Under Armour launched a new facemask specifically aimed for sportspeople, making it easier to breathe while exercising. The UA Sportsmask was sold out online within an hour of its launch, according to Patrick Frisk, the CEO of the company. Under Armour will be introducing newer stock in July.
A New Mask for Working Out
Health officials and organizations all recommend keeping the face covered with masks to escape the Covid-19 virus, which travels by air in the form of droplets.
Under Armour's UA Sportsmask, specifically seeks to serve athletes as it is designed for exercise and easier breathability. Ordinary masks and even those with a ventilator are oppressive and uncomfortable, especially if one is indulging in some form of exercise, then having a mask covering the mouth and nose becomes doubly difficult for breathing.
Under Armour, during its launch, showed clips of celebrity athletes such as lacrosse midfielder Taylor Cummings, NFL player Deonte Harris, and Baltimore-based basketball program Team Thrill exercising while wearing the Under Armour mask.
Under Armour is one of the few sports retailers to come up with a mask explicitly addressing the Covid-19 situation for athletes.
"We knew our athletes would need us to come through quickly with a solve to aid their return to training, one that would put health and safety first and adhere to current CDC guidelines," said Kyle Blakely, vice president of materials innovation at Under Armour.
UA Sportsmask Patent
The new UA Sportsmask was developed by Under Armour's innovation team. The company is also manufacturing ordinary masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care and community organizations.
The UA Sportsmask is a reusable, water-resistant performance face mask. The top of the mask features a moldable nose-bridge to help secure it in place and stops air from fogging up glasses.
The UA Sportsmask features a unique, three-layer model:
- The first layer is made of SPACER FABRIC and has air pockets for structure, so it stays off the mouth and nose for better airflow.
- The second layer is made of open-cell foam that is also breathable and soaks up moisture and sweat.
- The third layer is made of UA ISO-chill. It is a cooling fabric and is treated with PROTX2™, a non-metal anti-microbial technology which inhibits the growth of bacteria on the mask.
The Coronavirus Fight
PROTX2 has been shown in laboratory tests to destroy COVID-19 and is being reviewed by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to confirm the efficacy of the substance. Under Armour also has a patent pending on its design and construction of the mask.
Under Armour is selling the UA masks for $30 online. They come in four sizes and only in black for now. The company will retail these masks in countries worldwide by this fall. As Under Armour receives customer feedback on the UA Sportsmask, it will be incorporated into future iterations of the mask.
As a promotional effort, some student-athletes were given these UA masks by the sports company.
Under Armour was losing market share to bigger sports brands like Nike and Reebok in sportswear before the pandemic.
In light of the global health pandemic, CEO Frisk was hopeful that the company would benefit from renewed interest in health, fitness and wellness from consumers while locked down at home.
The Under Armour mask has come shortly after the company reopened its stores on May 28 following the pandemic lockdown. The company's sales plunged 23 percent in the first quarter resulting in a loss of $590 million, according to its Q1 report. The company’s fourth quarter results were also not very good with a reported loss of $15 million.