Under Armour and Steph Curry are entering into a long-term partnership.
Source: Under Armour
NBA superstar Steph Curry and Under Armour are once again betting big on each other.
The Baltimore-based sports apparel brand and the four-time NBA champion announced Thursday they are building on their decade-long relationship with a new long-term partnership. The deal will ensure that Curry, 35, will remain with Under Armour long past his playing career.
Financial terms of the performance-based deal were not disclosed.
Curry will take on a new role as president of Under Armour’s Curry Brand and will work across categories such as basketball, golf, women, youth and sports style to deliver new products.
The nine-time NBA All-Star first signed with Under Armour in 2013 in a deal worth about $4 million per year.
His current contract with Under Armour is worth $215 million and includes an equity stake in the company. Over the course of their partnership, Curry and Under Armour have launched 10 signature shoes together. Curry’s the only athlete in Under Armour history to do so.
“If the past 10 years have shown me anything, it’s that Under Armour and I can build great things together,” Curry said. “In 2013, we bet on each other, and I’m all in on taking this next step together.”
The new deal signifies the importance of the Curry Brand for the future of Under Armour, as the company transitions to its new leadership of CEO Stephanie Linnartz, who took the helm at the end of February. Similar to Nike’s lifetime deals with Michael Jordan and LeBron James, Under Armour is banking on their biggest basketball star to be involved in all aspects of his brand even after his playing days.
Linnartz said she’s looking forward to working closely with the Curry team as they focus on the next chapter of growth.
Stephen’s new role will be as President of the Curry Brand
Source: Under Armour
It’s been a tumultuous few years for Under Armour. While Curry has won several championships and awards, becoming one of the greatest players in NBA history, Under Amour’s business has lagged. The brand, which was started by Kevin Plank in 2005, has struggled to gain market share versus Nike and Adidas in recent years.
Last month, the company reported a beat on the top and bottom line for its fiscal third quarter, with revenue coming in at $1.58 billion, but the retailer continues to contend with inventory issues. The stock was down about 9% through Wednesday’s close.
Under Armour’s fiscal third-quarter footwear sales were $354 million. Through three quarters, the segment racked up nearly $1.1 billion in sales. “We are doubtful that Curry is greater than a $250 million business,” said Cowen analyst John Kernan.
For some perspective, Nike’s Jordan brand had its biggest year ever in 2022, with approximately $5 billion in revenue. Jordan retired from the NBA for good in 2003. Nike’s footwear sales for its third quarter totaled $7.97 billion.
Plank said he believes the revamped Curry partnership will give the company the catalyst it needs.
“Stephen is one of the greatest talents of our generation. At his core, he embodies what it means to be an Under Armour athlete and is an integral part of the Under Armour family. We are excited to keep building together, bringing even more innovation and inspiration to athletes across the globe,” said Plank, who’s now the company’s executive chairman and brand chief.
Curry will be tasked with helping drive athlete insights, product development, and strategic business and marketing endeavors.
He will also assume a broad advisory role focused on expanding brand loyalty and recruitment to expand Under Amour’s athlete roster.
The partnership includes funding for community impact efforts to create opportunity, access and equity for the next generation of athletes.
Source: Under Amour
Youth athletics and equity have always been important to Curry, who started the Underrated Tour, which helps underappreciated high school players get more exposure.
As part of his new deal, Under Armour will also provide increased funding for community impact efforts.
“Belief is a big part of who I am on and off the court. I believe in Curry Brand and Under Armour, the team now in place, and what we’re doing together,” Curry said. “We share a vision for a big future ahead.”