Stephen Curry is the Michael Jordan for Under Armour, will he realistically have the same impact?
Summer is finally here which means basketball courts are open for a summer of 4v4 at the local, and this season brings a plethora of new on-court styles likely to enhance our performance from elite amateur to humble pro within seconds.
And if you didn’t think December could get any better, it just did – well maybe not for you Nike…
Brace yourselves as we embark on a new rivalry in the world of fashion leisure; Stephen Curry – Golden State Warriors Guard, top performer, 3 x championship winner and more subtly, the GOAT- takes on Under Armour in a promising new brand deal! The champion and the label recently collaborated in the production of comfortable, quick-drying and insanely soft basketball gear and footwear, releasing their own ‘Curry Brand’ set to unveil in stores and online this December, a perfect Christmas gift to us all. The athlete continually propels into the world of entrepreneurship whilst demonstrating his unique talents go unmatched on-court, positioning his rank as potentially the ‘greatest shooter in NBA history’ and equally humbled persona to be the reason we all love to see this man succeed.
Interestingly, this new duo leaves Curry as only the third basketball player alongside Michael Jordan and Dwayne Wade in history to release their own respected brand, and this screams serious business for the rising superstar. Natural rivalry has already prevailed between the legacy associated with Jordan and Nike’s success (Jike) and Curry’s new acquisition, but he firmly states “we are going to do it a different way and something that is authentic to me.” And what does this look like? The brand has announced they’ll be investing a percentage of annual revenue toward communities, targeting underprivileged youth. Curry emphasises his objective is to offer support throughout communities in Oakland, prospering equal opportunities, leadership development and coaching in a safe and respectful environment to encourage joint sport participation.
“we ae trying to plant our flag and just live out the purpose we are setting out to do with everything that we do and that for when it comes to product, when it comes to marketing. when it comes to our community give-back and our initiatives, all those things will be true to who I am and true to anybody that wants to participate and change the game for good.”
Needless to say, it would be considered a mere downplay to define Stephen’s career as successful through affiliation with his father alone – an NBA 1994 6th man of the year – sure, the benefits provide a plethora of opportunity to become advanced in a heavily populated pool of talent, but he’s proven that family legacy isn’t all that’s required for a place in the high chair! Through sheer determination, top tier performance and values centred around giving back, Curry proceeds to lead the court by example. He recently stated “Curry Brand is about doing good in everything we do,” including the encouragement of sport and all its glory throughout communities of hardship. As touched on, he aims to see youth as being his forefront objective; “I learned the value of hard work, resilience, teamwork, communication, time management—sports teach young athletes so many critical life skills, which is why I’m passionate about making sure everyone has access to these opportunities, first through my foundation and now through Curry Brand.”
Now, with this in mind, it seems like an excellent time to detract our 2016 assumptions that the sponsorship deal between Curry and Under Armour was destined for doomsday given Curry’s history with Nike – a prominent household name, global dominating force and of course, Michael Jordan, need we say more? Curry’s fate in the hands of Nike was not to be, leaving him hungry to develop relations with alternative brands. While Under Armour seems a below-par choice in NBA brand legacy standards, critics believe the apparel line will see equal successes for both parties with honoured dependency, rivalling ‘Jikes’ notable success in the fashion sphere.
Oakland will proceed to take centre stage for both the labels launch and community development programs, but it won’t take long for a global wipe-out of Curry Brand athleisure to hit the basketball courts worldwide. With Micro G cushioning embedded within all basketball shoes for responsive direction and controlled performance, athletic apparel enriched in comfortable, drying and cooling material for an easy play, and a ‘take on the sun’ range inclusive of UV protection for the warmer months, it’s hard to see why this label would be anything less than a sell-out. And what’s better? Unisex and women’s ranges are already in development for a release in the new year.
So, prepare for a summer of stylish 4×4’s, and expect the magic of Curry Brand to turn your skills into a humble pro!