Athletic apparel retailer Under Armour announced at CES 2017 a new sleep and recovery system for athletes in training, as well as an update to its UA Record mobile app that is designed to work in tandem with the recovery system.
The system involves a sleepwear clothing line developed in collaboration with NFL superstar Tom Brady, and branded “Athlete Recovery Sleepwear powered by TB12” (the latter being Brady’s initials and uniform number.)
A pattern designed into the lining of the sleepwear includes “bioceramic particles that absorb infrared wavelengths emitted by the body and reflect back Far Infrared, helping the body recover faster while promoting better sleep,” according to Under Armour. Sleepwear prices range from $80 to $100.
The Under Armor press release features quotes from Brady, who apparently has some pretty intense beliefs about the importance of quality sleep in overall athletic success. Who can argue with a guy who has won four Super Bowls, and who also will make this face if you try to argue with him?
Still, when you price pajamas at up to $100 apiece, you are inviting at least a little doubt and indignation, even if — as Under Armour claims — it's backed up by science. We’ll have to see how effective Brady and Under Armour are at convincing consumers they need smarter sleepwear. The willingness of consumers to buy the new sleepwear also will play into how the new features in the revamped UA Record app fare.
The new app experience includes features to monitor, optimize and help athletes gain deeper understanding of their sleep schedules and patterns. A sleep tracking feature can monitor sleep each night, while a proprietary 14-day Sleep Score assesses the quality of sleep, requiring users to establish consistent patterns of quality sleep to improve. A UA Body Clock establishes consistent bed/wake times. UA Record also offers timely reminders, insights and tips to provide direct guidance on how to improve sleep habits and maximize recovery and performance, Under Armour said in a press release.
Regardless of how you feel about Brady (personally, politically or as a fan of fully-inflated footballs) or $100 smart pajama pants, those sleep tracking features are a nice addition to UA Record to expand its utility and grow the brand’s mobile presence after a year in which it stressed the importance of new mobile capabilities.
2016 overall was something of a mixed bag for Under Armour. It made major progress as a partner and supplier to pro sports leagues, scoring a major deal with Major League Baseball, but it also lost market ground to Adidas and saw another product supposedly co-developed with a sports superstar fizzle in stores and get pummeled in social media circles. Can Tom Brady and bioceramic-enabled pajama pants help the brand get off to a stronger start in 2017?