“Everything about Under Armour is about the underdog,” Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank said in February. “We are the overachieving brand. We are the underdog brand. We are the ones that no one thought could do it. Nobody gave us the chance to be in this position, but we are, and we take that with great responsibility.”
You can say the same about Stephen Curry.
Curry, who suffered from early injuries, multiple coaches and dysfunctional ownership, seemed poised to stay the underdog. Like the brand that eventually signed him, he has surpassed all doubt and established himself as a worldwide force in the industry. His first signature shoe, the #CurryOne, released in February and the Book of Will, featuring Jamie Foxx, is Under Armour’s first global brand campaign.
Curry just completed his sixth NBA regular season, leading the Golden State Warriors to a franchise record 67 wins. Curry finished with 23.8 points, 7.7 assists, 4.3 rebounds and led the league in Real Plus-Minus (8.87). His team ranked second in offensive efficiency (109.7), first in defensive efficiency (98.2) and was one of seven teams in NBA history to finish with a point differential of over 10 (10.10).
Curry continues to be the leading force in Under Armour’s quest for basketball dominance, but it was another Under Armour athlete who’s been dominating headlines most recently.
Jordan Spieth, who signed to the company in January 2013, didn’t even have his tour card when he was brought on. Kevin Plank, revisiting his “underdog” mentality, took what some may see as a gamble on the 19-year old. Now, two years and one green jacket later, Spieth sits alongside Curry as Under Armour’s past, present, and future.
“It’s a great time,” said Curry following their 67th win on Wednesday night. “We’re all trying to do what we do and represent the brand the best way we know how. Obviously root for the guys that are in the UA family, it’s pretty special. The brand is growing like crazy.”
The courting of Spieth began in 2012, just one year before the company signed Curry. The 21-year old went wire-to-wire last week, winning the Masters by four strokes and setting a tournament record with a final score of 18 under par.
“I was able to watch the back nine of the final round,” said Curry. “We’re supposed to be getting together this summer. We represent the UA brand hard.” Spieth’s exposure during the week estimates to be worth $33.6 million for the company, according to Eric Smallwood, a sports sponsorship analytics expert.
Not only is the sport of golf important to Curry, an avid player himself, but his teammates have latched on as well. “A little bit. Klay [Thompson] and Andre [Iguodala] played before I met them. We talk about it so much. We’ll have it on in the locker room. We’ll be egging each other on. Golf is a social sport that you have fun with and we get competitive too.”
Curry and Spieth are the leading faces in Under Armour’s evolution as a worldwide powerhouse. Spieth has supplied the world of golf with a youthful jolt while Curry continues to flash his elaborate talents on a nightly basis on the court. At 27 and 21 years old, respectively, the evolution is just beginning.