Activewear races ahead on social media

In recent years the growth of athleisure wear has outperformed that of traditional clothing and apparel. No longer confined to the gym, consumers seeking fashion and comfort are increasingly opting for sportswear that is multipurpose - wearable while getting cardio or coffee.

We've taken a look at some of those activewear and sports brands that are thinking about social media differently. Whether deploying social media as a growth hacking tool, as a storytelling medium, as a customer service and experience channel, and/or as a brand health measurement, there’s lots to be learned from this competitive space.

Looking at the details

All data collected from November 19 - November 30 2019. Data correct as of the time of collection and may not reflect the impact of any paid media support, or data accrued since.

Gymshark gains

This unique pure-play captured the attention of a gymgoing, Instagram-inspired audience and has gained, gained, gained while continuing to disrupt the Activewear market.

Gymshark has a good sized social media following despite its recent market entry and although they are active on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, the brand focuses growing its engagement through its Instagram content.

As well as leading the engagement pack, Gymshark sees a stronger than average positive sentiment score of 33%, driven by social media influencers within the fitness community.

 

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JD Sports and Sweaty Betty serve via social

JD posted to social channels over 800 times in 11 days, using Twitter as a robust and effective customer communication tool.

Meanwhile, the most positively perceived brand in our profile, Sweaty Betty, achieve a sentiment score of 75%. The women’s active apparel label has a moderate sized following but excels at engaging its customers and ensure that its responses to customers are prioritised via its customer centric social media strategy.

 

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Luxe leisurewear for the wellness win

With 6.1M followers in the UK alone, Lululemon see engagements delivered in the thousands. Driven by Instagram video, the brand often find influencers with which to co-create content fitness tips, Lululemon highlights the importance of both fashion and form to its legging loving audience.

Cult luxury favourite among Yogi’s. Varley, combine technical performance with comfort for activewear that can be worn proudly on a park run or the school run. The brand’s aspirational wellbeing focus lands well via Instagram and the brand enjoy 58% positive sentiment from its loyal yoga-athlete following.

 

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Sports Direct run their own race

Sports Direct are outperformed on social media by two of its high street and online rivals, JD Sports and Decathlon. Sentiment pales in comparison at 20%, and content lacks the pace and energy that other brands bring to the race. 

However Sports Direct know its customers are likely sports fans rather than fitness fanatics, and it runs its own race, confident that it knows its own customer and have the content and product to serve them well. Staying in its own lane, the brand’s social media output demonstrates the importance of knowing your customer and communicating to them in a relevant fashion.

 

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The winning tactic

Knowing what messages and where to put them to best engage and reach your customer is how you win. Rather than trying to do everything, focus your efforts where you can excel. Whether your customers are luxury lovers or discount driven, find influencers that you want on your team, who share your audiences passions and with whom they have mutual interests.

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