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Runkeeper acquired by Asics in latest sport app merge

Sporting manufacturer Asics has bought fitness app Runkeeper to provide personalise experience

Runkeeper acquired by Asics in latest sport app merge
Launched in 2008, Runkeeper has over 33m users worldwide and is available for the iPhone and Android

Asics, Japanese trainer and sportswear manufacturer, has joined the likes of Adidas and Nike by acquiring a fitness start-up, Runkeeper.

The Runkeeper app founder, Jason Jacobs, announced it has entered a ‘definite agreement' with Asics. The app allows users with GPS-enabled smartphones to trace and track their running routes, times and distance.

"When we started the company in 2008, it was with a simple mission: to get the whole world running. We saw how the rise of mobile, social networks, and personalisation were starting to impact other categories, and we thought these ingredients had huge possibilities when applied towards fitness and health," said Jacobs.

"When we look ahead, it seems clear that the fitness brands of the future will not just make physical products," he added.

"By putting these two pieces together (digital fitness platform and world class physical products), you can build a new kind of fitness brand that has a deeper, more trusted relationship with consumers and can engage with them in a more personalised way."

However, Jacobs did promise from the end-user standpoint, the app will not change much.

Launched in 2008, Runkeeper now has over 33m users worldwide and is available for iPhone and Android, plus it has smartwatch apps and links to other fitness tracking apps.

Sport manufacturers and digital fitness app collaborations are not unheard of. Already the market consists of similar deals, such as, Adidas bought Austrian fitness app Runtastic and Under Armour bought two fitness and health trackers; Endomondo and MyFitnessPal.

However Nike, perhaps the biggest collaboration, partnered with Apple under the Nike+ brand. Despite the Nike+ Fuelband fitness tracker was discontinued in 2014, Nike continues to make running apps for smartwatches and smartphones.

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