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Partner: Gym+Coffee

Partner: Gym+Coffee

11 February, 2020


Gym+Coffee is Ireland’s largest retailer of athleisure and aims to create social experiences centred around exercise. With an initial idea for a men’s hoodie, the founders Niall Horgan, Diarmuid McSweeney and Karl Swaine began to build the Gym+Coffee community and officially launched the brand in January 2017. There are now four retail stores in Ireland, a bustling e-commerce site and 20+ team members. Their goal is to expand further into Europe, the U.K. and the Americas.

The Need:

The brand awareness of Gym+Coffee for those aged between 18-49 years old is 42%. Their goal is to build this awareness in 2020 and attract more people to the brand. They need to discover how they could attract this demographic to their brand, website and stores by building on their brand message of ‘Make Life Richer’ and their existing marketing initiatives.

They plan to grow sales by 200%. They also want to offer meaningful ways to connect, socialise, have fun and get active. The Gym+Coffee mantra Make Life Richer aims to encourage the community to take daily steps to achieve exactly this.

The Solution:

With a need to develop insightful, innovative & impactful marketing campaigns, Gym+Coffee collaborated with the Department of Marketing and International Business in CIT. 28 groups of 3rd-year students of the Bachelor of Business in Marketing in CIT were tasked with developing advertising and promotional strategies for the Gym+Coffee brand. The groups developed experiential marketing campaign strategies that would ensure a great buzz, increase brand awareness and generate potential new audiences who could translate to sales.

These campaigns were showcased in the form of stands, stalls and some food sampling. Ideas ranged from Mystery Bus tours to Wellness Expos, interactive user generated content concepts and scavenger hunts. 

The winning team’s campaign entitled Talk is Rich took a mental health awareness approach to the task and developed a scalable project that Gym+Coffee felt was feasible in a real-world situation. They set up camp at an organised morning run in Cork, providing space for conversation and of course, piping hot coffee for the attendees. 

Their concept encourages communities to take their commitment to physical health to the next level, by providing a safe and relaxed space to get to know one another more and facilitate a de-stigmatised arena for conversation around their own, and others’ mental health.

Benefit of the Engagement:

The campaigns gave Gym+Coffee an insight into new and innovative ways to reach their customer base. Four groups were selected to compete in the Gym+Coffee CIT Live Case Competition. Each group had to implement a budget and build a simulated marketing campaign from the beginning culminating in a presentation back to the client – Gym+Coffee. 







This experience offers students an incredible foundation in their field and is a clear advantage as they kick-start their careers. They can implement these strategies in a safe environment, yet still feeling some pressure as they are presenting ideas to a real company. It presents real-life challenges to students while exposing them to the industry. Authentic Assessment is at the forefront of all the marketing programmes in CIT.

’Seeing the bright marketing minds of the future in all their experiential glory was such a joy and we loved getting to see a young, community perspective of our brand. The level of creativity and dedication involved was so joyful to experience and this group of Ireland-educated youth are definitely going places!’’- Gym + Coffee




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