Asics an japanese trainer and sportswear manufacturer company has bought the running app 'Runkeeper, making it the latest in a string of fitness app purchases by sporting-goods manufacturers. The app, which has over 33 million users worldwide, is available for the Android, iPhone and with smartwatch apps links to other fitness tracking apps and platforms. Runkeeper was set up in 2008 and quickly became one of the most successful running tracking apps, using a smartphone’s to trace routes, times and distance with GPS. It has became one of the only running apps to support GPS tracking independently of a smartphone on compatible Android Wear smartwatches.
Founder and chief executive of Runkeeper App (Jason Jacobs) said that it is clear that the 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. Jacobs said that the app would continue to exist in its current form and be improved at an increased pace with Asics providing “many resources to bear that we couldn’t fathom having access to on our own”. Jacobs also said that data from Runkeeper users who use its shoe tracking feature shows that tAsics trainers are its most run-in shoes.
Runkeeper boston based was one of the last remaining popular independent fitness tracking apps with millions of users US fitness app MyFitnessPal was bought by sporting apparel manufacturer for an amount for $475m in February last year which also acquired MapMyFitness in 2013. And another German fitness app company Runtastic was bought by Adidas for $239m in August last year.But sports brands with digital fitness integration is not a new idea. Nike was one of the big brands pioneering the field with its various partnerships with Apple under the Nike+ brand, which morphed into the Nike+ Fuelband wristband fitness tracker in 2012 before being discontinued in 2014.
Nike Running apps was continued by nike to make for smartwatches and smartphones including being a launch partner with Apple’s smartwatch. For sporting goods manufacturers having a digital ecosystem is likely to aid customer loyalty as changing your running tracking app with all its data and previous logs of your activity is more involved than simply slipping on a new pair of trainers.

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