​Asics buys Runkeeper to gatecrash the sports tech party

Running shoe company is keeping up with the Joneses
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Asics has bought Runkeeper, as it aims to keep up with its rivals Adidas, Nike and Under Armour.

There's no information yet how much Asics has paid out for the running app, which boasts over 40 million users, however lay offs at the company last year probably means it got a half decent price.

Essential reading: How to run better with Runkeeper

Jason Jacobs, founder of Runkeeper, took to Medium to reveal the buyout, and hinted at the future of the app:

"When we look ahead, it seems 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."

"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 and can engage with them in a more personalised way," he said.

So what can we expect from the relationship? New sports tech has comes out of New Balance, which confirmed at CES that it was creating a digital division and Under Armour, which forked out for Endomondo and MapMyFitness last year, is now launching bands, smart scales and even connected shoes.

The truth is that most big sports companies want a digital platform for the data and the marketing potential to millions of runners, as we saw with Adidas, which snapped up rival Runkeeper's big rival Runtastic last year.

In his post Jacobs admitted nothing is likely to change immediately, but it adds Asics into the exciting mix of big brands about to take sports tech to the next level.

​Asics buys Runkeeper to gatecrash the sports tech party

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James Stables


James is the co-founder of Wareable, and he has been a technology journalist for 15 years.

He started his career at Future Publishing, James became the features editor of T3 Magazine and T3.com and was a regular contributor to TechRadar – before leaving Future Publishing to found Wareable in 2014.

James has been at the helm of Wareable since 2014 and has become one of the leading experts in wearable technologies globally. He has reviewed, tested, and covered pretty much every wearable on the market, and is passionate about the evolving industry, and wearables helping people achieve healthier and happier lives.

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