The Runkeeper fitness app has been acquired by the Japanese ASICS corporation, as Jason Jacobs, CEO of the former independent app, announced on Friday in a Medium blog post.
ASICS running shoes are the most used by Runkeeper users. According to market analysts, the alliance comes as a response to the success of apps such as the Adidas-owned, Runtastic.
Runkeeper mission is to get the whole world running, said Jacobs. The app, which has been downloaded by more than 45 million people, has created a combination of social networks, personalization, fitness and health.
When looking at the future, it appears that brands will focus on “consumer journeys” more than in physical products, in order to keep them motivated, added Jacobs, who explained that by uniting a digital fitness platform and world class physical products, a new kind of fitness brand can be created.
“Partnering with ASICS to fulfill this vision together makes a ton of sense. We both have deep roots in and focus on running as a core component of the fitness experience. There is strong alignment between our brands and core values,” he wrote Friday.
No much will change for users with the acquisition of Runkeeper by ASICS in the short-term, however the development of the app will be enhanced in the next months with the usage of technological resources owned by the shoe maker.
Runkeeper CEO also thanked the developers team, investors and users for creating together such a powerful fitness platform. The app can be obtained for free, however, a premium version of the service can be experienced by elite users for $9.95.
In the last years, sports brands have been attracted by fitness apps, since it can provide them a huge base of engaged users. In 2015, the American clothing company Under Armour purchased MyFitnessPal, which has been downloaded by more than 20 million people who want to count their calories.
On the other hand, Adidas wanted to attract customers in the segment of running. As a result, it purchased Runtastic, which has developed apps for making push-ups, abs, running, biking and others. That being said, Nike is still the leader when referring to mobile fitness platforms, with its Nike+ app and its alliance with Apple to create a great integration between its running app and the Apple Watch.
Jason Jacobs did not offer economic details about the purchase, however, market analysts said that the acquisition of Runkeeper would have cost several million, since Adidas paid $240 million in 2015 to acquire Runtastic, which has more than 70 million users worldwide.