One growing trend in the fitness industry seems to be shoe companies acquiring software and app developers. We saw it with UnderArmour buying MyFitnessPal and then Adidas acquiring Runtastic. Now the latest one is another running and fitness tracking app RunKeeper being purchased by shoe and apparel company Asics. The acquisition was announced by founder Jason Jacobs in a post on Medium, explaining why this is a good thing for the company and the app users.
Well, obviously, it is a good thing for FitnessKeeper, the operator of RunKeeper. Fitness apps will not earn enough money just from in-app purchases or subscription services because other apps can offer those “added features” for free. So financially, it makes sense for RunKeeper to grab this opportunity to have more resources that “they couldn’t fathom having access to” on their own. As for Asics, they will have access to the 45 million users of RunKeeper and cross-market their products, which will of course be useful for said users.
According to Jacobs, it makes perfect sense for fitness brands to put two pieces of the puzzle together: the digital fitness platform and world class physical products. This will ensure that the brand is engaged with the customers and the customers get the best all-around experience to "help keep people motivated and maximize their enjoyment of sport.”
Just like most of the other digital acquisitions, RunKeeper assured its users that nothing will change for now from the end-user perspective. They will continue to operate independently, and still develop their fitness apps. But probably later on, aside from just marketing their products in-app or something, Asics will find a way to take advantage of the platform and synergize their two brands.