Why it matters

Brands stand to benefit from taking a longer-term view of influencer partnerships, rather than signing up whichever YouTube or Instagram star happens to have the most followers at any particular time.


  • Gymshark has expanded its social media strategy from primarily male bodybuilders on YouTube to encompass lifestyle influencers like Nikki Blackketter on Instagram and, increasingly, TikTok.
  • These ‘athletes’ are signed on up to seven-year contracts, working with Gymshark on a long-term basis and becoming synonymous with the brand, with emerging stars signed to a developmental ‘academy’ before they are promoted to top-tier status.
  • Influencers must adhere to a strict set of brand values, though Gymshark does allow some ‘flex’ for local preferences – more ‘reserved’ characteristics in Germany, for instance, and greater ‘flamboyance’ in the US.