By Steve Winter, president of Brotman|Winter|Fried, a Sage Communications Company
When Baltimore-based Under Armour introduced its new mobile app-based connected fitness platform at the international CES, they deployed a best-of-both-world’s strategy to herald the announcement … they combined big-name celebrities with a dynamic and powerful new product.
With pro golfer Jordan Spieth, MLB Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, Jr., and pro surfer Brianna Cope on-hand to showcase the benefits of training through technology, Under Armour launched UA Record, the company’s own proprietary fitness-focused app and website, designed to aggregate users’ health and fitness data from all of the top fitness tracking devices in the market.
Now available for free download from iTunes, the App Store or Google Play, UA Record links users to a digital community of fitness-minded members. Users can challenge up to 20 friends to daily, weekly or monthly health and fitness competitions. The app provides real-time updates, posts a leaderboard and stimulates an entire community to action, even if their friends and colleagues use different brands of tracking devices. The app even compares users’ fitness regimens to several high-profile Under Armour contracted athletes including Spieth, Cope, Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, skier Lindsay Vonn and others. Plus the product allows members to share videos, photos and workout stories.
“Record is an open platform into which you can plug tracking devises right away,” said Under Armour’s General Manager of Connected Fitness Chris Glodé. “So whether you’re wearing an activity tracker, a GPS watch, a heartrate monitor, even if you use an iPhone 5s, 6 or 6 Plus, they’re all compatible with Record. What Record ultimately does is takes and interprets data coming off the wearables and then engages with the user to help them improve as athletes.”
By incorporating this broad range of data, the UA Record provides a total snapshot of the user’s progress – including steps, sleep, caloric burn, heart rate and weight.
Having acquired app maker MapMyFitness in 2013 essentially to produce the UA Record, UnderArmour also recently partnered with mobile manufacturer HTC to create their own proprietary line of fitness-focused electronic wearables.
The concept behind UA Record is extremely personal to Under Armour’s president Kevin Plank who was motivated by an unfortunate incident in 2011. On his way to the airport after the ESPY Awards in Los Angeles, his friend and Under Armour colleague Bill Hampton died from a heart attack in the SUV in front of him at the age of 51. Plank said he couldn’t shake the belief that there should have been markers to alert Hampton or his doctors to these serious issues.
“Today, UA Record can offer everyone of all fitness levels the ability to proactively manage their health and fitness,” Plank said.