UnderArmour, the Baltimore-based company best known for athletic wear, is sweeping up the athletic community. It announced today that it’s bought MyFitnessPal and Endomondo, adding about 100 million registered users to its existing base of MapMyFitness and UA Record users. The company says it now has 120 million registered users of fitness apps.
Endomondo, which has most of its 20 million users in Europe, was sold for $85 million, or about $4/user. MyFitnessPal was sold for $475 million, or about $6 per user. Back in November 2013, UnderArmour bought the 20 million users of MapMyFitness for $150 million, or $7.50/per user. Either users are cheaper today than they were a year ago, or UnderArmour got a volume deal.
Either way, the company seems to value community more than product. CEO Kevin Plank, in announcing the acquisitions, said, “We first entered the Connected Fitness space with our Armour39 biometric measurement technology at the NFL Combine in February 2011. We quickly understood that the power was in the community and an open platform and that these were far more valuable than the hardware tracking device…” To date, UnderArmour sells clothing, shoes, and accessories; it leaves the gadgets to others.
Why roll up all these communities? Because, as anyone in marketing can tell you, 120 million qualified and involved users — every one of whom is giving you access to their smartphone and every one of whom is a perfect customer for your underlying company — is a nice list to be able to sell to.