What are the Most Popular Sportswear Brands in the UK in 2021?

What is the most popular sportswear brand in the UK in 2021?


Sportswear and Activewear is very popular in the UK, with a large proportion of the population participating in sports and working out regularly. This article explores which brand is the most popular and which has seen the greatest growth and which has been hit the hardest following the Covid-19 pandemic. We have conducted a keyword analysis with the keyword tool KWFinder to discover which brand is being searched the most in the UK. This will provide us with an idea of how popular and how successful each brand is in the UK in 2021.

Most Popular Sportswear Brand in the UK

Average monthly searches in the UK for the 10 largest sportswear brands. Search volumes extracted from keyword tool KWFinder.


  • As you can see, Nike is the most popular sportswear brand in the UK, generating 1.83 million searches on average per month.
  • This is then followed by Adidas in 2nd place with 1 million monthly searches on average.
  • Claiming the third place on the podium is GymShark, with an average of 815 thousand searches per month.


From our list, we have identified the top 5 most searched sportswear brands and identified how the demand of these brands has changed over time. This is displayed in the below graphic.

Sportswear Market Growth - Past 5 years UK

Number of searches in June every year since 2016 for the 5 largest sportswear brands previously analysed. Search volumes extracted from KWFinder.


  • Adidas was the most popular sportswear brand in the UK between 2017 and 2018, but demand has remained relatively constant since. On the other hand, demand for Nike has risen drastically from 1 million searches in June 2016 to 2.2 million searches in June 2021 making it the most popular sportswear brand in the UK.
  • GymShark has experienced drastic growth since 2016, going from 22 thousand monthly searches to 1 million in June 2020 before dropping back to 673 thousand in June 2021. This means that between 2016 and 2020, popularity of the brand soared by a 4445.45% increase.
  • Both North Face and Champion have increased in search volumes significantly since 2016, with North face rising from 90,500 to 450,000 monthly searches and Champion rising from 27,100 to 550,000 monthly searches.

How Popular are Sportswear Brands on Social Media?

To further understand the social following and popularity of these brands, we have identified the number of Instagram followers each brand has as these followers are likely to be customers. The top ten most followed sportswear brands are listed in the table below. It is worth noting that the number of followers is based on a global scale, making this metric less relevant to the UK market. Furthermore, the reason we opted for analysing Instagram followers rather than an alternative social media is due to the fact that the visual nature of the platform allows for brands to effectively communicate their products and messages to their customers.


Sportswear Brand 

Number of Instagram Followers











Under Armour


New Balance






The North Face



  • Nike has by far the largest number of followers with 159 million worldwide fans on Instagram. 
  • Adidas is second once again with 25.9 million followers.
  • The third most searched sportswear brand, GymShark is only the 9th most followed sportswear brand on Instagram.
  • The 10th most searched sportswear brand in the UK, Puma, is the 4th most followed Instagram page, showing the strength of the brand on a global scale.

Summary: The Most Popular Sportswear Brands in the UK

To conclude, the giants of Nike and Adidas remain the most popular sportswear brands in the UK both in terms of search volumes and social media following. However, notably, GymShark has grown rapidly in recent years, gaining over 1 million instagram followers in 2020 and having a substantial search volume.


As sportswear continues to grow in popularity, we hope that this article has helped you understand the leading brands in the space and which are growing at the fastest rates.


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