Understanding your audience

The first step in refining your digital marketing strategy for sportswear and fitness products is to ensure you properly understand the people who buy them. Are these brands only for athletes? No. Trainers designed for top basketball stars are just as sought after by those aspiring to hit the gym. In fact, many simply wish to use them as a fashion statement. 

Tracksuits, sneakers and caps were once singularly reserved for the lower classes, but are now being replicated by some of the biggest international fashion brands. For instance, Burberry, Balenciaga and Victoria Beckham are producing their own ranges at designer price tags.

The urbane sophistication of sportswear has a lot to do with changing social ideals; transforming tawdry to trendy and empowering everyday people.

What is the sportswear lifestyle?

From top musicians and celebrities (think Stormzy and Kim Kardashian) to everyday ensembles of the working class, sportswear is one of the most accessible forms of fashion. 

The lifestyle emulates modern ideals of equality and aspiration; affordable fashion for the masses reflects a celebration of the streets and humble beginnings. 

Sportswear doesn’t just break the class barrier but shatters its illusion. Tracksuits, for our generation, are a symbol of egalitarianism and equal opportunity for advancement, rebuking the notion that you have to dress a certain way to progress in society.

Why do celebrities wear sportswear?

Celebrities wear trackies and trainers to better appeal to their fans; finding common ground in clothing makes others admire their values. Those who wear accessible fashion understand and respect the working class ideals, outwardly projecting mutual camaraderie – essentially you’re seen as contemporary and cool.

Footballers and other top sports stars wear sportswear too, not just for their job, but also to appeal to their audiences. Many footballers are highly idealised in today’s popular culture. This is partly down to the nation’s love of the great game but also due to social mobility; footballers often come from deprived backgrounds (think Marcus Rashford, Wayne Rooney, etc.). 

Footballers exemplify the ideological model of social mobility, in a field that appeals to just about everyone regardless of their education or background. Footballers and top sportsmen prove that anyone can rise from the ranks, inspiring a cult following and leading by example. 

If they stick to the same dress code too, it proves to the media that they haven’t grown too big for their boots. It shows that they are, deep down, just the same as everyone else. Wearing sportswear demonstrates that social mobility is an achievable goal, not only in the sporting world but for everyone.

When people wear sportswear, the focus is firmly on the future: progressing in society, having equal opportunities, and empowering them to become strong (both physically and mentally). 

Women and sportswear

Female fashion often has toxic connotations. In the early 2000s, size zero was seen as the ideal, with models being encouraged to maintain eating disorders, while little to no variation in size, colour, shape or culture was being portrayed in the media.

Thankfully, society has progressed in leaps and bounds over the last two decades. Unscrupulous and immoderate trends have been replaced with a far healthier attitude. Fashion nowadays is representative of all ethnicities, ages, body types and sizes. Sportswear, too, plays a big role in this progression; tracksuits, trainers and gym wear don’t overly emphasise the female form, tending to be baggy, comfortable and inclusive for all figures.

The fashion to dress in sportswear helps to de-sexualise women in society; skimpy, skin-tight clothing that reveals a woman’s shape is no longer socially idealised. Sportswear gives women more choices. Women can wear comfortable clothing without being seen as passé. It also facilitates females to accomplish more physically demanding activities; they are no longer restricted by poorly fitting, aesthetic-focused clothes.

What does this mean for the sportswear industry?

Sportswear, therefore, can be marketed as socially progressive. This clothing liberates women, empowering them to dress for comfort, practicality and fashion. It enables women to challenge stereotypes, encouraging athleticism and achievement – ideals that were once reserved only for men. 

Fitness clothing also inspires women to forego unachievable goals regarding body image. Championing body positivity, the sportswear industry advocates a healthy lifestyle – gym clothes are designed to be moved around in, promoting fitness for females, not fasting.

For wider society, too, sportswear is a liberal statement of social mobility, humility and anti-discrimination. The dismantling of the UK class system, it could be said, is due to the fashion of sportswear and the excellent marketing of its brands.

Find out more

For more digital marketing insights, read another of our informative articles on the It Works Media blog. Alternatively, contact us today to find out how we can help you improve your digital marketing strategy.