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Under Armour promotes women athletes with fitness-tracking app

Sports clothing and accessories brand Under Armour has launched an all encompassing campaign, "I Will What I Want," promoting women?s inner and outer strength with a multichannel digital video and fitness-tracking mobile application.

Under Armour strategically introduced its fitness app to compete against the many others in the industry with an edge involving women athletes and their determination of defeating negative criticism. Given a fitness tracking app is not a new concept, Under Armour aims to reinvent the experience through the motivation of famous athletes.

?As a lifestyle and fitness brand, Under Armour is trying to align themselves with the latest fitness apps and create a female social sharing community of fitness tips lead by famous female athletes,? said Danielle McCormick, senior director of marketing at Skava, San Francisco. ?While it is a well designed app and very on point to current trends, their biggest challenge, which is something all app developers face, is getting a large enough user base to make the product meaningful and build a community who want to come back to the app regularly. 

?Since it ties to fitness wearables who have their own apps with social and community sharing and integration, they need a very compelling reason for the consumer to want to switch over to this as their main app," she said. "In reality, consumers suffer from app fatigue and only use the same few apps regularly. 

?While I can see many people initially downloading the app out of curiosity the biggest challenge Under Armour will face is convincing them to use this app instead of their main wearable app.?

Ms. McCormick is not affiliate with Under Armour but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Under Armour did not respond by press deadline.

Fight like a girl
The app combines fitness tracking with interaction between users and Under Armour?s participating female athletes used to provide insight and inspiration.

Intending to provide a seamless fitness experience, I Will What I Want incorporates other activity trackers, such as Jawbone UP, Withings Pulse and Fitbit, which shows Under Armour?s wish to join the movement rather than independently compete with it.

In addition to fitness tracking, the app includes vision into the lives of the athletes, their struggles aiming to prevent them to success and ways they overcome those struggles.

Users of the app can also share their milestones through statuses, photos and progress reports. By incorporating social components in the app, developers allow for more consumers to give the product a try.

To motivate users, Under Armour released a clip of American Theatre?s ballerina soloist Misty Copeland, showcasing ballet technique and a voice overlay of the reading of a refusal letter from a ballet school. While showing defeat being combated with perseverance, the video recruits interest and support because the trend of women?s public strength has become such a popular topic.

A handful of TV networks are promoting the video August 4, such as ESPN, E!, MTV and ABC.

Under Armour collaborated with NYC-based creative agency Droga5 to execute the campaign.

App endeavors
In 2013, Under Armour acquired MapMyFitness, widening the brand's access to an active and engaged audience that it can target via mobile as well as hinting to future innovation for Under Armour's own mobile offerings.

MapMyFitness has been innovating in the digital athletics space since 2006 when it first launched its Web offering, and it now offers numerous ways to track more than 600 kinds of workouts on mobile devices. By acquiring the tracking app, Under Armour provides its athletic community of more than 20 million registered users with innovative technology to help them train, while promoting its own products (see story).

According to a study from 2013, Under Armour, Costco and Amazon are examples of retailers that are getting it right with mobile redirects.

Under Armour and Amazon have both made architecture decisions with their Web sites so that URLs are mirrored between desktop and mobile sites. For example, if a consumer makes a mobile search for a men?s Under Armour item, they are directed to a m-dot version of the desktop URL (see story).

Under Armour?s efforts have an edge given its aim to defend active women and their strength, but ultimately time will tell if the app catches on with consumers given its competition.

?Considering the app is a fitness monitoring app and syncs to devices such as FitBit, it was essential that it was in the form of a mobile app,? Ms. McCormick said. ?Also it encourages users to share updates, photos and content which can be instantly done in an app and would take a lot more work if it was desktop based.?

Final Take
Caitlyn Bohannon, editorial assistant for Mobile Marketer, New York