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Nov 30, 2020

Under Armour to launch 'Curry Brand' in shot at Nike's Jordan

Nike Shares Soar After Sales and Profit Surge

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Under Armour Inc. is launching a brand with basketball superstar Stephen Curry, aiming to achieve some of the same success that Nike Inc. found with its lucrative Michael Jordan label.

Curry Brand, debuting Tuesday, will feature footwear, apparel and accessories, with an unspecified percentage of its revenue to be “invested in under-resourced communities,” Under Armour said in a statement Monday. The brand intends to create at least 20 safe playing spaces, support 125 youth-athletics programs and train 15,000 coaches by 2025, the company said.

“We have a shared goal of unlocking play for kids, so that became a natural place for us to focus,” Curry said in the statement.

Curry, 32, has led the Golden State Warriors to three NBA championships with his renowned long-distance shooting. He’s a son of former NBA player Dell Curry, who Under Armour noted has also been active in philanthropy.

Under Armour can look to Nike’s Jordan Brand as a model of commercial success with a far-reaching label endorsement. Jordan’s revenue rose 15 per cent to US$3.6 billion in the year ended in May, and its reach extends beyond basketball to sponsorships such as the soccer club Paris Saint Germain.

Under Armour shares were down 0.8 per cent to US$16.56 at 9:59 a.m. in New York. The stock has lost 23 per cent this year through Nov. 27.

The company saw its sales rebound in the last quarter, boosted by shoes as consumers exercise more at home during the pandemic. The Baltimore-based company is seeking to focus more on e-commerce, with stores playing a lesser role.