In between fits of rage-joy at the success of the Warriors (see GIF below), Apple exec Eddie Cue may want to channel his NBA fervor in another, more productive direction — the new NBA Fit app.
The NBA’s first-ever fitness app, launched on Wednesday, was produced in partnership with Under Armour, combining the league’s exclusive content with the fitness interactivity of the Under Armour Connected Fitness platform.
Using the app you can track and share fitness goals and progress as well as participate in virtual fitness training challenges. Additionally, the app features workout tips from NBA trainers, arguably among the most skilled trainers on the planet who regularly work with the likes of LeBron James and Kobe Bryant.
Some of the training tip content will also include videos from NBA and WNBA players. Successful completion of some of the app’s challenges will even deliver users promotions, such as tickets to an NBA game.
“Through this partnership, we are able to combine Under Armour’s connected fitness expertise with the league’s fitness knowledge to create an experience that inspires people to be active, eat healthy and play together,” Todd Jacobson, the NBA’s senior vice president of social responsibility, said in a statement on the league’s website.
The tie-up with Under Armour is also synergistic in another way: Under Armour’s biggest star endorser, Stephen Curry, is also the NBA’s current MVP, drawing in big ratings for the league during the NBA playoffs in recent weeks. Curry appears on the app in one video discussing how he keeps his in-game rhythm going even when off the court by playing golf. Another video features WNBA star Skylar Diggins, who recently recovered from a major injury, mixing plyometrics and weight training.
In many ways, the app looks like a play by the NBA to create a kind of mobile app-based social network. You can follow the feeds of others users — celebrity (none other than The Rock is a suggested user) and the civilian alike — receive feed update notifications and create blog-style posts within the app.
Unfortunately, the app’s profiles don’t appear to have a “verified” option. When I searched for Stephen Curry’s profile, dozens of different “Stephen Curry” profiles popped up. The same thing happened when I searched for LeBron James. In order to really get traction as any kind of social network, this key flaw will have need to be fixed.
Nevertheless, all of this is very reminiscent of Facebook, with the main difference being that it’s focused on NBA fans. Still, it’s not clear why you’d use this social network over something larger like Facebook, but if there’s an opportunity for vertical-specific social networks, the NBA has the steady stream of content and celebrity access to make a stronger attempt than most.
And if the Steve Ballmer-level enthusiasm of high profile NBA fans like Cue is any indication, you might want to keep an eye for NBA Fit notifications on your smartphone in coming weeks as the NBA Finals heat up.
This article, NBA launches fitness app that links you to your favorite stars, first appeared on Mashable.com