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Nike+ expands mobile strategy with Android app

Nike is bringing its Nike+ Running app to Android users for the first time, giving the brand an opportunity to reach more runners via their mobile devices.

The Nike+ Running app enables users to track, share and compare their runs from anywhere at any time. Users can also easily connect to, where users can keep track of all of their runs and interact with other runners.

?Apps like Nike+ Running are popular with consumers because they offer tangible utility ? a jogger is able to use this app as a single source to organize runs, training programs, etc.,? said Karl Stillner, CEO of Appolicious, Chicago. ?It's easier to use than combing a stop-watch, training log, nutritional log, etc. in multiple sources.

 ?While iOS is the most important app platform, brands should strongly consider Android because it presents huge potential market reach,? he said. ?It also offers a different demographic than iOS.

?Brands should be careful to ensure that the experiences they build work well across the various Android devices  ? an app that works on one Android device may not be optimized for another Android device, this presents a suboptimal experience for the brand and consumers.?

Mr. Stillner is not affiliated with Nike and spoke based on his experience in mobile.

Motivating runners
The Android app features a user interface that has been tailored and optimized for Android.

The key focus of the app is to motivate runners. A ?Next Moves? feature on the home screen allows runners to flip through suggested challenges, such as to run their fastest 5k or go their farthest distance. A dynamic goal progress bar tracks users? goals that they have set up through their profile.

Users can also share to Facebook or Twitter fun using run summary features. Runners can choose from a wide variety of terrains and emotions, as well as tag which shoe they ran in to track shoe total mileage.

Several features are designed to enhance the running experience, including the ability to check key run stats, view a runner?s progress, change songs and get audio feedback.

The app also automatically knows the weather based on GPS location.

The Nike+ Running App for Android is available for free on Google Play.

Brand affiliation
Nike+ was launched in 2006 and today includes approximately seven million runners. It has also been expanded to include Nike+ for basketball and training.

Additionally, the Nike+ strategy includes products such as the Nike+ SportWatch GPS, the Nike+ FuelBand and Nike+ Sportband.

Including an app for Android in the Nike+ strategy is a smart move because it helps the brand insure that the mobile components of the program reach as many smartphone owners as possible.

?Consumers are using smartphones to enhance all kinds of traditional activities such as running and brands are realizing that this is a fantastic way to connect with desired consumers on an ongoing basis,? Mr. Stillner said.

?These are active and engaged consumers that are willing to have a brand affiliation if it offers true value. Nike + and REI's Ski and Snow Reports apps are examples of great implementations,? he said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York