Another sports apparel and footwear company that made its mark in the digital business at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas is New Balance, which announced a smart watch to be launched by a new Digital Sport division toward the end of the year.

New Balance Digital Sport is to develop a comprehensive athlete-focused digital ecosystem, with New Balance-branded wearable technology products meant to improve physical performance. The company said in a press release that it would partner with leading digital companies to incorporate smart technologies for wearable consumer products into its footwear and apparel ranges across a variety of sports.

Digital Sport will start with a smart watch that will allow athletes to run and track their performance and their run, and listen to music, without having to carry their smartphone. For this purpose, New Balance is teaming up with Google and Intel to provide an athlete-focused smartwatch platform, powered by Android Wear. Other devices will hit the market in the next two years. New Balance said it would make use of embedded technology, such as intelligent sensors integrated into shoes and garments.

While working on these wearable consumer products, the digital division will also create digital experiences, starting with a partnership with Strava for the New Balance Run Club. This running community will make use of Strava's platform to connect runners with others, track performance and exchange information. It will also allow them to take part in virtual training programs for key events, as well as virtual races between individuals and clubs. The Run Club will also organize actual runs.