Retail: 75
Retail: 188
Mon, Aug 28, 2017
Vol 1, Issue No. 33

3 Qs with UA’s Connected Fitness Team

Under Armour and Samsung have jointly launched the Galaxy Watch Active2 Under Armour Edition (MSRP $309.99-$329.99). Designed for runners, the watch is built to help runners track and improve both their fitness and form, with features such as cadence-based, real-time form coaching and access to UA’s MapMyRun fitness community.

The device is the latest offering in Under Armour’s growing Connected Fitness ecosystem — in 2019, all of Under Armour’s HOVR high performance running footwear also connects seamlessly to the MapMyRun app, tracking, analyzing and storing running metrics via a sensor in the shoe. The new watch is designed to work with UA’s connected footwear.

As Under Armour’s North American sales have slumped (down 3.2% in the most recent quarter), company execs have indicated that a bounce back strategy includes a re-commitment to the brand’s performance athletic roots including a focus on premium and full-price product. In performance running, Under Armour is using Connected Fitness in an effort to differentiate from its competition — working to create its own ecosystem of footwear, devices and digital data.

Travis Rimel, Creative Director, Connected Fitness at Under Armour gave us a run through of the new product in NYC last week. Here, he answers a few questions about the new watch, UA’s connected fitness strategy and key trends in wearable tech.

Why did UA partner with Samsung and how does the product tie into the brand’s performance product strategy?

“We found that our missions are complimentary. Samsung brings the technology and the ability to make beautiful products and we can provide athlete insights and the general understanding of how athletes move and what they need and we can deliver together on a mission of  ‘making you better.’

We want to be known and build authenticity in the run category and bring great product to market. We are seeing such resonance with our Connected Product and our footwear. The goal is to make all runners better.”

A key element of the new watch is that it offers not only fitness tracking feedback, but it offers form coaching as well. Tell us more about the “form coaching” element.

“We are very excited about melding the experience of the fitness watch and the coaching experience and bringing it to an individual’s workout. Throughout the workout you will get audio guidance as well as visual guidance on a dedicated screen on your watch during the workout to understand your applicable cadence range based on your pace. You can look at the watch and see if you’re in your cadence range or out of range.”

What do you see as the key trends in wearable fitness and where is the category headed?

“The growth of the wearable market is speaking for itself. It is a growing and competitive landscape. We see trends currently in a variety of classes or real time experiences such as audio coaching. What is lacking is individualized personalized coaching where you get direct attention on ‘how can we make you better.’ How do we give you personalized programming to help you have a well-rounded health and fitness experience? There are not a lot of companies doing this at all and we do believe we have a leg up. We have 10-plus years of [MapMyRun] data from people tracking nutrition, workouts, sleep, et cetera. So being able to use that data and harness it and point it at personalized coaching experiences is where we are at. This is just the beginning. We have democratized a technology and unlocked form coaching that is personalized.”