macro and micro influencers in its campaigns. Macro influencers have a larger following, but they are also more expensive to work with. Micro influencers have a smaller following, but they are usually cheaper

They focus on quality rather than quantity

Gymshark does not work with hundreds of influencers like some other companies do. Instead, they focus on working with a select few who have a large following and are relevant to their target market. This allows them to produce higher quality content and have amore effective campaign.

They're Innovative

Rather than just working with influencers to create sponsored posts, Gymshark uses them in a variety of ways.This includes having them attend events, participate in campaigns, and create inspiring content. This helps to keep their campaigns fresh and interesting, which encourages people to continue following them.


Gymshark is a great example of how influencer marketing can help businesses grow. By partnering with influential content creators, Gymshark was able to reach a larger audience and establish itself asa top brand in the fitness industry.

If you’re looking to start or improve your own influencer marketing campaign then here at Influencer DNA we take care of the whole process for you. From identifying the relevant influencers to reaching out and measuring the performance of your initiatives, we've got you covered!


Julian Slosse