Before Steph Curry got his first signature shoe with Under Armour, the Warriors star guard endorsed Nike for the first four seasons of his career. His ties to the Swoosh go back to his time at Davidson college, but when it came time to re-up on his contract, Nike balked at the idea of offering a large contract based on the belief that he wouldn’t be able to sell signature shoes. Their initial offer was less than $2.5 million per year, to which the Curry camp probably declined, but Nike had another chance to retain Curry when Under Armour came in with a larger offer. In the end the Beaverton brand chose to let him go and Steph made the brand transition official in October of 2013. This past January, the UA officially unveiled his first signature shoe, the Curry One; Curry’s signature shoes are a top seller from kids sizes all the way to adults and there’s no mystery as to why that’s happening.
Nike’s stable of basketball athletes is still top-notch, with LeBron, a returning KD, Kobe Bryant, Kyrie Irving, and future signature stars like James Harden and Paul George in the works. But Curry’s success is another reminder that Nike’s competition is finally formidable and it won’t be completely dominated by one brand like it has been over the last decade.