Aren’t all sportswear brands kind of the same?

Which one of these sportswear brands do you have at home? Probably at least one. There are a ton of sportswear brands out there and the competition is fierce, so how do you compete? These three brands have each their own tricks up their sleeve: Nike, Adidas and Gymshark. Keep reading to find out if a sportswear brand can really be that unique, and if so, how?  


Nike is number 1 in the sportswear field. The brand has been the most valuable clothing brand for four years straight. (FashionUnited, 2019) But what makes Nike unique and popular? Nike lives up to its mission statement: “Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world. *If you have a body you are an athlete.” The mission is what drives the brand to do everything possible to expand human potential. Nike does this by creating groundbreaking sport innovations, by making its products more sustainable, by building a creative and diverse global team and by making a positive impact in society and communities. (Value Solutions, n.d.)

Nike has created a unique brand – a set of values and aspirations that their business stands for in the mind of the audience. With amazing marketing campaigns, the brand triggers the customers’ emotions in a way only Nike can. One amazing example is the campaign film “Dream Crazy” part of the “Just do it” series narrated by activist Colin Kaepernick. (Nike, 2020) Nike’s ad provides encouragement to everyone who has crazy dreams and goals that may seem untouchable. The film ends with a powerful quote: 

“Don’t ask if your dreams are crazy, ask if your dreams are crazy enough.” 


Adidas is one of the best sportswear brands in the world and a true competitor of Nike. In 2019, Adidas had its brand value worth 13.35 Billion US dollars. (Bandara, 2020) How is Adidas different from its competitors? Their slogan reads: “Impossible is nothing.” Adidas wants to make light and convenient sports apparel that other competitors don’t make. They use a completely different strategy to do this. Adidas uses its customer’s ideas, suggestions and feedback for creating their products. The marketing strategy is all about the potential customers need and desires for Adidas. What would the customer like more from Adidas but also what did Adidas wrong? The customers’ input adds a unique value to Adidas its products.

We now know Adidas likes creativity and the brand made sure everybody knows with their campaign: “Create the answer”. The out-of-the-box commercial establishes Adidas as a brand that embraces originality. The commercial features 56 A-list creatives from across the globe that send the message about celebrating uniqueness and creativity. (Omnivirt, 2019) The campaign ends with the message:

“Creativity is the answer.”


The sportswear brand Gymshark is originated in the UK and is supported by millions of engaged social media followers and customers from over 131 countries. So, what makes Gymshark special? “Before there is an action, there is an idea.” Gymshark provides tools for people to unlock their fullest potential and take action. “Be all that you imagined you could be. Be a visionary.” 

The brand’s core values are family, progression and vision. Family is translated into the community of athletes, artists and visionaries across the globe. The brand is fearlessly progressive and consistently future-conscious about their products. Gymshark aspires to be the future and always be true to their vision and respectful of others.

“It’s our USP that we are able to be agile, and create and produce new items within eight to 10 weeks.” – CEO Steve Hewitt.

The brand can take advantage of the latest trends and develop new product quicker than its competitors. (Christie, 2018) Gymshark is obsessed with its customers and is very good at knowing exactly what kind of products their customers want, helping them stay ahead of the competition. The brand their prime target audience is millennials. Even, the founder, Ben Francis, is a millennial himself. The millennials are the future and make Gymshark the brand it is today.

Founder Ben Francis. Source: Daily Mirror

So, are all the sportswear brands the same? Not at all. The brands all have their individual USP’s which makes them unique. Nike is such a success because they know how to trigger emotions. Adidas has a customer-driven marketing strategy. How they focus on the customers need and desires and implement these in their products. Lastly, Gymshark is ahead of the game. Gymshark focuses on millennials and optimizes how agile the brand can be.

Which brand you eventually choose is based on your own preferences. How you feel about the brand and their USP’s, but you can’t forget about the actual products as well. Nike, Adidas and Gymshark will keep the competition in the sportswear industry fierce. My advice, take notes from these successful unique brands and try to implement them in your own unique way of course.

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