22 - Calum Watson, Gymshark
Influencers. Inspiration Instagram, Instagram, Instagram, this is earned. I tried onion. It hears, Connor Begley.
Welcome to earned every one. Thanks for joining again. At today. We're going to learn from one of the top 5, influencer marketers in the world estimation. Thanks, and you might think, but not true. So the numbers that I was telling Tom about the forehand is it is also, gymshark is one of the top five brands that we track in the entire Us by EMV. The brands of their head of include Lululemon Louis Vuitton and Adidas or Adidas for those in Europe at the numbers are are pretty mind-boggling and they continue to head in the opposite direction, right? You're growing in these are not end. So I think you definitely deserve that title. Obviously. There's a lot of people that contribute to that number within gymshark, and I'm including that but
You're up there. Me appreciate it, Lottery, and Lotto really. I have a, lots of lots of people had to figure out of work out from home. I'm curious if that has, you know, that same trend has positively affected. You guys. Obviously, you had the like home. Was it home at 66 or something? 460-6266 workout days from home. How is that Trend impacted you guys are? Or has it actually hurt you?
I will see what happened has happened in the last year,. Things are just been flipped upside down for us as a brand. You know, we we we have to look at the situation. We like how can we have waited an unlock to support many people as possible and keep things moving for it. So, I think we were staying this work Weiss but negative or play Kim Possible. On the lot of people from Spotify. We are quite fortunate to be able to keep Rollin on benefit off the plaque off of the back of this kind of homework, will try to get no fun run in there. The couch to 5K and provide a matter of content and help people adapt to the new world that we're living in South like, you just mention. My telephone is credible 12 to 18 months.
When when lockdown became a thing, we decide to change. Name of hierarchy to help encourage people to stay home health. Number of initiatives,, We realized I'm realizing our own back yard their own industry. With Tim closing down in the United Kingdom, one-day initiatives. We jumped on. We we never set up a Twitch account from from 7 a.m. To 8 p.m. Everyday for the three or four, sweet book PCS in 45 minutes to an hour session.
Kodi show full form of income coming in for also, gave them a chance to promote them other online businesses to work. I'm working from home on purchase ID cost in clear, trying to give TT's, not what you need. And I just wish you'd like to help Health Service NHS, kitchen table in content as well. So we had a roster of homework.
Absolution,. I think it was just trying to be positive and just make the most of the situation if it's healthy and stay on.
Is it all the way to Journey around your man isn't matter if you're to start North and when you feel your ear come towards the end and grab your six-pack and seek whatever like that Jimmy Evans on his journey, and we just wanted to make sure that we could help the poor people. Can you adopt Alfie?
Yeah, I love the support that you provided back to the PT's to think some of the elements that you've talked about for the community building right now. About to drive right. Just see them as a way for you, to drive sales to drive exposure. Feel like this is a mutually beneficial relationship. Right? We're here to help you as well. That's super cool. I had no idea that you guys have done that. And that's, that's a serious operation doing and you started at television network, basically, like content, 12 hours a day, every day of the week.
In the initial, the twitch streams set up with the broadcast cuz I need to set up onto the broadcaster stream from their hands on to the gym shorts, with an accredited to elf and his team and an insult to him. He took the lead on the hint. You don't mean, t, e Polk County, Fair events.
Yeah, I mean, I I know about hiccups. I strongly encourage. Anybody who's listening to this to not listen to my first few episodes. They're pretty brutal. They get better over time. I promise. Well, let's let's take a step back. I want people to get to know who you are. Right? So, you know, growing up you studied Business and Entrepreneurship. But yeah, she had a, an interest in history. And what what made you what? What Drew to history cuz honestly I think history is one of the hardest things for me to get interested in and I know it's really important. I know, history, repeats itself at Brian's right, but what, what tree to history in the first place?
I think what you mean to hit. It was growing up in Ireland, in the end in the schooling system in Harlingen. I mean strong.
Pro-Line history from the oppression with the British Empire through to the the mass migration of our citizens and over to the US because of the time. And you don't me feel like we got this really rich deep sense of History within within the Republic Island. So I think a lot of that came from. There's all this took place while I think, the more I learned about the history of Hamilton. She happened in the past when World War II and curious person, then I feel like
I think a lot of people look at history as the song with Incredible information. If you have an element of curiosity, you know, me back in the past. You can find yourself for hours on end learning about other areas or events of all the Incredibles events that happened in the past. To remember a lot of exams for quite high in history, during history of the other teacher as a career.
Let me see a pic of business coming close to the deadline to Preferred college courses that you want to deal with colleges and will be headed that way and you have to wait another year,. Is it really what I want to do for me.
Think I think it back then I was like, I want to I want to see how successful I think about the money side of things. You know, I mean just going to make me money on them. I want me to work for this amazing. Brandon has little decisions. Right? Like I was similar, right? I was graduating from high school and deciding where I wanted to go to school. And I filled out all the forms for this other school as his school called UC Santa Barbara on the beach. Great.
Educational system and then and and the others go I was considering which is going to was the school that my uncle grandma grandpa at wanted the same school as part of the reason. I didn't want to go there and then I had said all the forms filled out and all I had to do is click the button to like submit to go to the school and at the last second tied up, doing some research. And it's like, now, like I'm going to the other school. I hadn't made, like I was one, click away, but I just click move on. And my life has been totally different, right? So the history side, as I'm sure you can tell. My first name is actually quite Irish the way I found consuming.
History for me to be the most effective that really like the historical fiction genre, right? Which is like, you're reading a story about that time. That helps you get insight into what it was like but it is also fictional in nature. That's kind of got some of that to it and that's actually what I was named after by Leon Uris. I was named after I swear all Facebook groups have been invited to the bike. Were you named after Connor? I can't remember his last name and it's a historical fiction. So it's, yeah, let's see. Gone. So ghetto after uni, right? You went to my protein and one of the things that we talked, I think there's a whole story there we can we can talk about what are the things that I think is really interesting that we talked a lot about when it comes to success. Is that relationship travel, right? So the relationship that you build it.
Company will come with you just like the relationships. You would build with me and the others were a magazine or, or otherwise, I think, I think you're at your father. And I think what the relationship can travel I think.
I think a lot of it comes down to the time. After you put into an ultimate respect, you, you put out into the world for like the one thing I do know for. And then I mean, my mom, my mom would always be saying to me sound like gay people that level of respect that you wish to get back.
Tax offices, near Ming Bao, Glastonbury line, that you taken to make an extra effort to the networking field along the way as well to start. McRae. You also get to learn about different people as well. You know, me better, if we would let you down or people are going to come behind your bus card offers for outside today. Update connections on friendship somewhere with the property,. This actually listen to Waze.
Sunset Gym, tracking for about six months later. He followed me down at 2. I remember. He used to let my protein. I think I'd just be in today. Nikki blackketter season 2, pop-up store in La, in LA, with, with a mission for us, for the Nicki around the block, and he's sitting back there in Manchester by the desks. Looking ass, looking at it from a friend. So witty Hospital, Columbia Heights, Minnesota.
We always look like in talking like we are always like those fans of the brand and then I was working there and I want to conversate with you guys to sell it so I can you get healthy things here at this time of the night with an anole conversation on.
. He's here. Now. He's, he's had no part on painting, creative and apartments on all the, all the incredible trace of campaigns up and content, you were thinking of the gym cartons of last year. So far. So it's, it's it's crazy with we often see if I can reflect on our days off of Manchester to where we are now in Birmingham, and how grateful we are. And how long is a change in relations on Ultron connections with the letter O near me.
Yeah, I've been praised. I was really liked was, it's fun to look around and realize it. Your friends are becoming badasses. Right? Like what I was doing like there's a high school was like a neurosurgeon now, it's like what the fuc like it's it's cool and I think that's obviously what they try to accomplish. Just really, really cool stuff even in a short. Of time.
Its surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals like outside like and don't like very very low key to house of people around me. So I'm I'm in a position where I'm not afraid to fail. And I'm not afraid to Troy think try new things and really push the battery put because I know I have people who will support our people who will challenge me on this will be brutally honest with me to be better every day. Something gets grounded.
Yeah, there's a really good book called Founders dilemma where he looks at his like, ten thousand different companies and then looks at the initial formation of that team and sees what predict success. And one of the things that they look at is. What is the pre-existing relationship before you start a company? So are you friends or were you just acquaintances ready to know each other and then you look at success rate, right? Highest success rate for workers rights, if you work together in the past and you choose to work together again, you're the most likely to be successful. Then it's friends. Then it's random acquaintances. Then it's family at the bottom and comes in and looks that is okay with why our friends less successful than former co-workers. With a problem with friendship is like when you go into a business and your friends before you have that relationship, and you don't want to hurt it.
Right. So you're more or less likely to give people the feedback that they need on how to get better versus former coworker. If you're used to that kind of feedback loop and then with family, it's even worse than that, right? Cuz I don't want to tell this person. They're bad at their job because they're my family. Right? And so we had a conversation early on John and I was like, Hey, we've got to be John said, co-founder, like we have to be honest with each other. If you have to give me feedback if things are working, and I'm going to be good at accepting it, right. So, I otherwise Emperor's clothes situation, Ryder, naked and you don't know it. So I can you eat your own personal life.
Yeah, let's talk about one of those people, right? So then found it right, long time ago is young kid and I think and any concerts at one point to one point three billion dollars depending upon the exchange rate is that often Founders can't scale with a business right to the business. Basically, outgrows you and doesn't seem like it's outgrown. And what do you, what do you think? Has you know, how is what is he allowed him to continue to scale with a business. It's just that way beyond what somebody his age would typically be handling.
I think I think the two things I think then self-awareness on his humidity is on a whole new level. So I think I've been more CO2 level of humidity p.m. To bring in viewers and Paul Richardson.
Is the range of the cold, a health Foundation has come to the next level. So I think the reason why I continue to grow with with Jim practice, is, is the self-awareness it with you. But also there are two portion to be to be the next. I'm really help grow Jim Trek into becoming the biggest and best round in the world. So I think we're very lucky to have someone like to see if you if you said the CEO of gymshark.
I don't think as many as any she yelled out there in the world, like like Steven is in his approach is the humidity is approachability. You know, I mean, I'm almost at the dealership in people and give them the economy and needs to be involved in everything was Jolla. You're the best person for this job. You know what that is? No, I do. I'm always here to support you, whatever you need to do a few things so important.
Come all the conversations with people, your network. I feel like I'm supposed to leave on the things that a lot of Founders or businesses don't necessarily understand, cuz you see a lot, a lot of business is our business is out of work for the other company, scales and grows. Sometimes they called me, well, maybe take a certain elements from you and your department only to give give someone. So you can do that better. Sometimes I think people are well away from you so you can do most things. It's a super hard thing to learn. I mean, because it's typically like from personal experience. It's usually almost all of your butt.
Right is in this one business you started there at the beginning. So you're very invested in the problem and not being able to be a difficult. I mean, we had just happened with us. Two years ago and listen to podcast this again, but we was traveling probably 40% of the time that wasn't in office and I'll set about sixty or seventy percent that company reporting in to me. And so was I was never there cuz when I was available and on top of that I found her to let the other John, he would try and step of the scenario. And so I made a payment about two years ago to have him Focus entirely internally focused entirely externally and it took time to come but now it's like so cool.
I spend so much time, like, doing the podcast. We've got Clubhouse. I'm meeting with client, press and all the stuff that just allowing me to do what I'm good at, right? And also allowing other people to do what they're good at and so it's it's a tough thing to learn, right? But that's what was the biggest talking to you face. And within those first, couple of months are not going to report to me anymore, right there to get a report to John. And so that was a big thing that really got me through it, like other people on effort. It described in a variety of different ways. Right? And the way they always seems easier his people have superpowers and they have weaknesses.
Things that you're incredibly good at and there are certain things in the world that I'm going to be. I have a chance of being in the top 1% of anybody in the world at doing this for hire, right? And so, I want to focus on those things. I can be so much better than everybody else. That like, if I put time and effort focus and do it. The results are going to be really strong right now. I'm going to go to speech couch. If you like why like you're a good speaker might because I want to get better. Like this is something that I'm inherently really good at ironic. I did end up liking this point. I think the hardest part for sure cuz that's what you're managing people success and always has to be,
I think the scale to the company today is much different than it was when you were some of your growing plant over some of the hardest things for you during that crap. So many opportunities.
What happen if he gets Fitness influencers into my other program sports team challenges?
What do you work with working with people? And I think a lot of a lot of businesses incomplete dominance Society on the sound of realize that I think a lot of companies are optional and it's set up. A u x u d y.
What can we do to help you and give you value of you being associated with you to help you? And I mean, this is how we see you have enough for the brand.
Aldi ad, Landscaping, I'll get more and more competitive constantly evolve are offering, and I keep keep close relationships with all of us. Had, we keep our friends friends. How do we help them set up their own businesses, how to make the person, giving them opportunities to people, we work with an unsafe. It is your ears to the ground and people compared to the likes of New Orleans. We're on our way on our way.
Mario are frozen are involved in turn the apartments in how you do things. We've experienced a lot of growing pains very quickly because of the growth of the company's growth pains. I think a lot of pain all the time. Is it like you're just going from one pain point to the next?
What's the phone thing about it? You know, I mean it, you know, you have all these places and call me everyday is different at work and stuff like that. And you're in a lot of sense, a lot of companies and individuals on a regular basis.
Yeah, I mean the your your the way I've heard it, described it when we first started 25 years old, right? So all things considered. And if things are on fire and Steve starboard, twenty-five years to get out and seen a lot is a guy's is a good, stout is in every company. He's like, it's always, he's like, like a jack on the water. Is if you look at your competitors and all you see is above the water. They're just like swimming along cuz I put underneath like furiously kicking it at is every single company. They're all like that.
What is a pretty big part of your your program? Right? And I think was interesting for me when you, when you talk about them. And for my observation is, you're approaching it very differently than a lot of the brands and a lot of them are brand. And what I mean by that is one of the biggest mistakes that we see is Brands come in, and they treated like a media by Chinese athlete to go to pay them or these influencers, going to pay them to talk about me and then we move on to the next set in the next set. The next step Next Step versus, you know, the Nike or Nike model right where it's like a LeBron for the rest of his life. Like it's going to be that long. Like that's how long the partnership is. It seems like you guys are modeling yourselves off of that much. More than the former. Is that. How do
Think about that in terms of your your relationships with them because of tourism in like at the small Fitness community. And I think
Building relationships with people who believe in the people who had an influence in the bed, the Brandon. Grow, the brand that develop into a long-term partnership. We are a community brand. We're human Brandon on the chi focuses for growing community.
I'm supposed to just have a little small partnership Here, There and Everywhere. I've lost over the years. It would not be an authentic, in the sentence and like we kind of stumbled upon long-term partnership, stock for long-term Partnerships were necessary thing with an influencer size, as long as it has four sides with your, with your body.
Put them what we realize was.
In order to bring people into your community and do it in an authentic way.
Nice tree. Trying to build a connection with long-term Ambassador than enough to integrate their community of the part of the community's help. I think we haven't signed anyone on a lifetime agreements. Like night, have fun. Again. Anyone we want to work with, we want to invest in them. You know, that's not to say, the transactional repay you at why? You don't even if you forgot to do this, let's let's focus on the long-term. Give them to Financial Security. They deserve, we know it takes more than I think it will happen before. This is all said and done, but that isn't my collection.
You can you kick. I think you had long-term short-term. They all have their own benefit. I think they need to be quite specific and understand the terms before you jump into a long-term partnership influencers play. Powerful believe in something that Community will buy into a community will box them and an aunt. Leaving a sentence with we vote for the folk songs while he's like, like I said, he likes massive massive names reach out before to acolyte. They always thought as a paycheck or, you know, mean,
I'm happy to say that I can usually work with all of our season, passes the ball into the incredible things. They genuinely believe in what we're we're setting out to achieve. Our goal of the north side is South an even bigger part of what we do, you know that represents the bronze, screw advocacy and if I get more authentic than.
100% is the best parts about doing this podcast. Is gymshark is significantly outpaced Adidas, right? And then we talk to you guys. What we thought was working is working. Right? Like this is the approach that works different flavors and but it's just so cool. And so cool to have that validated. So let's talk about community. Of course, you know, we have been started. It just started working with these people. They grew over time, but you are personally in the US for a reason. Right now. It seems like crying really quickly for you guys at least, four medium be perspective. How did you go about building Community, kind of in these other regions and I know you're in other regions as well.
How do you initially start to see the relationships out here?
Thanks, again. This, this came back to, to the early days to impact. Even before myself on there, 30 days, oven fan was sending a product to Olga's Lovato.
Nikki blackketter, I don't mean to see the original gymshark athletes. And it's only things with social media as well as like these guys have followers all over the world and I think it was only until like to do all the guards, like, see cars over from the US and the UK.
Text. Nobody realized I can help communities where until we got to the expo at the body power and then a band in the guys feel like you're washing clothes and I'll see how the next book. I don't think we realized the community or the audience we had in the US until we went there. And when the guys went to the other FedEx on, you have these six are a few people around us,, but then they realize this like true influencer marketing. We've been able to put a product of these different audiences all over the world. So I think in today's world is why you have your paid media strategies and you can hire the people in Nebraska, for example, of what I think. I think organically the brownies growing through.
The combination of influencer marketing profiles.
It was already like verify or validate it. Until the guy said, don't forget like, FedEx on seen thousands of kids turning up to the gym, track sound and audio to Sandra to Flight of the circumstances of empty. So I think I think you know me your advice to order other brands and businesses out there. Looking at art in specific Market is unlike its locality for who are relevant in those markets and an audience and onions. In the World Market, Santa can engage in contact with out in field service.
Yeah, I mean, I think we tell people a lot cuz there's all kinds of ways that you can Target people, you can Target them based on audience, demographics, audience, location, whatever. And the thing that we really focus on his leg is all that passion, right? Wherever this person is if they've got a lot of passion for your category and really passionate about your brand, that's a good person for you to work with. They can be based in the Netherlands. If they got a really big audience right there, get out an impact globally, not just in the Netherlands, cuz the Internet isn't Regional, right? Like if you speak, the biggest thing is just language, right? If you speak English in pack and all the countries speak English, if you speak Spanish, you're going to bring it back in the countries that speak Spanish. Like that's that's the one barrier we found where like people don't like watching translate videos all that much but it's a total side benefit of this influence. Your space is how much easier it makes Global expansion.
I think I'm like 20,000 people turned over the US, you know, me. And so I think that's tools that you can never to pour from it like a media perspective. They can be from Dublin Ireland for have Ava to know the login play resonate and surprises can be when they turn off location of certain city or country. We measured the data. I need to look at 90% of the content. 95% of the content created by gymshark is organic just by the end of time.
And effort and money spent on paid relationships. How do you guys think about balancing those two? And it, how do you think about when you're thinking about, who you want to bring on? As a paid partner? What are some of the criteria that you guys use when you're when you're thinking about that? It's like an ecosystem.
It's like it's one of those things right? Not this weekend to 2K to the Ambassador /. Athlete roster relatively Exclusive by the people for a year because they're the reason of prestige associated with being a part of your truck will be in the gym for a coffee. Still require.
We we we can fetch it keep to to Sacramento of people every year at the issue is if we refuse to the folks on the filter in the world to be missing out on. So you have this incredible like this is an incredible speed and strategy and those are the genuine authentic approach. You know, I mean, I think it's authentic people. You want to see the rate of successful feeding strategy.
Go back to like the long-term side effects, hit with RIT RIT roster for the short-term partnership on a more campaign basis. For strategic marketing team, do an amazing job of creating authentic. Every partnership. Every activation has to have a purpose. I didn't like your parents.
Sometimes it's too many people as possible. And with with everything that's going on, with kosher salt, to need to get the kids in your product. Yummy everybody calls. And it's not a good job of marketing, super influential, super cool. And then all of a sudden for Contra, Costa County.
Leggings with a mission statement of a person building a community.
Organic grocery speed is so much stronger than what will their businesses in because if he wasn't trying to pay for it, you're just forcing it. You don't need to know. There's no real reason why people would purchase a brown.
I'm focusing on sports bras per year.
Order Hotel Incognito building building businesses to value and salad X-Men issue Dog. The book by soundbite specifically to running in like the 70s and 80s right now. Play Delta onboard.
French peppered with like-minded individuals and talk back to me. And I feel like it is quite like, brewdog purpose of lost. A lot of great things to come after us. Plenty of opportunities for our purpose was because we had this to say, say, hope to keep keep moving forward, through all the distractions.
Yeah, it's tough. I mean it's tough to come up with a purpose as a brand that people can get behind and it also doesn't feel you. No right to take or forced. I need to stop saying that I really do which was yesterday, so I can tell people start making fun of it. Then it hasn't stuck. Right. It sounds like that phrase and turn, right? And everybody's on board and nose knows the direction. They're heading.
Let's talk at least a kind of hard numbers and then we'll get into some fun questions. And I think I've almost take a nap time already. So so for you guys got a hard. Kpi. Do you have any hard kpi that you think about when you're working with influencers and the cut of the broader Community? Or is it more important for you guys?
I think helping measurements quantifiable Encore at call us, is like a measurement is important. I see you. Should I go to work? Like, when when it's when you talk to me like a vampire, and a shirt for different campaigns. I think, every time we should serve this on purpose. I posit that the Catawba Don't Go Boyz every combination of its own goal, and objective soap.
I think as soon as we've grown as a brownie, becomes harder to help set up setting number for across the entire entire roster or ecosystem. Stephanie. Why is relocating to connect phone to fire or measure hair with you until I get used to using the Detroit Dynamic spot for him to understand, kind of a voice in the market. Looking at a slight. How many views were Trevor Sivan on the multi bases engagement Impressions. Is this whole thing of yummy, send a picture in your product. And yes, you can call the front door wearing a sport. Like, how many people are truly registered image or video, or like, I mean, nothing in this world needs to TruTV authentic captivating, engaging on top of purpose.
Measurements for the state lottery numbers.
The number to call Michelle my business or if you know the condition community.
Yeah, that makes sense to do a couple fun and if show questions and then we will move on and our Friday. So I see you've been selling a lot of time traveling between the US and Europe and I'm a big beer fan, right? I'd love to know. Do you prefer European beer or you ask what your preference is to drink beer?
Bikers Guinness and then there's beer, tell me one more can of US, vs. Europe, engineer. So I know you're a big sports fan and he played Sports growing up. Have you been able to adopt any of the u.s. For lack of power? Is it still, is it still all actual football? What's the, what's what's the what's the verdict playing football on YouTube?
Yeah, that makes sense. I really appreciate you taking the time,. I know I learned a lot today, and I know people really going to take this one for us and for them. And yeah, and happy Friday. Thanks. Thanks again.
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In Episode 22 of Earned, Conor chats with Calum Watson, Global Partnerships Director at cult-favorite (and rapidly growing) fitness apparel brand Gymshark. We start by discussing the innovative initiatives Gymshark launched to connect its community amid the pandemic, and how the brand leveraged the home workout trend to drive growth. We then dive into Calum’s background, and hear a little bit about his time running the influencer program at Myprotein, before jumping into his role at Gymshark. Calum shares some of the challenges and growing pains that he experienced in the face of the brand’s rapid growth, and reveals the humble qualities that allowed Gymshark founder Ben Francis to scale the business. We then learn more about Gymshark’s athlete ambassador program and hear Calum’s human-centric philosophies around nurturing genuine, long-term relationships and mutually beneficial partnerships with influencers. We also touch on Gymshark’s international community building strategies, and hear about the brand’s breakdown of organic and paid relationships, before Calum closes the episode by emphasizing Gymshark’s purpose and how “everything has to tie back to that purpose.”