By Jean E. Palmieri. Source: WWD.
NEW YORK — Under Armour is working to create buzz for its new sleep recovery product that it’s hoping will be a big hit this holiday season.
Under Armour officially unveiled its Athlete Recovery Sleepwear powered by TB12 apparel and related app at the CES show in Las Vegas in January and on Tuesday night, it hosted a media event at Inscape, an immersive mediation studio here, to allow influencers to experience the product.
Athlete Recovery Sleepwear, which was developed with New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, uses bioceramics particles in the lining of the garments that absorb infrared wavelengths emitted by the body and reflect them back. The technology is intended to promote better sleep, which in turn helps the body recover faster.
Dan Leraris, vice president of men’s training apparel, said the initial launch on the Under Armour web site and in the company’s Brand House stores has been successful and a larger rollout is slated for fall and holiday. In addition to the company’s own platforms, the collection will also be offered at select retailers around the world, he said.
Because the men’s and women’s line is pricey — $100 for long-sleeve tops and pants and $80 for T-shirts and shorts — the company is positioning it as the perfect holiday gift. “It may not be something you buy for yourself,” he said, “but it’s a great gift. Sleepwear is a uniform everyone puts on every day.” And until now, Under Armour wasn’t in the category, which offers the brand another opportunity for growth, he said.
Jasmine Maietta, senior director of global marketing for Under Armour, said the push to promote the collection will be centered around the company’s social media channels and will kick off on Sept. 7 when Brady opens the season against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Initiatives will include tips and testimonials from not only Brady and other UA-sponsored athletes such as Misty Copeland, but also feedback from regular consumers, she said.
One person the company won’t be getting a testimonial from anytime soon is Kevin Durant. During an interview on the Bill Simmons podcast, The Ringer, on Tuesday, the Golden State Warriors star said: “Nobody wants to play in Under Armours, I’m sorry. The top kids don’t because they all play Nike. Everybody knows that. They just don’t want to say nothing.”
Ironically, Durant is a teammate of one of Under Armour’s top spokesmen, Stephen Curry, whose shoes are a key product for the brand. Durant is a sponsored athlete with Nike.
Under Armour had no comment about the jab or the fact that its stock fell more than 3 percent on Tuesday after Durant’s interview went viral.
After years of exponential growth, Under Armour has hit a rough spot in the last few months as it navigates through the struggling U.S. retail environment. After posting its first-ever net loss in the first quarter, it brought on VF Corp. veteran Patrik Frisk as president and chief operating officer in July and outlined a restructuring plan that includes beefing up its women’s and children’s collection and direct-to-consumer initiatives as it works to become a bigger international player.