Under Armour Flexes Its Digital Muscle

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Nov. 14 (Bloomberg) –- Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank discusses acquiring MapMyFitness for $150 million. He speaks with Stephanie Ruhle on Bloomberg Television's "Bloomberg West." (Source: Bloomberg)

Making this decision to go friendly, i think this was a direction people were not expecting from us.

I want to be clear, the people touched the reason we were able to make this acquisition is because we had an incredibly successful apparel and footwear business that allowed us to be more aggressive and thinking about what our future will look like.

We think our future aligns with digital.

This is a perfect opportunity for the ranch today gabriel massive step of a story and a journey that began with our nfl combine launch back in february 2011 third and putting leadership, putting the unit -- user base of 20 million people with 200,000 people signing up every single week to this site.

What if mapmyfitner going to be doing -- mappmyfitness going to be doing you?

We were talking about this before we were on the air, i have got mike fitzpatrick, you've got your fit bit, and i do not want to try it, i want to try my job on.

What mapmyfitness does is tracks all of your daily uses.

Give us your tired, your hungry, your poor, we will take all of the absurd whether it is armor and 39, fitness, job long, whatever the uses, i think it is a much more smarter play for a brand like us to be on the destination to be for everybody that is catholic and be data versus on the hardware side today.

So this gives us the ability to say who is the best player, and those are the ones we will line with your you think your next step would be to create your own full bn -- feel bad, fit, jawbone -- we have talked about it, and i'm not going to roll it out, but not until -- one of the things -- the biggest thing we bought of course is the incredible community of 20 million people that we're going to respect, but we also bought leadership, we bought a team of 100 people based in austin, texas, 65 of which are engineers.

So over the last three years of being active with our armor and 39 product out there, we have got about a dozen people in our own digital team.

We have partnered with an authentic leader, it has incredible team that he hasn't on security people are what make this deal happen.

Whether it is the people in austin from mapmyfitness or the 20 billion -- 20 million people are we got there robert thurston like you have a similar background -- pressured abbott who wanted to create a record.

The other person i can compare the two is phil knight.

If the film i model what you look to as to what you want to create with under armour?

I think the might of a great man.

It is not mean we do not wake up everyday and think about how we are going to go beat the heck out of him, and that is the under armour mission third i think getting into this game and digital, our competitors have been there for a long time, and under armour has been there for a long time.

I do not know if we have been as visible, though, so i think this is a real step above declaring and putting a flight in the ground and saying look, arm -- under armour is here to play, we are here to stay, and we will be doing it for a long time there . your innovation operations have been in existence since 2008. you had one employee, now you have a 40. you have a lab that few people have access to.

What goes on in there>? i think this speaks probably to what makes a such a great acquisition for under armour as well.

We started several years ago this open innovation process we call future show.

We get 4000 to 5000 submissions every year on her website.

We call those 5000 submissions, down to about the top 100 and we have a panel they go through the top 100, get it to the top 20, we invite those top 15, 20 ideas to baltimore, hold a trade show in our office.

The american idol of sports theater but i want to know if there is some kid out there who is 23 years old with an idea for a stretchy, tightfitting t- shirt, nudge, nudge, wink, wink, me, i can go make the product myself, but there is this great company, under armour, somebody is just not ready to go.

So things like future show that we host at under armour every october is where -- of the 20, we set it down to five or six.

We award one of the $25,000. forget the money, more important to back him of the five or six panels we have, we are doing business with four or five of those next year, including a winner from 2011's future show is going to their, a magnetic zipper that you consider your jacket up with one hand you're how cool is that?

400,000 pieces of under armour outerwear in 20. you were talking about inquiring -- acquiring intelligence products.

How are you going to -- what are you going to do with your products with your 20 million registered users?

We're going to respect the community.

Do not do anything different.

For six months, this is our first acquisition, so we're going to get to know each other, know what those two southwest life that connect baltimore to boston.

First and foremost pier and we want to make sure that they are cultural.

We're going to put together our own shared vision to decide not where the puck is but we are going to skate where the puck is going to be cured -- be.

Where going to put a collective vision under a leader like robin, and we will be working hand-in-hand together, and again deciding what we do with the data.

I think our company can do a better job of understanding the data of the athlete, again, but having respect for not trying to copper mines, not trying to describe the self of this community, we are going to learn from this.

What are the data?

Robin has seven years of history going back to 2007 of the facts -- do you know the average person runs three miles?

Just knowing these little bits of data -- i am going back and i know have a times -- one of your producers, i was walking in, was telling me how she loves mapmyrun.

That is terrific.

I will be able to go and look at how much did you work out last year, or last month, or last week, into the ability to share that with her friends, look, this country is not getting any skinnier.

The more we can help encourage like him and if you're going to edify a problem, you have to first measure its before you saw it.

We are establishing a protocol that's mapmyfitness has allowed me to the one hour, the four or five times a week i actually go to the gym come i have my armor 39, i can help you track it, and i can tell you are we getting better or worse.

Before we go, what are you going to do to include -- to encourage that maryland football team?

They have all the

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