Japanese athletics kit maker Asics is set to acquire the creator of fitness app Runkeeper, as it becomes the latest sports company to show a desire to enter the connected health industry.
Runkeeper is an app that tracks and records fitness activities such as running, walking and cycling through GPS on devices, with around 33 million registered users.
Asics said it expects the fitness tracking app market to expand thanks to increased health awareness of consumers, growth of the smartphone market and advancement of wearable technologies.
Through the acquisition it wants to “establish a one-to-one marketing channel utilising user data including fitness information and obtain a digital technology development platform that is led by a management team with extensive experiences in this field”.
It also wants to “provide new contents and cutting edge services utilising advanced digital technology”.
“We both have deep roots in and focus on running as a core component of the fitness experience,” said Fitnesskeeper, adding that using its ‘shoe tracker’ feature it knows that Ascis shoes are “by far” the ones that Runkeeper users run in the most.
“Fitness brands of the future will not just make physical products, but will be embedded in the consumer journey in ways that will help keep people motivated and maximise their enjoyment of sport,” it continued.
Last year, Under Armour, a sports clothes and accessories brand, acquired apps vendors Endomondo and MyFitness Pal, as part of its drive to establish “the world’s largest digital health and fitness community”.
Last year, Adidas bought the maker of the Runtastic app, to “make sport inspiring and part of everyone’s lives”.