New Balance, American athletic equipment maker, announced the creation of New Balance Digital Sports that will focus on understanding, motivating and improving the lives of athletes through digital experiences and wearable technologies.
New Balance Digital Sport will develop a comprehensive athlete-focused digital ecosystem featuring innovative New Balance-branded wearable technology products designed to improve physical performance.
The company will partner with leading digital, hardware and software companies, including Intel, Google, Strava and Zepp, to incorporate smart technologies, optimized for wearable consumer products, into footwear and apparel lines across a variety of sports.
The first consumer product to launch from the new division will be a smartwatch, that is expected to be available in the 2016 holiday season.
"New Balance has a 110-year heritage of product development and innovation in the running category, and, our new Digital Sport division represents our newest commitment to invest in athletes and runners around the world in their pursuit of extraordinary physical feats," said Rob DeMartini, President and CEO of New Balance. "Digital technology has truly revolutionized, very quickly, this industry and New Balance wants to continue to be a brand on the forefront, arming our athletes with the cutting-edge products that will help them reach peak performance."
Digital Sport will initially focus on three product categories: devices, including the smart-watch; embedded technology, such as intelligent sensors integrated into New Balance footwear and apparel; and performance sport, including sports equipment micro-fob that senses, analyzes and provides feedback on the athlete's performance.
Following the smartwatch launch at Holiday 2016, the company will market other devices throughout 2017 and 2018. To complement the wearable consumer products it is developing, New Balance Digital Sport will also create digital experiences, the first of which will be New Balance Run Club.