Do Any Of GoPro Inc's Recent Partnerships Matter?

GoPro has signed quite a few tech and sports partnerships this year. In January, it expanded its 360-degree video partnership with Alphabet 's YouTube, signed a live-streaming deal with Twitter 's Periscope, and renewed its partnership with the NHL.

It followed that up in February by signing a patent licensing agreement with Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) , inking a new golf deal with PGA and Skratch TV, and promoting its cameras at the Grammy Awards.

Let's take a closer look at which of these partnerships actually matter to GoPro, and which are likely just market noise.

GoPro's PGA, NHL, and Grammy partnerships also aren't significant, because they're merely brand-building exercises. All three deals use GoPro cameras to film unique up-close perspectives of events, but customers have seen plenty of these POV videos on YouTube before. The problem with GoPro isn't a lack of brand awareness -- it's the stand-alone camera's lack of appeal among mainstream consumers.

The partnerships that GoPro forgot

GoPro seems eager to sign new deals, but it also forgets to follow up on many of its past partnerships. For example, GoPro launched its channels on Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Xbox One over two years ago. That partnership enabled viewers to buy GoPro cameras and accessories through its app from Microsoft's online store, and the two companies would split the sales.

However, GoPro hasn't mentioned that partnership lately or discussed how many devices were actually sold through the channel. GoPro also launched similar apps, which don't sell its products, on Roku, PlayStation, and Amazon , but it's unclear how different those apps are from its YouTube channel. It also failed to explain how these partnerships would fulfill the company's IPO promise to "scale GoPro as a media entity and develop new revenue opportunities."

In 2014, GoPro signed a partnership with BMW and Mini which connected its cameras to their infotainment systems via iPhones. It inked another deal with Toyota to install GoPro mounts in its trucks last year. But once again, GoPro didn't expand these partnerships to disrupt the dedicated dash cam market.

Don't get confused by the noise

GoPro's partnerships with YouTube and Microsoft might seem more promising than its deals with Periscope and the PGA, but they won't solve the company's core problems of slowing sales, market commoditization, and a lack of a meaningful moat. Instead, investors should focus on the company's two big catalysts for the year -- the Karma drone and the Hero 5 -- which will both face substantial challenges from entrenched rivals.

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The article Do Any Of GoPro Inc's Recent Partnerships Matter? originally appeared on

Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Leo Sun owns shares of The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares),, GoPro, and Twitter. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days . We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy .

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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