By Barry Janoff
April 21, 2016: This past season, Stephen Curry scored three-pointers in bunches while helping to lead the Golden State Warriors to an NBA record 73-9 mark.
Off the court, that translated into continued sales growth for Under Armour's footwear division, which is driven by Curry's signature line as well as expanded running offerings.
Under Armour released its 2016 Q1 figures Thursday, and they showed overall growth for the footwear and sports apparel and equipment company. The numbers were lead by a 30% increase in net revenues to $1.05 billion, versus $805 million in last year's Q1; and a net income increase of 63% in the first quarter of 2016 to $19 million versus $12 million in the prior year's period
The company also said that based on current visibility, it expects 2016 net revenues of approximately $5 billion, a 26% growth 2015.
"For the past 24 consecutive quarters or six years, we have driven net revenue growth above 20% and we are incredibly proud of our start to 2016 with first quarter net revenue growth of 30%," Kevin Plank, chairman and CEO for Under Armour, said during a conference call with analysts and media.
He was particularly focused on the 30% growth, which he said signified Under Armour's alliance with Curry.
"We posted 30% increase in (net revenue) in the first quarter, and that figure was no accident," said Plank. "Stephen wears No. 30 and he averaged 30 points a game this year."
According to Plank, "In footwear, (our growth) includes the remarkable success of the Stephen Curry signature basketball line, as well as the exciting launches of our first smart running shoe and our new line of Jordan Spieth inspired golf shoes.
"Combined with the introductions of premium apparel technologies like Microthread and CoolSwitch, we will continue to drive elevated innovation and excitement to the athlete throughout the remainder of 2016," said Plank.
Curry joined Under Armour in 2013 after bolting Nike, and the company launched his, and its, first signature hoops shoe in early 2015. Later that year, Under Armour extended its alliance with Curry through 2024.
Dedicated multi-level marketing has accompanied the release of Curry 1 and Curry 2, and will continue this year when Curry 2.5 hits Foot Locker and the Internet in late May, followed by a worldwide release in July.
During the current NBA playoffs, Under Armour is supporting Curry with marketing that includes three-second spots each time he makes a three-point shot, referencing the NBA record 402 three-pointers he had this past season. The company ran five such ads during the Warriors first game in the opening round of the Western Conference series against the Houston Rockets.
Under Armour also plans to send Curry on a tour of China prior to next season, a follow-up to a similar trip Curry had last year, which Plank called "amazing. The impact of Stephen for us in China has been phenomenal."
"We are fortunate that we can combine powerful sales with a game-changing athlete. What Curry is doing now is amazing."
"We are fortunate that we can combine powerful sales with a game-changing athlete. What Curry is doing now is amazing and what he could continue to do is amazing," said Plank.
Under Armour also has aligned itself with other athletes and celebrities having stellar careers, including quarterbacks Tom Brady (New England Patriots) and Cam Newton (Carolina Panthers), outfielder Bryce Harper (Washington Nationals), pitcher Clayton Kershaw (Lps Angeles Dodgers), catcher Buster Posey (San Francisco Giants), skier Lindsey Vonn, tennis stars Andy Murray and Sloane Stephens, surfer Brianna Cope, actor Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, — whose new commercial supports Under Armour's HealthBox fitness tech platform — premier ballerina Misty Copeland and Olympics swimmer Michael Phelps.
"This year marks our 20th year in business, which is a great milestone for our company," said Plank. "Our robust growth this quarter demonstrates the power of our brand with growth coming from every part of our business.
According to Plank, "Our ability to adapt in a rapidly changing environment has been a critical part of our success and fuels our inspiration to create game-changing products that solve problems and enrich consumers' lives. With this unrelenting consumer focus and ongoing investment, we are setting the foundation for our growth story over the next 20 years."
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