Japan’s footwear and sports equipment maker ASICS (rather than New Balance as we thought) has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Fitness Keeper, the company behind the popular fitness tracking app Runkeeper. Terms of the deal, including how much money was on the table, were not shared in the announcement.
ASICS will now use the talent and technology of Runkeeper to create one of the “fitness brands of the future,” one that goes beyond physical products and is “embedded in the consumer journey in ways that will help keep people motivated and maximize their enjoyment of sport.”
As far as end-users are concerned, Runkeeper will keep all of the features that made it one of the best apps for runners and other fitness enthusiasts. On top of that, with additional resources ASICS brings to the table, we may see them adding new features faster.
But they are not the only fitness tracking company that was scooped up by an established sports equipment maker. Under Armour is best-known for acquiring not one but four different mobile apps/services — MapMyFitness, Endomondo, MyFitnessPal and Gritness. There’s also Adidas which bought Runtastic, while Nike has its own digital fitness division.
With competition rising in the Far East (i.e. China), these digital solutions can help the Western players differentiate their brands and, ultimately, keep their customers.