Under Armour has made a living out of growing niche markets into big industries. But I was shocked when I was flipping through a catalogue last week and saw an ad for Recharge.
It’s a compression suit that the company has designed for athletes to wear for 24 hours after their big workouts. Under Armour says it helps reduce swelling and soreness time and re-energizes the body for the next workout.
“Right now we’re seeing this on athletes across all major sports leagues -- NHL, NFL and MLB -- so it’s starting at the top level,” said David Ayers, Under Armour’s director of product creation.
“But this is a science that can benefit all athletes, from guys and girls just getting off the couch for the first time and are just going out for a run and feeling aches and pains the next day. It’s as much for them as it is for the world class athlete.”
Under Armour worked with the University of Connecticut to test athletes and to support the claims for this product. For optimal results, the company recommends athletes put it on within two hours of finishing a workout and wear it for 24 hours.
Both the top ($99.99) and the leggings ($89.99) are being sold separately and could be seen as steeply priced in this economy. Ayers says the cost is all relative.
“Amortizing over the life of this garment, it’s more than going to bring your money back,” Ayers said. “Taking away the aches and pains the next day -– certainly there’s a huge advantage there.”
The potential is great if Under Armour can create the need for more post-workout recovery gear, a market that doesn’t really exist at this time. If it takes a while to be embraced, Ayers says that Under Armour’s ability to be more nimble than other companies will play a role.
Said Ayers: “We can scale this as it grows and we can help it in its early adoption and introduction phase and as it reaches new customers, we can scale the operation to provide it to all athletes.”
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