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Asics keeps pace with Adidas with Runkeeper acquisition

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"Fitness brands of the future will not just make physical products"

Runkeeper / ASICS

Running apps and sportswear companies go together like, well, running apps and sportswear companies. Last year, Under Armour bought MyFitnessPal and Adidas bought Runtastic — now, it's the turn of Asics, which has entered into a "definitive agreement" to buy Runkeeper for an undisclosed sum. The app's founder, Jason Jacobs, announced the news in Medium post, saying that there was a "strong alignment" between the two brands and their core values. He adds that even Runkeeper's own Shoe Tracker feature shows that Asics gear is most popular with its runners.

"When we look ahead, it seems clear that the fitness brands of the future will not just make physical products," writes Jacobs. "By putting these two pieces together (digital fitness platform and world class physical products), you can build a new kind of fitness brand that has a deeper, more trusted relationship with consumers."

It's a formula that the whole industry seems to be betting on. As well as Under Armour and Adidas' acquisitions, Nike has also created a strong presence in the tech world, first with its FuelBand fitness tracker (development on which has now ceased) and also with its Nike+ app (first released in 2006). For Runkeeper though, the acquisition might have been more pragmatic, with the app cutting 30 percent of its staff last summer in order, it said, to focus on revenue over user growth. Getting bought probably helps with that too.