Retailers and gyms tap into Olympic success

Gyms and sports specialists retailers are looking to exploit the interest the success of Team GB Olympians has caused by kicking off dedicated Games-related marketing.

Jessica Ennis

Online bike retailer Wiggle, which has seen UK traffic to its site rocket 71% in the week to last Sunday, is running retargeting ads around YouTube clips of the cycling in a bid to drive visits to its site.

Martin Talbot, marketing director at Wiggle, says: “The level of interest around cycling is really high. The past couple of weeks has been the largest amount of traffic we’ve ever seen and we’ve had a very strong performance in bike sales.”

Health and fitness chain David Lloyd is also capitalising on the spirit of the Games, which has seen heptathlon star Jessica Ennis and cyclist Bradley Wiggins become Olympic champions, with the company running an ad with the tagline ‘Inspired? Now it’s up to you’.

Virgin Active has experienced a 15% year-on-year rise in new members since the Olympics Games started on July 27, while there had been a 5% lift in visits from current members.

Alan Holl, head of fitness at Virgin Active UK, says: “Prospective members visiting the clubs have been showing an increased interest in areas such as swim, cycling, tennis and athletics training and goal monitoring.”

Specialist sports magazines have also reported a kickback from the Olympics. Future Publishing, which owns Triathlon Plus, and, says it has experienced an interest in its titles, thanks to the Olympics.

Richard Schofield, group publishing director of sports and automotive at Future Publishing, says the spike was across all of its titles with “subscriptions, newsstand and digital copy sales all up, as well as increased web traffic and marketing spend from our advertisers”.

As Marketing Week went to press, Team GB were third in the medal table with 19 gold medals.