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RackspaceVoice: Why Sports Apparel Brands Are Becoming Tech Companies – Why I Don’t Think They Should

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The better a brand knows its customers, the more it can tailor its products and communication to create brand loyalty.

Source: RackspaceVoice: Why Sports Apparel Brands Are Becoming Tech Companies

For the record, all companies must become tech companies. My addition to the title of the article is about wearable tech.

Nike has always been a tech and marketing company. Well at least once they connected with Wieden +Kennedy they became a marketing company. The constant R&D from the brand is evident in the number of patents the company has been submitting.

The rise in the importance of mulit/omnichannel in retail has contributed to the need for ALL companies, not just sports apparel brands to establish more of a digital presence. NPD’s Matt Powell stated that 1 in 4 footwear purchases took place on line this holiday season. As always I have a direct connection to this analysis as my business is strictly pureplay. I operate through several third party channels. This has created a situation where I have learned to navigate the e-commerce platforms for footwear and to do so I’ve had to become a tech company.

This Rackspace article gets into the discussion on tech and sportswear and the focus is on wearable tech. I wrote a post yesterday about Under Armour doubling down on the space and in it I said this:

More important Nike stopped very quickly in developing the Nike Watch and partnered with Apple last year for a Nike+Apple Watch. Nike stopped making wearable tech because Nike was paying attention to what has happened with FitBit. FitBit($FIT) started strong in 2015 at 47/share. Today $FIT is at 8/share. All of this happened because of Apple. What does Under Armour do? They create wearable tech… You don’t go into a war against Apple. I know you have all of this data from your tech acquisitions UA, but Apple has all of the credit cards on file and the ability to prevent your app from reaching its market.

Todd Wasserman, the author of the source article, makes a solid case for the potential in taking the information from apps that sports brands have and developing projects based on that information… but there is a reason the wearable tech market hasn’t taken off.

Apple has literally killed the watch business overnight. People use their phones for everything and the Apple/Android battle is where wearable tech will take place. Any investment too heavily into tech because a sports company has data, is flawed. When you think app store you don’t think Nike or Under Armour and that is not going to change any time soon.