Breakfast Briefing: Adidas buys Runtastic for £154m, Facebook introduces private messaging for brands

Welcome to Marketing's morning briefing, a daily shot of news and a recap of the best longer reads and videos. Today's news includes Adidas's attempt to build a fitness community through tech and apps, and Facebook introducing private messaging to Pages.

Runtastic: wearables include the Orbit fitness tracker
Runtastic: wearables include the Orbit fitness tracker

Adidas pays £154m for fitness wearables maker Runtastic

Adidas has bought fitness app maker Runtastic for €220 million (£154 million), seemingly to try and build a fitness community to rival Nike’s.

Runtastic makes fitness tracking apps across running, cycling and mountaineering, boasting 140 million downloads and 70 million registered users. The company also has a line in hardware, with the Runtastic Orbit fitness bracelet, smart scales and a GPS watch. It isn’t clear how much the company earns, though Adidas referenced "solid revenue" in its statement.

Adidas faces an uphill struggle to boost its sales and reputation in the face of competition from Nike and Under Armour. Investors have criticised a lack of innovation, accusing Adidas of being "reactive" to trends.

Source: Adidas

Brands can respond to Facebook gripes by private messages

Brands can deal with carping customers by private message, now that Facebook has enabled messaging from Pages.

Up until this point, Page admins could only respond to customers by whatever medium they chose to comment – whether a private message or a comment on a post. Now they can reply to public comments with a private message, both to make customer support more efficient and, probably, to help brand pages look a little tidier.

As part of the update, Facebook users can also now message brands directly from an ad, with the new "Send Message" call-to-action.

Brand pages will also be rated on how responsive they are. Pages that respond to 90% of messages within five minutes will feature a "very responsive to private messages" badge.  

Finally, Facebook is helping Page admins respond a little quicker to incoming messages, with the ability to create template responses to frequently asked questions. Admins can pull up saved replies and send or edit them, speeding up response time.

Source: Facebook

In case you missed it...two longer reads

Coding: the kids are alright, but what about the grown-ups?

When it comes to creating a future workforce of agile minds, we are on the right track in kids, but we need to address the problem with the adults of our world, argues Jon Davie, UK CEO of digital agency Zone. He says digital is a mindset as much as a skillset. 

O2 on rugby sponsorship: if we were in football, we wouldn't be happy

O2 is the long-term sponsor of England Rugby, which may be a mixed blessing when the Rugby World Cup hits the team’s home shores. Marketing's Shona Ghosh catches up with head of sports sponsorship Gareth Griffiths to discuss. 

If you watch one video today...

Coca-Cola: sponsoring the Rugby World Cup a 'no-brainer' on home turf

With the 2015 Rugby World Cup just around the corner, sponsor Coca-Cola is hoping to get the general public interested in the game with an activation at London's Tower Bridge this week.

Coca-Cola held a Ball Exchange event where the public could swap their traditional summer sport balls (tennis, golf, and cricket) for branded rugby balls. Marketing interviews Coca-Cola's Bobby Brittain on film.