Stephen Curry has a long-standing contract with Under Armour, but $20 million a year is not something to be scoffed at.
When Stephen Curry joined Under Armor in 2014, the sneaker world rose to notice. It was the first time someone of his stature had signed with anything other than Nike or Adidas. Julius Erving was eager to see him sign with UA, and he wanted him to be the next big thing in sneaker culture in 2017. The American manufacturer was exploring various cushioning technologies, and it was generally an exciting time.
That was when it was on its 4th iteration (the one with the Tuxedo colorway that was so sweet), but they plateaued. They stopped putting the wave-causing Hovr technology back then, and it’s now become X-Flow. While technology is cool, it doesn’t sell. They don’t inspire too many NBA athletes either, because hardly anyone wears them.
In a study of the league’s most popular sneakers worn by athletes, Steph Curry and his models didn’t even make the top 13. The second most worn shoes were actually by Kyrie Irving. He joins his idol Kobe Bryant on the podium. Erving should have chosen someone from Nike as a safe bet because no one, not even athletes, wears Under Armours.
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Stephen Curry may have advertised Under Armour, but he didn’t do much for their sales because they hoped he would
When it comes to basketball shoes, Nike still reigns supreme. Converse has fallen from grace, going from being the top seller in the 70s to being worn by 1% of gamers in 2022. Under Armor isn’t doing all that badly, but they aren’t doing wonders either. 4 people in the league wear the Curry line, including him. It’s terrible, considering they wanted him to be their Jordan.
But the best part of the survey is that the Kobe Protro model has been the best-selling shoe for the past year. This can be due to a multitude of reasons. First, the Kobe line made sense to a lot of players. He put so much R&D and trial and error into perfecting his line that it fits a variety of use cases. 2, with his recent passing, players want to own his sneaker line.
The funny part is that the Paul George models represent more numbers for Nike than MJ, maybe because the new Jordan models suck. They are getting too futuristic with their design, and the technology is no longer worth its weight in gold. PG is a surprisingly good model, with the traction pattern and upper being a good combination for big men who want to move freely.
Julius Erving hated Jordan so much he wanted someone to knock him down – Not Stephen Curry, not LeBron James, but the Jordan who played for purple and gold is now the best seller.
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