30 Sep Stephen Curry; Endorsements, Sponsorship and Marketing: A Profile
Sponsorship and endorsements play a huge role in any athlete’s status, not least two-time MVP, Stephen Curry.
Self-acclaimed best player in the world, Stephen Curry has acquired some of the highest sporting accolades in basketball. The Golden State Warriors point guard, and MVP for two consecutive years (2015,2016), Curry is arguably one of NBA’s most celebrated talents over the last decade, being addressed alongside NBA greats such as Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.
Curry’s rise to prominence in the NBA cannot be only attributed to his performances on the court. His activity off-court as an avid philanthropist and tech-start up has lead to Curry’s name being known across a wide range of communities. ‘Three for Three Challenge’ was set up in the 2012-13 season, donating 3 life-saving nets to a United Nations welfare scheme every time the NBA Hall of Fame player scored a 3-pointer; “I’m honoured to be in a position to help raise awareness for the campaign and provide nets to protect families from malaria for the fourth season in a row”, Curry was able to accumulate 1,206 life-saving bed nets in the 2015-16 season.
Being one of the most sought after players in the NBA League also has its perks, Forbes released a report in February suggesting Curry’s yearly off-court earnings reached the summit of $12 million, with his endorsement portfolio containing names such as Under Armour, Degree and Kaiser Permanente.
In a deal worth approximately above $4 million dollars and also including an equity stake in the multi-national company, Curry joined manufacturers Under Armour from Nike, a deal worth $2.5 million that was eradicated by Curry after Nike reportedly misspelt Curry’s name in a pitch to extend his deal with the popular manufacturer. A costly mistake from Nike, who will rue their missed opportunity, as Curry’s signature shoe business has already surpassed that of other popular shoe businesses, supported by the likes of Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. His now notorious shoe has helped put one of the largest emerging sports manufacturers, Under Armour on the basketball map, providing Curry with underdog mentality that he and Under Armour were able to relate to. He is now featured as a focal point for the Baltimore-based company who saw a 57% leap in footwear sales ($677.7 million); CEO, Kevin Plank noted “he is, without question, the number one basketball player on the planet today” and would have been relieved in 2015 to retain the athletes services and extend his contract to run until 2024. Under Armour’s aim is to build their basketball category into a billion dollar global brand, by reaching their financial target of $7.8 billion by 2018, a realistic target after Under Armour estimated they sold over $200 million worth of Stephen Curry shoes and apparel in the 2015-16 season.
Under Armour’s recently announced they will be delving into the lifestyle market with the Curry Lux shoe. Using Curry’s success with the basketball on-court shoe, the Curry Lux will allow customers to buy a pair that they can use both on and off-court. The Curry Lux range, made with ranging fabrics now acts as a literal translation of the original, Curry One.
Most of Curry’s success as within the game can be attributed to the lengths the Golden State Warriors are going to collaborate technology with basketball. Technological wearables aren’t allowed on-court, but off-court, the Golden State Warriors are using a range of innovation technologies to better his game. Two types of wearables are being used by GSW to try and hone in theirs shooting skills. ‘Blast Motion’ which monitors movement and records metrics such as jump height, acceleration, rotation and hang-time and ‘Shot Tracker’ records the flight of the ball as well as the player movements. Collecting intricate data, like the GSW, allows for in-depth analysis and permits both teams and players to hone in on their ability and iron out any bad habits those players might have.
His various endorsements have lead to his net worth of £35 million and according to the Celebrity DBI (a database measuring consumer perceptions of celebrities), that figure is set to rise, with his score being more than any other athlete. Curry attributes his success to his demeanor and his relatability with fans, through his creative play on-court and his activity off-court.
There’s no denying that Curry is one of the best basketball players ever, but it’s his success off-court that has played a pivotal role making him the player he is today. Curry’s abilities and endorsements have helped him become an idol of not only playing ability but endorsement to, no doubt all brands will be looking for the next Stephen Curry.