Under Armour expands mobile fitness innovation with MapMyFitness acquisition

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Under Armour is acquiring MapMyFitness, widening the brand’s access to an active and engaged audience that it can target via mobile as well as hinting to future innovation for Under Armour’s own mobile offerings.

MapMyFitness has been innovating in the digital athletics space since 2006 when it first launched its Web offering, and it now offers numerous ways to track more than 600 kinds of workouts on mobile devices. By acquiring the tracking app, Under Armour can provide itsathletic community of more than 20 million registered userswith innovative technology to help them train, while promoting its own products.

From an end-user perspective not much is going to change, said Chris Glode, general manager at MapMyFitness, Austin, TX. Users are going to be able to use any device they want. Its still going to be free.

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Whats going to change is simply that with this partnership the amount of access we have to technology and to provide users with the greatest fitness products is going to be accelerated, he said. The real winners are our users because were going to be able to build better products with UAs support.

There are exciting features that will be coming to our mobile apps very soon.

Audience overlap
Both MapMyFitness and Under Armour have evolved to address similarly active audiences.

At first Under Armour focused more on team sports and MapMyFitness on individual sports, but as each company has expanded, both are reaching an increasingly similar consumer.

I think that MapMyFitness and Under Armour share a common vision, which is essentially to make all athletes better, Mr. Glode said. Under Armour has been doing that through its clothing and MapMyFitness has been doing it through a software app.

“The innovative nature of both companies and a shared goal was really at the heart of the partnership,” he said. “As we saw how much was in common for our visions it made sense for both sides.

With the acquisition, MapMyFitness will retain its independent headquarters in Austin, TX, but Under Armour will help the company be more innovative in its digital offerings.

MapMyFitness will continue to offer tracking programs for athletes via mobile devices as well as other tracking devices. It leverages GPS to help consumers map, record and share their workouts.

Under Armour already has a mobile-friendly site and a couple of apps, but this acquisition will be sure to move them ahead in the mobile space.

The $150 million deal is expected to close by the end of 2013.


The MapMyFitness app

Targeting athletes
MapMyFitnessusers are key audiences for mobile marketers. MapMyFitness has already seen much success with pushing branded messages to its users after they complete a workout.

For example, Walgreens saw an 8.5 engagement rate with a MapMyFitness campaign earlier this year. At the end of the workout, users saw a full-screen takeover from Walgreens that was combined with an audio message encouraging users to sign up for Balance Rewards the next time they are inside a Walgreens store to earn points for their physical activities (see story).

MapMyFitness will continue to partner with other brands, but Under Armour clearly has an advantage in targeting these active users.

From a mobile marketing perspective, I feel like in the health and fitness category theres not anyone thats doing what MapMyFitness is doing today, so we work hard because brand partnerships have been such an important part of our growth, Mr. Glode said.

We have some of the best targeting in our mobile apps, he said. When a user saves their workout we can give them a targeted message from a brand congratulating them. With this partnership with Under Armour were going to maintain open partnerships with brands.

Final Take
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York


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