(Photo courtesy of Under Armour)
Under Armour’s effort to make protective equipment for medical workers during the pandemic has resulted in a new product for athletes that’s designed to protect against the spread of COVID-19 while playing.
On Thursday, the Baltimore apparel company released the UA SPORTSMASK. It’s designed as a breathable facemask to protect against droplets spreading, and also has a nose bridge that stops glasses from fogging up. The mask has three layers of fabric, and can be washed for reuse, per the company.
UA started making masks in mid-March to help fill a shortage of personal protective equipment for local hospitals to protect staff against the spread of COVID-19. Per a company press release, UA founder Kevin Plank recognized the need to protect athletes — the company’s core customer base — moving forward. He worked with the UA’s innovation team to design the mask; UA employee #3, Ella Mae Holmes, sewed the mask at her home in Baltimore. The team arrived at a design 13 iterations later.
“As soon as we finalized the design of our face mask for PPE, we dove straight into the innovation process of optimizing a mask for performance,” said Kyle Blakely, VP of materials innovation, in a statement. “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.”
Shortly after launch on Thursday, UA CEO Patrik Frisk tweeted that the company was already sold out. But preorders are now available.
We sold out in less than an hour. More will become available in July.
— Patrik Frisk (@PatrikFrisk) June 11, 2020
With the launch, UA also said it plans to donate masks to student athletes in Baltimore.
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