Nike has lengthy been synonymous with premium sneakers and different sports activities gear, however now evidently the corporate may very well be extending its model into one other space — digital media — because of the rumored acquisition of a Seattle-based startup.
TechCrunch has realized from a supply that the multibillion-dollar sports activities large has acquired TraceMe, which initially constructed an app to let followers have interaction with sports activities stars and different celebrities earlier than later pivoting right into a service referred to as Tally, a platform geared toward sports activities groups, broadcasters and venues to assist followers have interaction round sporting occasions.
TraceMe was initially based by Russell Wilson, the champion quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks, who was the manager chairman of the startup. The firm had raised a minimum of $9 million from buyers that included the Seattle-based Madrona Venture Group and Bezos Expeditions (Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ fund), in addition to YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley and others, and it was final valued, in 2017, at $60 million.
Our supply stated the deal closed in latest weeks and that “it was a good outcome” for the corporate and buyers. It concerned each IP — the principle curiosity, the supply stated, was in TraceMe’s tech moderately than Tally’s — and the group.
Indeed, a minimum of eight of them, together with TraceMe’s CEO Jason LeeKeenan, an ex-Hulu government, are actually itemizing Nike as their place of employment. LeeKeenan describes his new function as the top of Nike Seattle. Others on the group now have taken roles that embrace software program engineers, head of product and product designers.
No one at TraceMe and Nike that we contacted has responded to our requests for remark, however just a bit whereas in the past GeekWire (which possible had the identical tip we did) printed a submit noting that it had a supply that confirmed the deal.
The athletic footwear large Nike isn’t any stranger to the world of know-how: it has been a longtime collaborator with the likes of Apple to develop apps for its gadgets and has been an early mover on the idea of bringing and integrating cutting-edge (sure, probably gimmicky) tech into its footwear and different gear. And that’s earlier than you contemplate Nike as an e-commerce pressure.
But whereas the dalliance between sports activities, tech and vogue is effectively established, this deal opens up a special frontier for the corporate. It’s very uncommon for Nike to make an acquisition, nevertheless it is sensible that if it have been going to do some M&A, it could be within the space of digital media and choosing up engineers to execute on a wider imaginative and prescient in that space.