In an email to The Baltimore Sun after the U.S. team landed in Sochi but before competition started, Richardson talked about the importance of having the right suit and called the Mach 39 “revolutionary.”
“It's all about having the fastest suit,” Richardson said. “You want the skin to fit as tight as possible but comfortable enough to move your arms and legs, of course.”
One marketing expert said Thursday he didn't believe questions raised over the suit would hurt the Under Armour brand.
“It's not a type of clothing material that's purchased by the mainstream consumer, and I don't think most Olympics fans would associate Under Armour with the reason the athlete is not medaling,” said Matt Saler, director of sports marketing for Baltimore advertising and marketing firm IMRE.
“I still think Under Armour associating themselves with the speedskaters makes a lot of sense from a global brand awareness perspective,” he said. “Ultimately, it still comes down to the athletes to win.”
The U.S. has won 85 medals in speedskating and short-track, the most in any Olympic sport for the country. The last time the U.S. failed to medal in speedskating? Sarajevo Winter games, 1984.
“With this skin suit we don’t have any results from it — at least not any positive results,” Hansen said.