Under Armour is not even pretending that it’s not copying Nike’s Jordan Brand model, slapping the name Curry Brand on a new line of shoes and apparel arriving Dec. 11.
The chances of putting a dent in the Jordan Brand, which Yahoo says makes $3.1 billion of Nike’s $39.1 billion sales, were slim enough in the peak Curry era but will be more difficult now.
Stephen Curry is pushing 33 years old, coming off a season in which he played five games and is five seasons removed from winning the NBA Most Valuable Player. Curry’s line will include golf products and a new signature shoe, the UA Curry 8 for Under Armour, which he has endorsed since leaving Nike in 2013 when Under Armour signed him to target younger consumers.
A Piper Sandler biannual survey showed that Under Armour ranked first for brands “no longer worn” by male teens and dropped to 11th in footwear on the survey’s “Taking Stock with Teens” report.
Curry Brand will target philanthropic ventures, too, aiming to create 20 safe places to play, 125 community programs and training 15,000 coaches over the next five years. He will start with putting basketball programs in each Oakland Unified School District middle school.
“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,” Under Armour Chief Executive Patrick Frisk told CNBC. “So it goes beyond the actual sales of product. But, the sales of product are important because we’re going to take part of the sales and actually invest that back into this program.”
With Curry Brand sales unlikely to scale as high as the Jumpman, the effort will at least hit the grassroots.