Under Armor to Buy MapMyFitness: What Does it Mean for Sports Technology?
On November 14th, sports apparel brand, Under Armor, announced its acquisition of MapMyFitness. Based in Austin, Texas, MapMyFitness is a digital technology company that is currently operating one of the largest online fitness communities. The company supports these communities through website, social media, and mobile applications. Lead by its flagship applications of MapMyRun, MapMyRide, and MapMyWalk, MapMyFitness has reached over 20 million registered users. Moreover, the company counts 9 million users active monthly and 700,000 users active daily. The app offers users the ability to map, record, and share their exercise routes and workouts. Additionally, users have access to a database of over 80 million global routes and additional fitness and nutrition tools. At 83 million installs between iOS and Android, MapMyFitness ranks among the top five in sports and fitness app developers. The company is only projected to grow with 200,000 new users signing up each week.
So what does this mean for Under Armor? Firstly, this move places Under Armor in a much more competitive position in terms of fitness technology. Competitors Nike, Adidas, Jawbone, and FitBit have already rolled out branded wearable technology, devices with sensors, companion apps, and, in some cases, social media integration. Nike in particular has seen success with its Nike+ social platform and FuelBand fitness tracker. The acquisition of MapMyFitness provides Under Armor with the user base and expertise to get on top of this growing market. “Athlete biometric measurement is a new business we’re just getting behind,” said Under Armor CEO Kevin Plank in an interview with Forbes.
The sales of wearable fitness technology is current a fairly niche market, but it is rapidly expanding. This year, the sales of fitness devices, apps, and services are expected to reach $1.6 billion. According to market research firm Gartner, these sales are expected to triple to over $5 billion by 2016. The industry is moving toward wearable devices with range sensors, biometric monitoring, and cross platform integration. MapMyFitness provides Under Armor with the cross platform communities, as well as the ability to integrate range sensors and biometric monitoring into the current app. It will be interesting to see how Under Armor chooses to connect the dots between its apparel and the MapMyFitness app.