Just this past week it was announced that Warriors guard Stpehen Curry had been named the NBA 2014-2015 MVP. Curry, who has overcome a tremendous amount of doubt since coming into the league in 2010, has really developed himself into a star over the past two seasons. After coming up with a big win in the Western Conference Semi Finals last night against the Memphis Grizzlies, Curry and Co. tied the series at 2-2 a piece and proved he could bounce back from a bad game on a big stage like the Playoffs. (Images: Under Armour Instagram).
After wearing Nike in college and for his first three seasons in the NBA, Curry left the brand and signed an endorsement deal with Under Armour in the Fall of 2013 that made him the face of the basketball brand. He then established himself as an elite point guard in the NBA, captured a gold medal once again this past summer at the FIBA Would Cup, started in the last two All-Star games, and on last Monday was named NBA’s Most Valuable Player of the whole league. What seemed like an odd choice to leave Nike, the world’s largest sportswear and apparel brand, for a smaller, yet to be proven footwear company like Under Armour seemed crazy. However, Curry believed in UA and UA believed in Curry. So much, that they designed his own shoe for him and let him be the face of basketball, which hasn’t turned out all that bad.
With Curry winning the MVP award, Under Armour created a special Curry 1 for him celebrating his award. The shoe, pictured below, features a black-to-white-gold fade on the upper, reminiscent of the color of the MVP trophy. The shoe features gold accents as well as black and gold laces. As for the shoe it self, the Curry 1 is the most advanced basketball shoe Under Armous has created to date. The shoe features an Anaform upper, Charged cushioning set up, and a herringbone outsole for premium court grip. UA is a company known for meshes and foams, so it only made sense for them to include their best meshes and foams for the Curry 1. The Anaform upper really forms to your foot and gives it that locked in feel and hugging your foot for just the right fit. Below the first layer of the Anaform upper is a mesh (see holes on upper for veneration) which gives the shoe breathability and areas to cool the foot down when playing. As for the cushioning, the Charged cushioning system offers a plush soft feel for the foot, offering comfort from tip-off to the final buzzer. The shoe also features an external heel counter in the rear of the shoe to lock in the heel and ankle of the foot for support.
Although UA Basketball is a growing brand, they do have a small number of athletes in the NBA. Currently, UA Basketball endorses Kent Bazemore of the Atlanata Hawks, Greivis Vasquez of the Toronto Raptors, Kemba Walker of the Charlotte Hornets, Corey Brewer of the Houston Rockets, and Brandon Jennings of the Detroit Pistons, as well as a few more players in the league. With more shoes for Curry to come, that only means that the UA brand will rise, attracting more talent to the brand. UA is also sponsoring more college athletic teams as well. This past spring in the NCAA tournament, Under Armour saw a rise in on-air visibility due to the teams that the brand sponsored in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Currently of the major Division 1 programs they sponsored in the NCAA tournament included the University of Utah, Notre Dame, University of Maryland, and Stephen F. Austin. The brand also reelect acquired the University of Cincinnati from an ending adidas contract.
As for Curry, he has really elevated himself and the whole company of Under Armour as a brand. He has put UA Basketball on the map. From not having a basketball footwear category a few years ago, to having the NBA MVP on your roster is a big jump, which has made me impressed with UA as a company. With everything that Curry has done and his already perfect image in the league and community, he has attracted so many new consumers to the brand. Teenagers all over the world now know who Stephen Curry is. He is their favorite player, favorite shooter to watch, favorite guy off the court. Teens idolize him and want to be like him. That is all good for UA as a brand and will only help UA continue to grow and to get kids in UA footwear or the Steph Curry 2, Curry 3…
The Baltimore, Maryland based company has made some tremendous strides in the footwear industry and is letting everyone know that they are here to compete now. Most recently, the brand purchased a large office space in Portland, Oregon to go along to compete with some of the best athletic sportswear companies in the U.S, such as Nike, adidas America, Keen, and Columbia Sportswear. Although UA already has a small office space in Portland, the brand is looking to expand on their design and development in Portland, by bringing in fresh, young, hungry, and new faces from the design hot bed that Portland is. Don’t be surprised to see or hear about UA snatching up designers from adidas, Nike, Keen or any other big footwear companies. It’s what a lot of brands in Portland already do, so it’s very common. Under Armous is a very hungry and humble company, yet ready to compete and win. With an athlete like Stephen Curry on their roster, their already growing category for women’s footwear and apparel, and new endorsees on the way, UA is here for good. Be on the lookout!