BALTIMORE (AP) -- Athletic clothing and gear maker Under Armour Inc. said Thursday that it is acquiring fitness-tracking technology company MapMyFitness for $150 million as it seeks to expand into the digital arena.
Wearable fitness gadgets like FitBit and Nike fuelband, as well as online programs such as Nike's Training Club, are a fast-growing area of the athletic industry. MapMyFitness, which lets users map, record and share workouts, has 20 million registered users and integrates with more than 400 fitness-tracking devices, Under Armour said. It plans to develop new products and platforms with MapMyFitness.
"Now we are better positioned to design open, digital products for the athlete of tomorrow and become more proactive in providing solutions that will help people across the world lead healthier lifestyles," said Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank.
The deal is expected to close by the end of the year.
The acquisition comes at a key time for athletics and technology, as more shoppers turn to social media to share information and customer reviews, Citi Investment Research analyst Kate McShane said in a note to clients.
"It is becoming more important for brands to engage with consumers in an authentic way, providing an experience or service first and the product as a means to enable or elevate that experience," she said.
Still, she said Nike has a "very strong lead" in creating a digital community with its Nike Plus and Nike Training Club digital products.
She maintained her "Neutral" rating on Under Armour's stock and said the deal was an "incremental positive."
The stock fell 19 cents to $82.45 in midday trading. It is up 70 percent since the beginning of the year.
- Consumer Discretionary