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A report from Women’s Wear Daily Link to: wwd.com) states that adidas is ‘re-aligning’ (cutting) its Digital Sports Business unit and losing up to 74 jobs.
WWD seems a strange site to get an exclusive story like this. Maybe they were more attentive than the rest of us? Let’s take the information at face value.
We’ve seen the uber-profitbale sports garment companies look for the next big thing. Maybe they thought that smart sports clothing still has a while to reach a critical market size level. Maybe they saw potential to integrate tech with sports shoes, maybe they just saw the electronic gadgetry and apps around consumer sports as a large, growing and profitable space to be in with ‘obvious’ synergies.
Either way the bandwagon has well and truly been jumped on in recent years.
Perhaps the Apple Watch ‘Nike Edition’ springs to mind as a successful example of brand synergy in the sporting realm. Don’t forget behind that is a good Nike app that itself has required lots of resources. There are plenty more examples.
adidas bought Runtastic in Aug 2015; Under Armour bought Endomondo in Feb 2015 and MapMyRun in late 2013; SportsTracker were bought by Amer (Suunto’s owner) in May 2015; Fitbit bought Fitstar’s training platform; and Runkeeper was bought by Asics in Aug 2015. A dollar or two changed hands there I can assure you.
But things are obviously not all rosy in sports tech world, here are a few examples:
- TomTom have effectively stopped future development of consumer sports devices
- Microsoft stopped developments after BAND 2 (although here are rumours that Microsoft are still active)
- Under Armour have announced they won’t be taking the HealthBox further
Apparently adidas will be focussing future digital efforts on the ‘adidas app’ and on Runtastic. Things brings into question whether or not they will proceed with the Fitbit Ionic collaboration touted for 2018 (link to: the5krunner.com)
Remember: Chinese comapnies are growing at the lower end and Garmin’s share price was last heading upwards when Ilast checked. It’s nto all doom and gloom