Creative 7 Min Read

Knock Out the Competition with Your Next Sports & Fitness Apparel Ad

Written by Tim Edmundson

The sports and fitness apparel is a huge industry with a lot of potential for growth. One source has suggested this category is projected to reach sales of $231.7 billion by the year 2024. But with such a large industry, it might seem impossible to stand out from the crowd and capture those consumers who have been saturated with imagery and products from other brands. This could leave you feeling stuck as you start to think about creative for your next sport apparel campaign.

But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. The SteelHouse design team has worked on innumerable ads within this industry, and have shared a few sample ad templates and recommendations for creative that grabs user attention. With these tips in hand, your next campaign’s creative should definitely stand out from the crowd.

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When discussing this topic with our team, there was one feature that they emphasized the most – the power of action as a design tool when creating ads for a sports and fitness apparel brand. One way to achieve this is through the use of video, a feature that can result in strong engagement with your ad. One of the most universal ways to appeal to any sports apparel purchaser is to make the activities of the consumer the focus of your ad. Your audience is all about being in motion – so it makes sense that your ads should be too.

Videos can be used capture the feeling of using your products, and surveys have found that they’re one of the ways the younger demographics research their next purchase. According to one source, 38% of people ages 18-34 used a video as a source for apparel research. Using the same format in your ads will mirror the experience this audience goes through when making purchasing decisions.

This ad starts with an engaging video sure to capture a viewer’s attention, then transitions into a close up of the product. Consider using a combination of video and still images when designing your next ad.

If you don’t have videos on hand, animations can also be employed in an action-packed and intense way that embodies the lifestyle of your audience. You can highlight any obstacle in the way of their goals, and then use your brand as the solution to overcoming that challenge. In these ads, make sure your logo is visible throughout the process, so as to imprint your ability to help your audience achieve their goals. By calling upon the the emotions and ambition of your audience, you can create a correlation between the purchase of your products and the eventual achievement of their real-life dreams.

The bright colors and action-packed imagery of this ad are evoke the feeling of competing in each of the sports highlighted.


Big brands like Nike and Adidas have done a good job over the years creating an aesthetic that fits their products and embodies their company ethos. Depending on your brand style, sometimes the easiest way to appeal to your target audience and win new customers is to let your products be the star of the ad. This is especially true within the luxury sportswear industry, which is known to value the social media currency of a well pulled-together sportswear outfit. Like the people who buy your products, this industry is fast-paced and constantly in-flux, so simplifying your focus to specific items can stretch out the life of your campaign and give it more longevity within the sports apparel ad space.

This animated ad tells the story of the brand’s target audience, and builds a relationship between sports apparel and “crushing your goals.”


Speaking of showcasing your products, our designers like to use carousels to highlight multiple items in a short period of time. This will make it even easier for prospective customers to get a taste of how your particular products look. SteelHouse designers suggest combining any carousel with an eye-catching animation or video to get consumers even more excited about the prospect of wearing your styles.

This carousel ad becomes even more successful when combined with the visually arresting intro video.

The carousel ad format is also useful for showcasing ongoing sales on your products. And considering the oftimes high price-point of sports and fitness apparel products, your target audience will likely appreciate notice of any discounts they might have otherwise missed.


Hopefully with these tips in mind, your next campaign will be a cinch to get started on. Just remember to use videos and carousels to your advantage and highlight your target audience’s action-pack lifestyle, and you will be well on your way to creating a campaign with engaging creative.