This article, “How Nike and Under Armour Became Big Data Businesses” by Bernard Marr discusses how Nike and Under Armour are evolving the sports apparel industry, using innovative technology and big data methods. Both companies, are heavily pursuing unique apps, cutting-edge technology and data tracking methods in attempt to make a ground-breaking line of “wearable tech” sports apparel, that will decisively separate their brand as the superior product in the industry.
Nike looks to accomplish this through integration with Apple, recently announcing the Apple Watch Nike +. This integration with Apple coupled with their “Category Offense” marketing plan, which groups their consumers by specific athletic activity rather than demographics, will allow Nike to stay extremely competitive in the sports apparel industry, as they attract not only their consistent consumers but also the massive Apple fan base.
On the other hand, Under Armor, who have been pursuing Nike as the superior sports apparel company for years, seek to overtake them by innovating unique sports apparel that tracks big data with extreme precision and exactness. Under Armour is heavily investing in “wearable tech that goes way beyond a watch.” They want to create a product that doesn’t just track your steps or your heart beat. They want to create a product that can change your life, using big data to precisely track fitness, health, location, and general lifestyle way beyond any previous device.
After evaluating both Nike and Under Armour’s methods of innovating the next ground-breaking product in the sports apparel industry, I find myself more attracted to the Nike product. With the Apple Watch Nike +, Nike looks to penetrate a new market which will most likely attract countless new customers. The pairing with Apple also permits Nike to access massive amounts of big data stored by Apple, which allows Nike to create a more unique and customized product experience for its consumers. Nike also has the advantage of enabling this product to operate on all Apple technology, which will make it more attractive to the Apple consumer market and ultimately a more convenient product for Nike consumers in general.
I believe Under Armour is also looking to create an innovative product that will take the sports apparel industry by storm, however, their product plans seem to be too similar to existing products, such as the Fitbit. I do not believe UA’s product will be able to compete with Nike simply because of the massive market Nike is going to appeal to and the massive amount of data they will have access to, paired with Apple.
In conclusion, Big Data and technology are the future of the sports apparel industry. I believe whichever company learns how to successfully incorporate big data with their apparel and provide accurate life changing statistics to their users, will ultimately thrive in the industry in years to come.
Marr, Bernarn. "How Nike And Under Armour Became Big Data Businesses." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 15 Nov. 2106. Web. 17 Nov. 2016.