Under Armour, the Baltimore-based gear and apparel company, has purchased social fitness network Endomondo for $85 million and diet and exercise app MyFitnessPal for $475 million, according to a Wednesday press release.
By acquiring Endomondo, which has 20 million registered users, and MyFitnessPal, which has more than 80 million users, Under Armour estimates it has now brought a total of 120 million registered users onto Connected Fitness, its own social platform. Following the December 2013 acquisition of MapMyFitness, another social fitness company, experts say Under Armour is poised to oversee the world’s largest digital health and fitness community.
“It means that Under Armour could be a major player in the health data wars to come,” Sean Hollister wrote in an op-ed for Gizmodo.
Kevin Plank, founder and CEO of Under Armour, said the purchases are part of a long-term strategy built on the assumption that the more people use mobile devices to track their activity, the more likely they are to exercise and use athletic gear and apparel.
“Understanding the evolving needs of our athletes—how they interact, how they consume, and ultimately how they strive to live healthier lifestyles—will be key inputs to forging deeper relationships and becoming more relevant to how the consumer shops for our brand,” Plank said in the press release.
Moreover, Plank has said he expects the fields of apparel and wearable tech to eventually merge.
“I think wearables will equal apparel someday,” he said in an interview on CNBC. “Everything’s going to have a chip in it.”
Under Armour’s revenues significantly exceeded expectations in 2014, with fourth-quarter earnings increasing by 31 percent to $895 million, according to the press release.