When it comes to the NBA and endorsement deals, the two are one and the same, as star players have been offered these lucrative opportunities for decades. So it’s no surprise that world-renowned player Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors has a partnership with Under Armour. Fun fact: He has his daughter Riley to thank for it.
After an impressive season in 2013, Curry was faced with a decision about which brand he wanted to represent him. Under Armour wasn’t the only major brand knocking on his door either. Nike, Adidas and Brand Black were also solid choices during this time. To help him make this decision, Curry consulted his family, specifically his 2-year-old daughter Riley. Curry explained to ESPN’s Nick DePaula how he used a sneaker game to help him.
“I had a bag full of all the shoes I was wear-testing, and I was getting to that final hour like, ‘What are you gonna do?’ I was messin’ around and said, ‘Riley, come in here, let me put all these shoes around.’ So I had Nike, Adidas, Brand Black and Under Armour shoes.”
Riley then removed options until she got down to her final choice.
“Little did I know, her dramatic self, even at two, she did the process of elimination. She didn’t just go for the first one … She did the first three, threw them across the room, ran over, and handed me the Spawn. That was pretty much the end of it right there,” Curry recalled.
Based on his daughter’s process of elimination, Curry inked a $4 million endorsement deal with Under Armour in 2013, which eventually grew to a $20 million contract.
The decision truly proved to be a wise one as Curry’s collaboration with the brand only grew, and later, in 2020, the Curry Brand was created, which took the partnership a step further and helped underserved youth get access to sports and community solutions.
And from the looks of it, Curry’s partnership with Under Armour is here to stay. According to ABC News, this collaboration with the president of the Curry Brand will be a long-term one. The deal is said to be one of the wealthiest endorsement deals in sports, including base pay, stock equity, royalty and on-court incentive bonuses.
“We started with the signature business, and with the opportunity to deepen the partnership, with an expectation of it going past my playing days, and the added investment in the great things that we both bring to the table, it’s an exciting time to strengthen that partnership,” Curry told ESPN.
Under Armour founder Kevin Plank also spoke about his appreciation for Curry being with the brand, saying, “There’s always been a continuation [in mind] with Stephen. I couldn’t imagine Under Armour without Stephen, or Stephen without Under Armour.”
Who knew a 2-year-old’s decision could go that far? But all in all, Curry’s success with this brand not only speaks to wise business decisions but also to the power of family, no matter how young.