By Barry Janoff
September 16, 2015: What are the perks that come with being named MVP of the NBA and being a driving force that helped to lead your team to the league championship?
Plenty, if you are Stephen Curry, All-Star point guard for the Golden State Warriors, the latest not only being an extension of his endorsement deal with Under Armour, but also equity in the burgeoning sports apparel and footwear company.
Curry was in Under Armour's Baltimore headquarters on Wednesday when company founder and CEO Kevin Plank and other company executives unveiled the deal that now runs through 2024.
"Stephen is a once-in-a-generation talent and has unprecedented influence on the game of basketball,” said Adam Peake, evp-global marketing for Under Armour. “His work ethic, uncompromising self-belief, and commitment to the community are characteristics that make Stephen the perfect partner to ignite the growth of Under Armour in the sport of basketball and around the world. We are extremely proud to call Stephen family and we are excited to write the next chapter of our shared story.”
Under Armour launched Curry’s first signature hoops shoe, the Curry One, and his signature apparel collection this past February. Since then, the Curry One "has continued to almost fully sell out across all retail distribution channels," according to Under Armour.
The Curry Two recently launched in Asia during Curry’s first Under Armour tour of the region. It is scheduled to drop in the U.S. and globally on Oct. 24.
He appears in a new Under Armour campaign, "Rule Yourself" (pictured above), along with Tom Brady, Jordan Spieth and the American Ballet Theatre's female principal dancer Misty Copeland.
Under Armour said that Curry would continue to play a role in global brand marketing campaigns, including training, lifestyle offerings and Under Armour’s Connected Fitness platforms. Under Armour said it would also "continue to grow Curry’s signature footwear line and collection of products."
Curry, who earns about $7-$8 million in endorsements, also had deals that include State Farm (in several spots in a dual role with his faux "twin brother" Sebastian), Express, JBL audio, PlayStation, NBA 2K16, sports-equipment company Zamst and Fanatics Authentic memorabilia.
Over the past year or so he has also appeared in marketing for Foot Locker, EA Sports, Degree Men, East Bay, Muscle Milk, MoGo mouth guards, the NBA on ESPN, NBA on TNT, several spots for ESPN's This is SportsCenter and regionally for the Warriors. In addition, he appeared on a limited-edition box of Wheaties.
This past season, Curry had the second-most popular-selling jersey in the NBA behind LeBron James, according to the NBA.
“In the first two years of our partnership, we accomplished so much both on and off the court, and I’m looking forward to being part of the brand’s story for the rest of my playing career and beyond," Curry said during his visit/media conference in Under Armour headquarters. "Together we share a passion for making athletes better and instilling self-belief in athletes everywhere. The entire team has done an amazing job to develop innovative product that performs on the court and build platforms that allow me to connect with athletes all over the world. The best is yet to come.”
Nike is No. 1 in category retail sales in the U.S., but Under Armour last year passed adidas for the No. 2 spot, according to industry analysts. In 2014, Under Armour's sales rose 30% and for the first time topped $3 billion.
"In the second quarter of 2015, we witnessed historic performances and accolades from our incredible portfolio of athletes, including the NBA's MVP and (Golden State Warriors) world champion Stephen Curry; PGA Tour pro Jordan Spieth who won this year's Masters and U.S. Open; and the American Ballet Theatre's first-ever African American female principal dancer, Misty Copeland," Plank said when the figures were released in July.
In addition to Curry and Spieth, Under Armour's roster of pro athletes includes MLB players Bryce Harper, Buster Posey, Zack Greinke, Joc Pederson, Lorenzo Cain and Todd Frazier; NFL players Brady, Brandon Marshall, Eddie Lac, Julio Jones and Patrick Peterson; world-class runner Frezer Legesse Miller; MMA fighter Elias Silverio; and Curry's brother, Seth, who plays for the Sacramento Kings.
Under its "I Will What I Want" mantra, Under Armour over the summer released a multi-media campaign for its growing women's division featuring its "Women of Will": Copeland, Gisele Bündchen, Lindsey Vonn, pro surfer Brianna Cope and Kelley O'Hara of the World Cup champion U.S. Women's National Soccer Team.
Under Armour said that the extended partnership with Curry is the "latest reflection of its fast-growing momentum in basketball."
In August, the brand signed a ten-year pact with the NBA, designating Under Armour as the title partner of NBA Draft Combine, presenting partner of the Jr. NBA program in the U.S. and partner of the NBA Fit App.
The partnership also extends marketing rights to Asia, allowing Under Armour to promote Curry and other athletes on its NBA roster in greater China using NBA uniforms and league marks.
Curry, Speith, Copeland Play Key Roles In Rising Under Armour Sales
Stephen Curry Continues March As Marketing MVP
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