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Runkeeper accelerates in-app store promotion with workout tie-in

Running application Runkeeper and Jaybird have teamed up on a promotion that rewards runners who complete six workouts with a specially priced pair of wireless headphones.

The promotion points to how marketers are looking to reach consumers in the apps where they spend a lot of time with relevant offers. The Jaybird X2 Challenge encourages runners to download the Runkeeper app and complete six workouts between March 7 and March 25 to get a $50 discount on a pair of Jaybird X2 wireless headphones and a free month of Runkeeper Go.

“Music aligns so much with running and it is core to the Runkeeper app. We have existing partnerships with Spotify, and we wanted to find a headphone partner that is runner-friendly both from a brand and technology perspective that we could offer in our Runkeeper store,” said Erin Glabets, director of marketing at Runkeeper. “Jaybird fits both of those.

“We’ve made the experience as easy as possible,” she said. “When we offer a challenge the users learn about it either through email or push notifications.

“Also, when a user opens the app there is tab at the top that you can click on to see all the challenges. After signing up for and completing a challenge — in this instance it is six workouts over the course of three weeks — we send users a code that they can redeem in our store.”

Workout, then shop
With the Jaybird promotion, the only way that runners can access the special price is by working out. It is the first partnership for Runkeeper where users can earn discounts in the app’s store on running accessories based on their activity level.

Runkeeper uses the GPS on a smartphone to track and record fitness activities such as running, walking and cycling.

A recent update to the app introduced an integration with Spotify. The app also provides audio updates to users, further underscoring the connection to quality wireless headphones.

“It does make sense to tie the app’s goals, in this case fitness, with rewards toward that goal,” said Maya Mikhailov, chief marketing officer and co-founder of GPShopper.

“It is an interesting play to include a physical reward, rather than just a digital one – you will see more of these ‘omnichannel’ ideas in the future as digital first companies aim to make inroads in physical environments,” she said.

Fitness app consolidation
In February, footwear brand Asics announced that it is acquiring Runkeeper, the latest in a line of fitness app deals involving sportswear brands. The consolidation of the fitness app space has also seen Under Armour acquire MapMyFitness, Endomondo and MyFitnessPal. Also, Adidas acquired Runtastic.

Fitness apps are attractive to marketers because they typically have an enthusiastic user base that comes back regularly. For brands and services that also target workout enthusiasts, getting placement in a fitness app can be a good way to get in front of these consumers.

Last fall, sporting goods retailer Sports Authority decided to motivate repeat purchases with a new mobile program in partnership with Under Armour that enables customers to earn rewards by completing fitness activities on the MapMyFitness app (see story).

In 2014, Amazon’s Zappos reached fitness fans directly through their workouts with integration in the MapMyFitness application enabling users to track mileage for their shoes and make purchases (see story).

“There is a strong interest from brands to connect with related apps which have already acquired a desirable target demographic,” Ms. Mikhailov said. “This is a great way of reaching new audiences that may not be familiar or loyal enough to the brand to download their own app.

“Also, it’s a great way to get their feet wet when evaluating if they should pursue a stand-alone app strategy,” she said.