Following in the footsteps of competitors, Adidas and Under Armor, ASICS will buy fitness app-maker, Runkeeper. The move was announced on Medium by Runkeeper’s founder, Jason Jacobs, and indicates that all fitness apparel companies clearly see the need to embed tracking technology, and/or tie-in apps with their brands.
Jacobs notes that partnering with ASICS to fulfill the company’s vision made complete sense. Not only is ASICS a running-oriented company, but, the manufacturer’s shoes are ‘by far’ the most popular brand among Runkeeper users.
In the short term, nothing major will change. Runkeeper will continue on its path, and will be improved faster now that it has major infrastructure (and budget) behind it.
From the end-user standpoint, not much will change. Not only will the Runkeeper product carry on, but we will be able to move even faster. We will be able to pursue the vision we’ve set out to pursue all along, with a partner that can bring many resources to bear that we couldn’t fathom having access to on our own.
While Nike opted to develop its own tracking technology and products years ago with the ill-fated Fuel Band lineup, other fitness companies opted to buy-in to existing apps. Under Armor, as an example, now owns MyFitnessPal and Endomondo, and also has its own tracking wearables. Its recently launched ‘RE’ running shoes, and the Healthbox announced at CES show the fitness giant’s focus on adopting modern tech. Adidas, likewise, purchased Runtastic.
While the post claims nothing will change, it would be unusual if ASICS didn’t leverage the partnership to develop embedded tracking tech in to its running shoes. Having a pair of shoes which automatically track runs, and sync with Runkeeper seems like a no-brainer.