How A Former Pizza Hut Delivery Guy Used TikTok And Instagram To Build Gymshark Into A Billion-Dollar Sportswear Brand

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Devon Lévesque 28-year-old fitness pro bear-crawled 26.2 miles around New York City to raise awareness of veterans’ mental health. To the delight of his nearly 500,000 Instagram followers, on October 30 Lévesque, who can 12 miles per hour on all fours, crawled across the Brooklyn Bridge, then click through the East Village and up to Harlem before finishing strong at Central Park’s Overlook Rock. The British fitness startup Gymshark. Never heard of it? Spend more time on TikTok.

The 28-year-old fitness pro has one rule for his athletes: Do you, but do it in Gymshark. “Young people only want to buy community-led brands that align with their values,” Francis says. “We are a community that also happens to sell things.” Gymshark has become a $1.4 billion–plus (valuation) brand by paying 80 ripped fitness influencers like Lévesque anywhere from $6,000 to more than $100,000 per year

Ben Francis’ Gymshark Journey

20-year-old Francis using the sewing machine he purchased with Pizza Hut savings to stitch the first pieces of Gymshark gear. April 2018 Francis, CEO Steve Hewitt (left) and executive chairman Paul Richardson (right) pose in front of Gymshark’s new headquarters in Solihull, England.

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