Under Armour has been the underdog to basketball shoe king Nike for some time. This hungry underling is sending a message to Nike to watch out because they are making moves. At an event on Thursday in New York, Under Armour’s founder and CEO Kevin Plant, accompanied by Oscar-winning Jamie Foxx, unveiled its first signature basketball sneaker.
The “Curry One’s” debut TV commercial was modeled after the underdog story of its new face, Stephen Curry, of the Golden State Warriors. The 26-year-old point guard is sponsored by Under Amour and is one of the leading NBA point guards. He is the son of Dell Curry, former NBA star, and the leading vote getter of this year’s NBA All-Star game.
Curry will star in Under Armour’s introduction commercial during the All-Star Game on Sunday. He is a starting player for the Western Conference Team and MVP hopeful. The commercial’s co-star is actor Jamie Foxx who has dubbed Curry “the league’s most un-guardable player.” Images from Curry’s childhood flash in the background as he is seen shooting baskets at the screen to symbolize his “underdog” status. Both Foxx and Under Armour believe he is destined for sneaker stardom with the new basketball sneakers called the “Dark Matter” Curry One.
This new sneaker has been slated to take on the king of high tops which has long been Nike’s Air Jordan brand. According to SportsOneSource, the namesake shoe of basketball legend Michael Jordan, Nike’s Jordan brand, controls 95 percent of the market for basketball shoes. Neil Schwartz, a market analyst at SportsOneSource, said:
Brand Jordan is a powerful force, especially among collectors and sneaker heads. It is also very popular as casual athletic fashion.
Under Armour, which is relatively new to the basketball sneaker business, only has about two percent of the market for basketball shoes. Although they understand their company faces some stiff competition from other well-established rivals, they maintain Under Armor is up for the challenge. It has yet to be seen whether the youth will want to kick out $120 for the shoes but according to Foxx:
Once the media catches the story they will not only show up but mob stores all the way from Shanghai to SoHo.
Curry, who was selected number seven in the first round draft of 2009, did not attend a big name college, nor was he the most gifted player but he worked hard. He dedicated himself to honing his skilled trademark three-point-shot and has been able to transform into the player Under Armour called the “Baby-face Assassin.” The name is symbolic of Curry’s knack for shocking opponents with game-winning shots while possessing a humble demeanor. These are qualities the brand feels will give children a fresh role model.
The sneakers went on sale Friday at retailers debuting at nearly half the price point of some of its rival brand’s top Jordan sneaker lines. Some of Nike’s famed athletes for their Jordan brand are LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant. The Curry One line includes six different types of basketball shoes and Under Armour wants the well-known shoe king Nike to know they are now the one to watch.
by Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
Main Photo Courtesy of Under Armour
Inside Image Courtesy of Shea Heuning – Creativecommons Flickr License