We ended 2016 off by taking a trip to visit one of our favorite brands, Under Armour. Their branch in Austin, TX focuses on “Connected Fitness”. The office is strategically located in downtown Austin, where you will find many local startups in various incubators, accelerators, and work-spaces.
Under Armour considers itself the leader in the tech market along side similar brands such as Nike and Adidas and for good reason. They acquired MapMyFitness in 2013 and currently works out of the Connected Fitness office. MapMyFitness is a fitness tracking application that enables you to use the built-in GPS of your mobile device to track all of your fitness activities such as record your workout details, including duration, distance, pace, speed, elevation, calories burned, and route traveled on an interactive map. You can even effortlessly save and upload your workout data to MapMyFitness where you can view your route workout data, and comprehensive workout history.
After the MapMyFitness purchase, Under Armor executed 3 more software acquisitions, most notably, MyFitnessPal. MyFitnessPal gives users the ability to track, adjust, and improve their diet plans by counting calories and getting recommendations on how to improve.
So as I walked into the office, I had no idea what to expect. I was recently introduced to Rudy Magna, head of Business Development for the Connected Fitness office. After meeting a few times, we decided it’d be good for me to check out things over at Under Armour.
Rudy started off by giving me a tour of their facilities. As you walked into the building, it was clear Under Armour conducted some research on how to create a startup friendly environment. Rudy emphasized how they operate as a startup. MapMyFitness embodies this culture simply by being there as acquisition by a company doesn’t mean you have to work out of their office.
Rudy begins diving into the inner-workings of Under Armour’s Connected Fitness vision and I am BLOWN AWAY. The plans of integration of technology into their products from shoes to head phones is on some next level stuff. They utilize different apps to package all user health data into one source. The UA Record, (See Here), which was taking all the data users are collecting within their own personal devices and apps to assists people in managing their health. From the UA Band to headphones, everything had a purpose, and its’ purpose was……. Well it was connected. Not to mention, when we made our way into one of the meeting rooms to my surprise Northwestern (my alma mater) gear along with Under Armour’s entire Connected Fitness package.
By better understanding their target consumers, Under Armour was able to build better products to help athletes in injury prevention, nutritional advice, and heart rate monitoring all while pushing users back towards partner firms. We wrapped that conversation up after about an hour and I walked away feeling Under Armour truly was leading in innovation in the Wellnes/HealthTech realm. Even more exciting was knowing our portfolio companies would make a great fit as partners once launching their own products in the marketplace. Stay tuned on that! Afterwards, we walked over to Corner Bar on 2nd St. where we watched my alma-mater and Under Armour partner, Northwestern Football, take on Pitt in the Pinstripe Bowl. Let’s just say this #B1GCats 1-0.
After taking the devices home and testing them out, I am impressed and continuing to learn how to use everything to help me improve. The UA Band is especially unique as I use it the most of all the devices. Whether jogging, playing basketball, or just walking around the office this band is continuously tracking my activities. They could probably use a couple UX/UI tweaks but we will help them out with that, right Rudy, wink.
What are your favorite #apps, #wearables focused in the HealthTech and Wellness area? Share below and let us know how any of these apps can improve.
Also published on Medium.