Here is some interesting data we have put together, gathered from the top five companies in the fitness apparel. The report looks at how the fitness giants are dealing with the wearable tech revolution, and the investments they’ve made over the last five years in this emerging landscape.
Fitness, health, wellness and fashion industries appear to be the most affected by the wearable tech scene and its rising actors. The most popular, for the time being, are the fitness and the health-monitoring wearables, followed by the environment and the big data gathering sensors.
As the fitness apparel market becomes more digital and quantified, the traditional brands are rethinking their products and their business models in order to remain relevant and competitive.
And here it is our top five investors in wearable tech, over the last five years.
1. Under Armour
3. Columbia Sportswear
fitness apparel makers are the most active in wearable tech
But let’s detail a bit on the pic above.
“The new kid in town”, is leading the pack with its numerous high price investments. Endomondo and MyFitnessPal, both digital health apps were acquired by the company for $560 million. U.A. is also the owner of the mobile app suite, “MapMyFitness”.
It was another “exercise” of over $150 million, directed at matching the data gathering hardware from”MyFitnessPal” with the data analytics software of “MapMyFitness”. Total investments: close to $700 million.
These smart acquisitions have provided U.A. with over 150 million registered users. It is an army of users that log every day what they eat and their fitness routines. Also, U.A.’s digital division has grown from less than 60 people in 2013 to over 400 at the end of last year.
Adidas, Columbia Sportswear, and Asics come in 2nd, 3rd and the 4th place with at least one wearable tech acquisition in the past five years. Adidas bought the fitness tracking app “Runtastic” for $240 million. Columbia Sportswear acquired for $190 million the yoga based e-commerce portal “prAna“.
And Asics, the running shoe company, got for only $85 million the health and fitness ecosystem, “FitnessKeeper”.
Nike, however, went the extra mile and invested outside the connected fitness apps, smart devices and electronic commerce in Llamasoft and Grabit. Inc.
Similar Read: Under Armour Band And HealthBox – Top Fitness Platform
Nike remains the only company “playing” in equity financings of private firms. For example, Nike co-invested beside the VCs Formation 8 and the Battery Ventures in Grabit and Reflektion. Nike gets only the fifth place in our chart for slowing down the investments in wearable tech over the last two years.
Still, conform to Nike’s CEO, Mark Parker, the company is working on a new wearable tech device in collaboration with Apple. The two companies are partners in the fitness sector for some time now, going back to 2006 when the Nike+iPod fitness tracker was released.
With digital health sector booming and Apple increasing its efforts with its Apple Watch and the Health Kit, this could be the right time. And, for our benefit, the end users, I can only hope that the two companies are indeed going to join forces. Once again.
In conclusion, the fitness apparel makers remain the most active players in wearable tech. However, there are signals that the fashion industry is catching up. and it is catching up fast.