Stephen Curry has occupied a higher plane of existence from the rest of the NBA all season, as he coasts to a second straight MVP award and the Golden State Warriors march toward breaking the mythical 72-win barrier. As he continues his ascendance, he’s become so revered that he’s beginning to eclipse LeBron James as the signature star of the NBA. With that status, of course, comes merchandising — and Steph has his eye on an even bigger name than LeBron’s.
Steph has an exclusive shoe deal with Under Armour, which has never been considered a big boy in that arena. Thanks to Michael Jordan, Nike still rules the roost. A financial analyst at Morgan Stanley expressed concern that UA’s current stock prices are unsustainable, but Curry may make those troubles go away:
“Its Stephen Curry signature shoe business is already bigger than those of LeBron, Kobe, and every other player except Michael Jordan. If Curry is the next Jordan, our call [to sell Under Armour stock] will likely be wrong.
“UA’s total basketball business is probably double (in terms of retail sales) and even its non-Curry styles have grown at a super-high rate. The growth could be a result of UA taking share by underpricing its shoes. Or it could be a tipping point signaling the end of Nike’s basketball dominance. If the latter is true or Curry becomes the next Michael Jordan, our call might wrong no matter what UA does in women’s apparel or running footwear.”
According to that same financial analyst, if Steph does continue to represent a brand all his own and bring Under Armour with him, that could add as much as $14 billion in value to the company. It seemed impossible that we’d ever find another Michael Jordan, but in terms of shoe merchandising, at least one expert think it’s in the realm of possibility.
(Via Business Insider)