May 6th, 2015 by John Kim
Under Armour has been experiencing continual growth since the company was first founded in 1996 by Kevin Plank, and the fact that many of their marketing tactics are carbon copies of what Nike has done before is a big reason why the competition between the two is actually worth paying attention to. Basketball has played a pivotal role in elevating Nike to the next level of profitability, which is why the recently crowned MVP could have a long-lasting effect on UA’s visions for growth within the popular sport. Recently, the headline of Nike passing on signing Steph Curry has been floating around, and we’ll be first to say that the sportswear giant is getting some borderline “unfair” press on the matter. It goes without saying that any brand would love Steph on their roster right now, but can we sing that same tune when the contract negotiations were going down in 2013? Probably not.
Before Curry’s breakout MVP season, Steph Curry belonged in that “second” tier of star ballers in the NBA. His all-star level of play is undeniable, but there’s a reason why only a small percentage of All-Stars and even MVPs in NBA history have proven to be successful pitchmen. It can be argued that Curry was on the cusp, but the outlook on his future as a signature athlete wasn’t entirely clear – injuries, star power, and style of play all factor into “signature” status, and with all due respect to Curry pre-MVP season, he was nothing more than a sharpshooting scorer (think Reggie Miller). That said, we’re ecstatic for Curry and for UA’s newfound glory, but there are some reasons why Nike chose to let Curry walk in 2013.