Sprinter, will it work out?


Register now! Become a member! We see and hear these phrases everyday. More and more companies seem to use memberships to get customer loyalty. We see a lot of retailers that display new collections on their mobile apps, provide special offers or interact with customers.

But Björn Borg is trying to out a different strategy. The sports fashion brand had not yet released an app but is now trying to build an entire platform. With their new app, Sprinter, they want to help people find a workout buddy (Fashion Insider, 2015). The application is compared with the dating-app Tinder, where daters are able to see nearby users and swipe to like or dislike them. Sprinter uses the same principle, liking nearby people that you want to work out with. Theory describes both these platforms as one-sided networks, as the users are homogenous, both the buyers and sellers on the network (Eisenmann et al., 2009).

However as we compare Tinder and Sprinter there are some differences. I want to highlight one of these differences. Tinder is owned by IAC, a holding that owns multiple dating sites (IAC, 2015). This means that Tinder and its platform are part of the core business of IAC. Bjorn Borg is a fashion company, specialised in sportswear (Björn Borg Corporate, 2015). By launching this app, Björn Borg is entering a new market. I think that the app will not directly support sales of the goods. Therefore I think that Björn Borg is taking a lot of risk to become the provider of this platform-mediated network. It takes more time to maintain a platform than it will to maintain an retailer app. It is also a lot harder to make changes to the platform later on. In my opinion this is a risky but interesting move, but I will leave it up to you to decide. Do you think Björn Borg’s Sprinter is a good move or should they have stayed within their core business?

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3 responses to “Sprinter, will it work out?”

  1. 360608ew says :

    Hi Jack, interesting article! I think Bjorn Borg is making a great move by introducing such a combination between sports (their core business) and matching individuals. Although I agree with you on the fact that this is a risky move and that the app will not directly support sales of the goods, it can however offer personalized discounts, based on the needs of individuals. This can help improving their sales and therefore can increase their revenues. For users, this new platform can lead to a more positive feeling towards the brand. This positive feeling is created by the fact that Bjorn Borg offers them an experience. If they have a positive experience while using the application, this will automatically give them a more positive feeling towards the Bjorn Borg brand as well. When Bjorn Borg would implement the personalized discounts, it will enlarge the positive feeling towards the brand and it can higher their revenues, so I think this can really increase Bjorn Borg.
    Also, once the application gets popular, they could make use of advertisements or freemium models, which can be the start of a new business model for Bjorn Borg. With this, they can improve their revenues as well.
    All in all, I believe that this is a really interesting and valuable addition towards the brand and can help them to really compete with other sport brands.

    • J.A.W. says :

      First, I want to make a compliment for the title of your post.

      In my opinion, this app jumps right in a market gap, because at this moment there are no applications who offer a service like that. Although the support for sales is not included, I think this won’t be a problem. First, a lot of users can be atrracted, then revenue can be generated or by advertising or by adding the sales component.

    • jackcornelisse says :

      Hi, Thanks for your reaction. I think the idea of the personalized discounts is indeed a solution for the Sprinter app. Because the users need to mention what kind of work outs and sports they do, bjorn borg is able to have specific information about the users. Another possibility that comes to my mind is rewarding the matches with discounts or special offers is a possible idea to achieve personalized offers.

      As for the freemium models, it is true that the application needs to become more popular. The app has only just been released and it needs more attention by advertisements and word of mouth from early users. I think it is important for bjorn borg to wait for the network effect, the extra growth of the network once the application becomes more popular.

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