Under Armour Wants To Be Like Mike

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Few have had what it takes to compete with Michael Jordan. But Under Armour is rising to the challenge – at least off the court.

In an effort to contend with Nike’s Jordan Brand, the athletic apparel company announced Monday its launch of the Curry Brand in collaboration with NBA star Stephen Curry.

Baby-Faced Branding

Nicknamed the “Baby-Faced Assassin,” Stephen Curry signed with Under Armour in 2013. The Golden State Warriors point guard has since won three NBA championships and is touted by many analysts as the greatest shooter in NBA history.

And with his jersey consistently topping sales charts, Under Armour just made Curry the centerpiece of its team:

  • Launching this week, the Curry Brand features shoes, clothes, and accessories for several sports including basketball and golf, with plans to expand into running and women’s apparel.
  • The star attraction – performance basketball footwear – will go live on Dec 11th, just in time for the holiday gift rush.

With the Curry Brand, Under Armour is looking to get back in the good graces of younger consumers. The company has ranked number 1 on Piper Sandler’s list of brands “no longer worn” by male teens for the last year. Meanwhile Nike has been teens’ apparel favorite for a decade, with its Jordan Brand raking in over $3.5 billion a year.

That’s where the Baby-Faced Assassin comes in. Under Armour CEO Patrik Frisk said, “It’s absolutely clear for us that we’re going to compete in athletic performance. That’s our space. One thing that Stephen has done well is really become a beacon in terms of the athlete value proposition.”

A Slam-Dunk Initiative

Aside from being the next Air Jordan, the Curry Brand wants to make sports available to kids in lower-income households:

  • The Under Armour and Curry collab has committed to help more than 100,000 young athletes by 2025.

“What we want to try to do is change the game for good. And that’s how Stephen is thinking about it, and we truly believe that is an opportunity for us,” Frisk said.

Revenge Game: As added incentive to top the Swoosh, Curry is a Nike expat. The brand failed to re-sign him in 2013 when they reportedly mispronounced his name in a pitch presentation. Nike’s loss was Under Armour’s gain. By 2016, Morgan Stanley analyst Jay Sole pegged Curry’s potential worth to the company at more than $14 billion.