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January's 'Fitness Frenzy' turns digital


Love it or hate it, the ‘New Year, New Me’ mentality is here to stay and not just for ‘Dry January’. Consumers are becoming more and more health conscious, as sports retailers are having to up their game to keep up with new trends and more niche consumer demands.

Mobile apps and online workout podcasts are turning the fitness world digital, and Under Armour is the latest to get involved. The sports retailer is hoping to create the world’s ‘largest connected fitness hub’, having spent $560m on two apps, MyFitnessPal and Endomondo.

Under Armour paid £312m for the successful MyFitnessPal, which can be used as a tracker for calorie conscious individuals, while Endomondo is the perfect accessory for fitness buffs trying to track their activity. The move comes after purchasing MapMyFitness in December 2013, which has already seen an increase of 9m subscribers.

Chairman and CEO Kevin Plank stated in a press release:

“Since the acquisition, we have grown the user base from 20m registered users to 31m registered users and gained further insight and validation into the power of the data generated by this community”.

However, it isn’t just Under Armour that is making the most of the sporting sector. Many personal trainers and fitness retailers are also turning digital to get more specific consumer stats. Fashionable sporting brand Sweaty Betty has launched free online workouts to remain ahead of the competition. Their workouts range from Yoga to HIIT and are part of their ‘Getfit4free’ campaign. The company’s mission is to, “inspire women to find empowerment through fitness” and turning online is ideal for their busy consumers. Having moved from a singular store in Notting Hill’s Westbourne Grove, the company yielded $40m in 2013 and is now planning to expand stateside.

Others getting on the online bandwagon include and Mike Hoad offers a 12 week programme worth £5,000, for £89 over online podcasts at For those dreaming of a figure like ‘The Body’, Elle Macpherson’s trainer James Duigan has set up virtual training for as little as £5.99 per month. Based on the site also provides fitness supplements, with a new website launching soon.

With consumers becoming more fitness conscious and the accessibility of free applications online, retailers are using the statistics to turn the digital experience into a profitable success. The apps track user profiles and the success of the podcasts indicate what sports are trending and therefore what types of fitness clothing and equipment should be ordered.

Plank stresses the importance of Under Armour’s need to understand, “the evolving needs of our athletes- how they consume, and ultimately how they strive to live healthier lifestyles”. He believes that this will provide a key understanding of how the consumer shops for the brand.

Published on Tuesday 17 February by Rachel Gee

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