When Under Armour swooped in and stole Stephen Curry from Nike, the company landed perhaps the best endorsement coup in all of sports. One MVP season later, Under Armour is doubling down on its investment on the Golden State Warriors guard.
ESPN's Darren Rovell reported Curry and Under Armour have come to a contract-extension agreement through 2024 that includes equity in the Maryland-based apparel-maker.
"Stephen is a once-in-a-generation talent and has unprecedented influence on the game of basketball," Adam Peake, executive vice president of global marketing, said in a press release to PR Newswire. "His work ethic, uncompromising self-belief, and commitment to the community are characteristics that make Stephen the perfect partner to ignite the growth of Under Armour in the sport of basketball and around the world. We are extremely proud to call Stephen family and we are excited to write the next chapter of our shared story."
Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Curry's previous deal, which he signed after his four-year contract with Nike lapsed, called for a salary of less than $4 million, per Scott Davis of Business Insider. It's safe to say in the current shoe economy—in which James Harden can ink a deal worth $200 million—that Curry is looking at a sizable raise.
Rovell pointed out how Nike let one slip away with Curry:
This should come as no surprise to anyone who watched the NBA product over the past couple of seasons.
Curry, whose career was once nearly undone by a series of ankle injuries, has become perhaps the league's best point guard and a marketing goldmine. Last season, he averaged 23.8 points, 7.7 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game en route to winning the regular-season MVP and led the Warriors to their first championship since 1975.
Combine that with a squeaky-clean public image—it was perhaps Curry's daughter Riley, not Stephen himself, who was the biggest star of the 2015 playoffs—and there isn't much reason for Under Armour to hedge its bets. Curry noted their strong relationship in a statement, per PR Newswire:
Under Armour has felt like family since day one. In the first two years of our partnership, we accomplished so much both on and off the court, and I'm looking forward to being part of the brand's story for the rest of my playing career and beyond. Together we share a passion for making athletes better and instilling self-belief in athletes everywhere. The entire team has done an amazing job to develop innovative product that performs on the court and build platforms that allow me to connect with athletes all over the world. The best is yet to come.
Rovell noted that the new deal lines up almost perfectly with that of Jordan Spieth, who himself had quite the renaissance year.
While Under Armour may never take down the monolithic Nike empire, having stars such as Curry and Spieth in the fold for the next decade will help it chip away at its market share. Not bad for a company that still hasn't celebrated its 20th birthday.
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