GET READY FOR THE UNDER ARMOUR SPORTSMASK
As active residents and gym goers contemplate a workout or run, with a face-mask, as part of COVID-19 precautionary measures, the Under Armour SPORTSMASK is due to hit our shores this Spring.
For weeks, thousands of South African’s have been wrestling with the challenges of working out under a stay-at-home lockdown and struggling with wearing a face mask if training in public or outside. Debates continue to swirl over how best to stay healthy outside of the home and when and if to train with a face mask.
The Under Armour SPORTSMASK is a reusable, water-resistant performance face mask designed for maximum breathability by Under Armour’s innovation team. And it sold out in less than an hour in the United States according to USA Today.
“At Under Armour, we always want to be part of the solution, especially during this extremely challenging time. We specifically designed this mask for athletes and for all of us who want to exercise and train while also keeping ourselves, and those around us, safe.”
– CEO of Under Armour, Patrik Frisk
This first-of-its-kind mask functions to reduce the spread of respiratory droplets by the wearer. The top of the mask features a mouldable nose-bridge to help secure it in place and mitigate airflow to the eyes, helping to prevent glasses from fogging. It can also be washed and dried, making it more eco-friendly than many single-use, disposable options.
The Under Armour SPORTSMASK features a unique, three-layer model engineered for athletes during performance:
LAYER 1: SPACER FABRIC – It is light but has air pockets for structure, so it stays off the mouth and nose for better airflow.
LAYER 2: OPEN-CELL FOAM – The breathable middle layer lets air through but makes it hard for moisture and sweat to pass.
LAYER 3: UA ISO-CHILL – This fabric feels cool against the skin, stretches, and is treated with PROTX2™, a non-metal anti-microbial technology which inhibits growth of bacteria on the mask.
Under Armour also has a patent pending on its design and construction of the mask.
“I think of wearing masks as a team sport, because it requires the participation of each team member to be successful. When everybody wears masks together, it can be quite effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19, which could be especially important in close-contact environments like a gym or when training with a group.”
– Chief of Innovation at LifeBridge Health, Dr. Daniel Durand
The seeds for the Under Armour SPORTSMASK were planted in mid-March, when Under Armour began manufacturing face masks designed by its innovation team and distributing millions of units of personal protective equipment (PPE) to health care and community organisations to help fight the spread of COVID-19. During this process, Under Armour founder Kevin Plank recognised a need for performance solutions that would support athletes navigating the pandemic climate. He called on the innovation team in Baltimore, equipped with their recent mask-making experience, to join him in finding a way forward, and fast.
“Experience told us that fabric and performance had to be our first focus, so we set out to find a fabric combination that created structure to ensure the mask would stand off the face and offer maximum breathability. We applied learnings in fit, feel, and ease and speed of manufacturing from the face mask we created for PPE purposes. Throughout it all, the speed of the design process and a meticulous eye to quality and details were paramount.”
– Vice President of Materials Innovation at Under Armour, Kyle Blakely
The Under Armour SPORTSMASK is expected to arrive in South Africa in September 2020, retailing for around R699 (subject to market related fluctuations at the time).