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Influencers flex social media muscles to drive fitness brand sales

Lifestyle

Investing heavily in social media to attract customers is helping a fitness clothing company achieve millions in sales across the globe.

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Laura Martino

Girl About Town PR

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Active wear brand Ryderwear has taken on a truly modern approach to advertising, contracting 45 athlete ambassadors from across the world to increase the company’s online visibility.

With a combined following of 25 million people, the ambassadors have helped the South Australian-based bodybuilding and fitness brand to increase its global sales by 300 per cent each year since it launched in 2009. It is on track to reach AU$10 million in sales this year,

The celebrity ambassadors include American bodybuilder Alicia Marie, Egyptian bodybuilder Big Ramy and Australian fitness model Dasha Gaivoronski. They feature in Ryderwear advertising, and post sponsored content on their own social media accounts to lure in fans.

Ryderwear CEO David Lukic said a recent brand relaunch on September 1 had helped the company to concentrate on boosting its social media presence to 18-30 year olds.

“Everyone has a mobile phone in this day and age, so wherever your attention is, that’s where we need to be advertising,” he said.

“I’d look up to the top bodybuilders and I thought, ‘I want this person to represent my brand’.”

Ryderwear relaunch September 1,2017.

The company ran its business completely off Facebook advertising for its first three years and has never advertised in traditional print media. It now publishes most of its social media content on photo-sharing platform Instagram.

“It’s a forever changing industry and I guess you’ve got to really stay ahead of the trends. Initially it was Facebook, but now I would say Instagram is definitely the leading platform for the fitness wear industry,” Lukic said.

The former security guard and passionate bodybuilder started the Ryderwear label when he found it difficult to find comfortable workout clothes that would fit the shape of bodybuilders.

After sitting on the idea for eight months, Lukic decided to register the business in 2009, but he said he had no intention to turn the company into something profitable.

“I had no formal experience in the fashion industry. After high school I did marketing for about six months because I always knew I wanted to open up my own business, I just didn’t know what at the time,” he said.

Lukic launched the Ryderwear website in August 2010, and has since seen the company grow exponentially. Ryderwear sells clothing footwear and fitness accessories in 160 countries around the world with its biggest markets being Australia and the United States. It has plans to extend its sales into Asia.

Ryderwear founder and CEO David Lukic (right) at the relaunch of the brand on September 1.

Lukic is also aiming to increase his staff to 55 employees, up from 25, when Ryderwear moves to a bigger headquarters in South Australia’s capital Adelaide in January.

The recent brand relaunch has helped the company to diversify from its traditionally male body-builder focus to include men’s and women’s clothing for all fitness types.

“When we launched a small ladies range about four years into the business, sales were approximately 60 per cent male, 40 per cent female. With this relaunch, and the fashion designers that we have now, I think it’s going to be a much more even spread” Lukic said.

“The relaunch has helped freshen up our range. A lot of our fabrics are cottons, polyesters and spandexes, so the clothes are very versatile. All the clothing is made for a functional purpose.”

Ryderwear clothing is designed in South Australia and manufactured in China.

Products are available online and sold to about 400 gym and clothing stores across the world.

This is a Creative Commons story from The Lead South Australia, a news service providing stories about innovation in South Australia. Please feel free to use the story in any form of media. The story sources are linked in with the copy and all contacts are willing to talk further about the story.

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