Athletic apparel maker Under Armour expanded both its global and online reach Wednesday, announcing deals to buy two fitness apps for a total of $560 million.
The two apps are MyFitnessPal, a California-based online and smartphone app that lets people track diets and workouts, and Endomondo, a Danish start-up that lets people post their workouts online and share fitness-related news and events. MyFitnessPal claims 80 million registered users, and Endomondo claims 20 million users, 80 percent of which the company says are outside the United States.
Under Armour already owns MapMyFitness and Record, apps that have an estimated 31 million users.
In an earnings conference call announcing the deals, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank said the deals have resulted in "the formation of the world's largest digital health and fitness community."
This new community, Plank said, will not only benefit athletes, but also beef up Under Armour's bottom line.
"The truth is that you know more about how your car is performing than your own body," Plank said. "We see the potential to inform and inspire our consumer through these assets, and its impact on our ability to sell shirts and shoes is unparalleled in our industry.
"We built a $3 billion business by making great product and telling great stories," Plank continued, "but there's nothing that says we must follow our competitors' playbook, especially when the way consumers digest media and make their purchase decisions is undergoing such dramatic shifts. The net result of this shift is that our consumer is demanding more from athletic brands than just making shirts and shoes."
Mac Gambill, CEO of healthy lifestyle hub Nudge, says he sees another potential driver behind Under Armour's new acquisitions.
"Under Armour is in a unique position to lead the smart clothing revolution, merging their gear with some of the leading tracking technologies," Gambill says. "Over the past year we've seen new players emerge, promising smart clothing that can track user output without the hassles of having to wear anything other than the clothing itself. Bringing together Under Armour's expertise in fitness clothing with the technical know-how of the teams at MyFitnessPal, MapMyFitness and Endomondo has the potential to create a new wave of smart clothing that is both functional and attractive to the average consumer."