Under Armour will reportedly be taking a page from Nike’s playbook and is readying a fall launch of a Stephen Curry apparel collection.
Curry, the Golden State Warriors star, has been sponsored by the Baltimore-based sports brand since 2013, but the association has mainly centered around sneakers. His contract with the brand runs through 2024. He had previously been sponsored by Nike.
According to Forbes’ 2019 list of the NBA’s Richest Shoe Deals, Curry’s deal with Under Armour is worth $20 million, or fourth overall. He falls behind Kevin Durant, whose Nike endorsement deal is worth $26 million and LeBron James’ Nike deal, which is $32 million. But all of them put together don’t reach the volume figure for Nike’s Jordan Brand, which is worth $130 million. And that’s just the shoes. Wholesale volume for the brand exceeded $3 billion in fiscal year 2019 and the brand posted its first billion-dollar quarter at the end of the year.
On Wednesday, Under Armour wasn’t playing ball, saying of the reports of a Curry apparel collection: “Under Armour is excited about our ongoing partnership plans with Stephen Curry and, together, we will continue to focus on positively impacting communities and operating with purpose in all that we do.”
Not exactly a denial, but not a confirmation either.
Last year, the two dabbled in apparel by teaming on a golf collection under the name UA Range Unlimited Collection with Under Armour. Curry wore the second iteration of that line, which includes polo shirts, five-pocket chinos and bomber jackets along with spikeless golf shoes, in a spectator-free celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe in July. He said at the time: “Golf obviously isn’t my day job, but it’s definitely one of my passions. I can be competitive, obsessing over my swing or short game, but have a lot of fun at the same time. I really enjoy bringing the same focus I dedicate on the basketball course over to the golf course.”
In January, Under Armour introduced the Curry 7 Our History sneaker, a distinct colorway intended to commemorate Black History Month. In February, another colorway was released as the official shoe of the Stephen Curry Underrated Tour, an organization he founded last year to help young players achieve their basketball dreams. And a month later, another version, called the Bamazing, was released for International Women’s Day.
His newest sneaker, the Curry8Flow, is expected to be released this fall — complete with a new logo — and speculation indicates the apparel would launch at the same time. Curry was photographed wearing the shoe at a Warriors practice session earlier this week, causing a major buzz among sneakerheads. The Instagram post has since been deleted.
Under Armour could use a major influx of cash. In the second quarter, the company reported a pandemic-fueled loss of $183 million, on top of a $590 million loss in the first quarter. That’s on top of the serving of a Wells Notice from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission recommending that its founder Kevin Plank and another top executive face legal action for violating federal securities laws.