Adidas recently bought running app Runtastic for $240 million in order to compete with apps like Nike+ and MyFitnessPal. The involvement of these huge sportswear brands is a testament to how huge the fitness app market.
These days, it seems like every company that has anything at all to do with sports is trying to get a fitness app on the market. The most recent entrant was Adidas, which announced its purchase of the fitness app Runtastic for a whopping $240 million earlier this summer.
The Future of Fitness
Runtastic is a socially-minded fitness app that helps users achieve goals by allowing them to track workouts and share their progress with friends and family. According to Adidas, their new acquisition stands apart from similar apps because of its multi-faceted approach.
Runtastic isn’t just for running — it’s actually a package of 20 different apps that cover a wide range of sports, fitness, and endurance activities.
In a conversation with Fortune magazine, Adidas Group CEO Herbert Hainer explained that the investment would “add considerable value on our journey to deliver new world-class sports experiences.”
What’s clear is that it’s not just about GPS tracking and heart-rate monitors anymore. The newest trend in fitness tech is to crowd-source the motivation to keep running from a community of users. But Adidas isn’t the only company taking advantage of that trend — apps like Runtastic are becoming increasingly common among modern fitness enthusiasts.
Just last February, according to Forbes, Under Armour bought the San Francisco-based health tracker MyFitnessPal for $475 million. And while investments like the ones Under Armour and Adidas are making might seem over the top to some, when you consider that Digital Trends estimates that the mobile fitness market’s value is expected to reach $26 billion by 2017, the numbers start to look a little more reasonable.
The Next Big Thing
But no app is perfect. Even Runtastic’s Leg Workout app, which received mostly favorable reviews, was criticized for not offering enough room for customization (as reported by Android Guys). It just goes to show that there’s always room for improvement, and there’s definitely still room on the field for new players who want to tap into the mobile fitness app industry.
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