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Reports from The Information state that Under Armour is putting MyFitnessPal up for sale. If true, this is an interesting move and I suspect we shall see more like this over the coming couple of years.
Under Armour bought MyFitnessPal for $150m in 2013 and this was one of many app purchases for the apparel company as they also splurged on Endomondo and Map My Run/Ride/Walk before rebranding them all and prefixing the original name with UA. Other apparel companies made similar moves: Asics bought Runkeeper, adidas bought Runtastic and Nike also moved forward with Nike RC (Running Club). These are all now seriously-popular sports/fitness apps.
CV19 has caused BIG problems for the apparel companies that sold their wares through their own-branded retail stores. Even the mighty Nike recently reported a CV19-related $790m loss because of that very reason. The same may hold true for Under Armour who also have a physical retail presence and just might need to stump up some cash, selling MyFitnessPal could help. However, I think their problem may lie deeper as Under Armour issued profit warning for Pre-CV19 times in their Q42020 results (Bloomberg).
A problem which these apps all share is converting the free download into cash. Generally, there is a free app for everyone and then additional paid-for features. This is called a FREEMIUM business model. We saw Fitbit buy Fitstar as a means to try to charge for premium adaptive training plans and we have also seen STRAVA recently make the paywall that little bit higher too. Companies like Garmin, Polar and Suunto offer free apps (and likely always will) as the premium you pay is when you buy the piece of hardware which, to some degree, ties you into the platform and then perhaps to buying a new gadget two or more years later.
An alternative strategy that UA and Co had in mind could have been linking the app to SMART SPORTS CLOTHING or to tracking your sports gear where, for example, the app tells you it’s about time to replace your shoes or maybe its time you washed your shirt 😉 …that kind of thing.
It’s interesting that UA does not seem to be selling their other app sub-brands like UA Endomondo and have singled out MyFitnessPal. Perhaps MyFitnessPal is more saleable as it has a wider appeal, also including nutritional information – maybe that’s where the lack of FIT to apparel becomes too much? I’ve never used it myself but people who I know DO like it.
Perhaps also MyFitnessPal is a flag that the rest are up for sale too?
Let’s watch with interest to see what becomes of the apps.
Pyro Platforms Site Down
Triathlon/Duathlon specialist Pyro Platforms‘ site has also been down for a while perhaps indicating they have sunk under CV19 pressure? They make a pedal-based platform that allows triathletes/duathletes to use running shoes when cycling in shorter distance multisport races. I have some and they can be good and were made peripherally famous by world-class triathlete Tim Don.
If you got T1/T2 wrong with the Pyros it could be disastrous but my longer-term gripe with them was that the heel clip was too susceptible to breakage and that the bolts could easily be overtightened and break plus the customer service I experienced wasn’t great. Apart from that…
German Power Meter Reseller Powermeter24 vanishes
I used to partner with Powermeter24 for EU-based power meter sales and had several negative feedbacks about them from my readers and I ultimately stopped working with PM24, despite them always being perfectly nice whenever I spoke and emailed them.
The customer is king, I guess. Their apparent disappearance suggests there is some truth in that statement.