Under Armour’s Fitness App Acquisitions Spotlights #WearableTech Competition #MandA #CEO #CFO


There’s an overabundance of mobile fitness apps all trying to carve out market share.  It’s getting fiercely competitive.

The question is: Which app will become a pervasive part of the mobile fitness ecosystem?  And who will go out with a whimper?

Open for comments and opinions…


…via ChiefExecutive.net | Chief Executive magazine

In early February, Under Armour, maker of performance footwear, apparel and accessories, announced it would acquire two fitness apps for $560 million. The move would give UA a ready-made foothold in the digital world with 120 million members. This acquisition speaks volumes about the way technology is becoming pervasive among all companies and audiences and what types of tech acquisitions all companies should consider.

Bringing together Under Armour’s expertise in fitness clothing with the technical know-how of the teams at MyFitnessPal, MapMyFitness and Endomondo has the potential to create a new wave of smart clothing that is both functional for the customer and insightful for UA.

Wearable data’s endless insight
Wearable data today can analyze heart rate, blood pressure and sugar levels. Utilizing the data at its disposal, UA has the potential to create the next wave of fitness devices that can go way beyond basic data-driven solutions, such as the number of steps a person takes and caloric intake. For instance, it could potentially tell an athlete when its time to drink water because he’s dehydrated, or when to go to sleep to maximize her sleep cycle, all while tracking that information and sending it back to the data warehouse.

“This acquisition speaks volumes about the way technology is becoming pervasive among all companies and audiences and what types of tech acquisitions all companies should consider.”

This acquisition speaks volumes about the way technology is becoming pervasive among all companies and audiences and what types of tech acquisitions all companies should consider.

Is this conversation causing your wheels to turn? Are you jotting down questions to ask your CIO or the general manager of your manufacturing facility?

Building a business case for mobile apps
Under Armour’s recent acquisitions are just two more examples of the high value more traditional organizations are placing on what mobile apps can provide them—namely massive captive and highly engaged audiences.

In addition, regional expansion is a huge driver of this decision. Just last year, MyFitnessPal made a strong play at expanding into China, Japan and Korea by launching localized apps for each. That can be a tricky place to gain adequate exposure, much less significant traction, so this is a huge play for a growing brand like Under Armour.

The acquisition points to technology becoming more pervasive among all companies and audiences, but more than that, it also suggests the new markets it can open up for companies. A good example is Twitter’s $30-million acquisition of ZipDial, which position’s the company to enter the mobile advertising space and have access to India’s consumers.

Companies consider these tech acquisitions as a way to gain a competitive edge as well. A relatively young brand like Under Armour has the challenge of unseating legacy brands like Nike and Adidas for consumer loyalty around the world. Those particular brands have a head start on Under Armour that can be measured in generations, so creative ways to get their products in front of more consumers on a more consistent basis is probably seen by their leadership as a necessity to compete.

As all companies turn more and more toward big data for insight, we shouldn’t forget that tech companies, and especially mobile apps, have an incredible amount of data on their users and their everyday behaviors. In addition to an incredible pool of data, Under Armour has bought a massive test-bed for new product ideas and campaign strategies. This model can be easily replicated in any industry.

Source: Under Armour’s Fitness App Acquisitions Spotlight the Power of Wearable Data | ChiefExecutive.net | Chief Executive magazine.

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