Confirmed: Nike has picked up Russell Wilsons Tally/TraceMe in a rare acquisition

Nike has all along been been synonymous with fee sneakers and other plays gear, but now the company could be stretch its firebrand into another area — digital media — thanks to the rumored buy of a Seattle-based startup.

TechCrunch has learned and has demonstrated that the multibillion-dollar athletics giant has acquired TraceMe, which originally constructed an app to let followers be participating in sports wizards and other notorieties before later pivoting into a service called Tally, a scaffold is targeted at boasts teams, broadcasters and venues to help supporters hire around sporting events.

TraceMe was originally founded by Russell Wilson, the champion quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks, who was the executive chairman of the startup. The firm had raised at least$ 9 million from investors that included the Seattle-based Madrona Venture Group and Bezos Expeditions( Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ store ), as well as YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley and others, and it was last appraised, in 2017, at $60 million.

Nike proved the acquisition to us in a brief statement:” NIKE, Inc. has acquired TraceMe to supplement the company’s content strategy on Nike-owned stages ,” a spokespersonsaid in an email.

Our source said the deal closed in recent weeks and that” it was a good sequel” for the company and investors. It involved both IP — the central interest, different sources said, was in TraceMe’s tech rather than Tally’s — and the team.

Indeed, at least eight of them, including TraceMe’s CEO Jason LeeKeenan, an ex-Hulu executive, are now listing Nike as their arrange of employment. LeeKeenan describes his new role as the head of Nike Seattle. Others on the team now have made characters that include software engineers, head of product and product designers.

No one at TraceMe responded to our requests for comment. GeekWire( which likely got the same tip we did) published a announce noting that it had a source that fortified the deal.

The sporting footwear whale Nike is no stranger to the world of technology: it has been a longtime collaborator with the likes of Apple to develop apps for its machines and has been an early mover on the concept of bringing and integrating cutting-edge( yes, possibly gimmicky) tech into its footwear and other gear. And that’s before you consider Nike as an e-commerce force.

But while the dalliance between athletics, tech and fashion is well-established, this distribute opens up a different territory for the company.

It’s very rare for Nike to make an acquisition, but it becomes sense that if it were going to do some M& A, it would be in the area of digital media and picking up operators to execute on a wider vision in that area.

The company is best known, of course, for its shoes and related sporty drapes, which it has for a long time created in co-branding with “the worlds biggest” boasts stars and has more recently started to extend to a wider circle of fames and hot manner labels in a flavor of sporty street vogue. These have included the likes of so-cool Supreme, Travis Scott and seemingly other tentative attacks into music culture.

Nike mars all other sports shoe brands in size, with its current sell cover at nearly $117 billion, more than twice that of its closest challenger, Adidas. But Adidas has been stealing a advance when it comes to partnerships with a wide network of personalities( even if Drake favors checks over stripes ).

While it isn’t clear more how and if Nike will be using the startup’s existing services, you could see how a transaction like this could help Nike start to think about how it might leverage the collaborations and promotions it already has in place into experiences beyond shoes, marketing and sporting performance.

In this age of Instagram and influencers frisking a massive character in switch buyer sentimentality( and dollars ), this could grant Nike a shot at building its own media programme, independent of these, on its own terms.

This is a bigger trend that we’re appreciating across other customer lists. Consider how business like Spotify have increased beyond simple music streaming, investing in building implements to help craftsmen on its scaffold with sell and expanding their labels. Selling shoes symbolizes selling a idea, and that hypothesi needs to have a foothold in a wider digital experience.

Updated with criticism from Apple .

Read more: https :// techcrunch.com/ 2019/10/ 11/ source-nike-has-picked-up-russell-wilsons-tally-traceme-in-a-rare-acquisition /~ ATAGEND

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