Truth behind Astronaut Guy at Lightning games

Behold the fan wearing an astronaut suit, who apparently found some space to occupy near the Panthers' bench.

The greatest trick the Astronaut ever pulled was convincing the world he was a hockey fan.

Turns out, the spaceman with the full, pristine NASA costume and the best seat in Amalie Arena is not just a devoted and connected Tampa Bay Lightning supporter. He’s a three-dimensional, anti-gravity-proofed billboard.

In a way, the astronaut — first featured on this website back in March — is to Steven Stamkos what Burger King is to Floyd Mayweather: a human commercial you can’t fast-forward and one destined to go viral.

When the NHL posted the clip (below) of Astronaut Guy taunting Montreal goalie Carey Price on Facebook, it was viewed more than 1.1 million times.

The fine reporters at Sports Business Daily explain that the astronaut is the mascot of Tampa-based Bluetooth speaker company Malektronic, “a first-year partner of the Lightning as part of a low-to-mid six-figure deal.” And the company plans to renew the partnership for 2015-16.

“We don’t want it to be too commercial. I think it’s one of those viral things,” CEO Ben Malek told SBD. “People will start asking questions, and that’s when it will come more to light. I think it’s more of an organic growth rather than being a straight-out ad.”

Ah, the long con.

The astronaut doesn’t sport Malektronic’s label on his getup but does have the company’s Rocket speaker affixed to his suit.

According to the article, the Lightning have directed curious commenters on social media toward their crafty partner.

Great. Next we’ll find out that Vancouver’s Green Men stole their idea from a hilarious television show.

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