Under Armour picked up a new endorsement Wednesday -- astronaut Mark Watney of the Ares mission to Mars.
There is a catch. Neither Watney nor the space mission is real. He is a fictional character in “The Martian,” the upcoming movie starring Matt Damon as Watney.
But, for what it’s worth, he really seems to like the brand.
“As brands go, I can’t think of a better partner for this mission,” the character says in a faux press release distributed by Under Armour and dated Sept. 9, 2035. “Their mantra of hard work and accomplishment speaks to everything it means to become an astronaut. The constant repetition of drills and training and preparation is as much a battle of the self as it is against the challenges themselves. For an organization that embraces the I WILL attitude, they’re the perfect company to help us as we press forward, because for us, we have to train like survival is our only option.”
In the film, Damon plays an astronaut participating in a mission sending five teams of international astronauts to investigate Mars. But Watney is left stranded on the planet because his crew thinks he is dead following a severe storm.
The Twentieth Century Fox film is essentially the story of a gritty underdog facing a difficult test. That’s in keeping with the way Under Armour likes to portray itself -– as defying the odds in challenging Nike, its dominant competitor.
The film links to video content, including a clip of Watney’s “pre-mission training program.”