Under Armour downplays Connected Fitness on Q2 call

By Jonah Comstock
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Under Armour’s Connected Fitness division, created two years ago when the sports apparel company acquired a spat of fitness apps, was largely pushed to the background on the company’s latest earnings call, with CEO Kevin Plank failing to note either the departure of former MapMyFitness CEO and UA Connected Fitness lead Robin Thurston, or the fact that the division lost $7.5 million this quarter.

That’s half of what Connected Fitness lost the company in Q1, but that number could have been influenced by bookkeeping, since, according to CFO Chip Molloy, about $5 million in Connected Fitness costs were shifted into the North America segment. The segment’s revenue did grow — 73 percent, up to $23 million.

Still, Plank has always promised investors that the Connected Fitness pay-off would be longterm, not immediate, and would result from the data and insights gained from the team.

“One of the key vehicles for our dialogue with consumers is our Connected Fitness platform, and we continue to make great strides in delivering insights that make athletes better,” he said on the call. “With a growing community that's now over 175 million registered users, with continuing over 100,000 users signing up each and every day, we are learning more about our consumer every single day.”

He gave just a few examples of some work the Connected Fitness group is doing before moving on to other apparel-related news.

“Some small but important wins for the brand have been our ability to, number one, quickly tailor our communications and content to our consumer based on their activities, giving us the opportunity to tweak our product mix and to get it more precise to the consumer showing up at our stores,” he said. “Secondly, utilizing the data to create a heat map of run activity around a consumer's location is just a drop of what's to come in terms of personalization.”

Plank also mentioned offhand that some Olympic athletes being sponsored by Under Armour would measure their performance using the company’s Connected Fitness platform.

Also missing from the call: any sales figures, in fact any mention at all, of the company’s $400 UA HealthBox suite of fitness and health trackers that launched during Q1.