When it comes to customer interaction for businesses, social media is the modern battleground. Social media is no longer something that brands leverage to seem trendy; it’s become an expectation and a necessity. One company that has flourished within the boundaries of social media is Under Armour. The sports clothing and accessory company has cultivated an impressive social media presence with 535,000 Twitter followers and 1.4 million Instagram followers.
However, according to PRWeek, only nine percent of Under Armour’s revenue comes from outside of the U.S. The company wants to break into European markets, and to do so, they are considering launching their own social media platform: an interconnected fitness network. This move by Under Armour could potentially transform owned media, an impressive feat for a company still in its teen years.
The development of its own social media platform comes on the heels of the launch of Under Armour’s first major brand campaign, “Rule Yourself.” This campaign helped Under Armour usurp the number two spot from Adidas, solidifying their top position in the U.S. market.
To combat their small international market share, Under Armour’s new social media platform blends social media and technology to connect users through a fitness network that monitors health. In order to facilitate the far-reaching goals of interconnected fitness networks, Under Armour will require serious technological advancement.
Our daily lives are constantly integrated with new technologies. What started with smartphones has spiraled into a storm of smart TVs, smart glasses and smart watches. Under Armour wants to lead that march forward, announcing that it is working with electronics company HTC to create a new line of wearable technology.
Under Armour envisions a world where social media and smart technology intersect. It wants to turn clothing into a new type of wearable. The company is working towards connected clothing with embedded sensors that directly interact with the brand’s digital assets. Soon, we may very well live in a world in which our pants tell everyone when we skipped leg day in the weight room.
Under Armour will no longer earn its social media presence through content. It will own it—along with a slew of apps that have the potential to seep into every imaginable part of your life. This will mark the first merge between social networks and fitness apps. With Under Armour’s vision, brands may soon be expected to leverage digital assets in increasingly comprehensive ways, much like they’re currently expected to have a social media presence.
There’s something to be learned from Under Armour. Creating the latest social media phenomenon may no longer be the future of technology. Just look at the thought patterns of Under Armour and its aggressive leveraging of earned and owned media.
Ten or 20 years down the road, when you’re having a conversation with your shirt about cholesterol, remember Under Armour. Until then, we’ll be watching the brand’s venture into owned media as a breathing case study on the meld of social media and technology and the opportunities this presents.