The American unit of German sportswear giant Adidas has discontinued its digital sports unit – the driving force behind its wearable technology work – placing around 74 jobs at risk.
Adidas America Inc is shedding its stand-alone digital services division at a time when it is working to integrate its digital development work across all areas of the business. A spokesperson for the company told just-style the decision is based on its ambitions to further drive its digital transformation and win the consumer in what it describes as a “dynamic business environment.”
“We have redefined our strategic approach towards digital, sharpening our focus on digital experiences. In this context we decided to discontinue running a stand-alone digital sports organisation. Instead, we are integrating digital across all areas of our business and will continue to grow our digital expertise but in a more integrated way,” the spokesperson said.
In a bid to become the first fast sports company by 2020, Adidas has been working to develop a more reactive and responsive supply chain. This has involved work to develop wearable technology, supported by the digital business unit.
The division employed technology experts in the fields of data science, experience design, algorithm development and software and hardware engineering.
Reports suggest this latest realignment will see Adidas consolidate some of its apps to focus on Runtastic and its relaunched Adidas app, which features AI-enabled shopping. It acquired the Austrian app maker Runtastic for a reported $240m in August 2015.
The spokesperson said Adidas will explore potential roles and opportunities across the organisation for the 74 workers affected by the changes.