Athletic wear company Adidas is hoping to boost its performance in the fitness app race with its recent acquisition of fitness tracking app maker Runtastic.
Adidas already has an in-house fitness device, coined miCoach, and wearables including heart rate straps and watches, and, in the non-wearable health and fitness realm, it also has a smart scale.
Runtastic boasts 70 million users and is valued at about $239 million, Reuters reported Wednesday (Aug. 5). It was bought from its majority owner, Axel Springer SE. Runtastic’s main app is free for download on iOS, Android, BlackBerry, and Windows phones, but there is also a paid app, Runtastic PRO, designed for more serious runners and cyclists. Altogether, Runtastic has 20 health and fitness apps available in 18 languages.
This acquisition could help the sports brand keep up with its rival, Nike, which teamed up with Apple last year to put Nike+ on the iPod and iPhone. Nike has been in the fitness device market since they launched their FuelBand in 2012; Adidas, on the other hand, only recently joined the race last year with miCoach. Adidas also has to keep an eye on Under Armour, the No. 2 sportswear brand in the U.S., which bought diet and exercise app MyFitnessPal and social fitness network Endomondo this year.
It’s no wonder these sports brands are acquiring fitness devices and wearables. With the buzz around the Apple Watch, the word “wearables” may easily be the key word for this year. Big names like Apple, Samsung, and Google are throwing their lots in this growing market, but they’re not the only ones. The wearables market is certainly grabbing the attention of some big players, with little sign of that trend slowing down just yet. And acquiring an app maker that already boasts 70 million customers is certainly one way to get ahead in the wearables race.