Under Armour and NBA star Stephen Curry are in talks of a lifetime contract between the two. This deal has many wondering if this is a bad business move and if contracts like these will become the norm.
Steph Curry. Small but mighty. Loyal to a brand, city and team. Unlimited shooting range. Current record holder of 3-pointers made. Four-time NBA champion, two-time regular season MVP and an NBA Finals MVP. Now, the brand that took a chance on the babyface assassin is willing to sign a long-term deal with the NBA champion and make him a billionaire.
As of right now, Curry’s contract with Under Armour (UA) is worth up to $20 million annually and expires in 2024. The new deal that Under Armour is currently working on is said to be a lifetime deal and could be worth more than $1 billion.
Curry has been a part of UA since 2013. At the time, Curry was a Nike athlete, but he felt that the brand didn’t believe in him and refused to give him a signature shoe. Under Armour saw that the future MVP was unhappy and signed him up to elevate their brand. Right after signing the deal, Curry won his first MVP that season, and the rest is history.
During Curry’s time with UA, there have been 12 signature shoes, his own clothing line, sponsored basketball camps and high school and college hoops teams outfitted in Curry’s shoes. Similar to Michael Jordan and Nike, Curry has his own brand within UA, Curry Brand. In essence, Curry has become bigger than the UA logo.
This wouldn’t be the first time a brand signed an athlete to a lifelong deal. LeBron James signed with Nike in 2003 and has produced 19 signature shoes, his own clothing line, his own logo and has high school and college teams repping his gear. In 2015, they signed him to a lifelong contract worth up to $32 million annually.
Some will argue that deals like these aren’t good for business, but how else are you supposed to thank and show respect to the athlete that made millions of dollars for you?
Besides revolutionizing the way basketball is played and being a highly decorated player, Curry’s performance off the court is another reason why he deserves the deal. He’s involved with the city of Oakland as if he was born and raised there; he’s constantly giving back to the community through charities and programs for the youth. He’s not afraid to show that he’s an affectionate father and loving husband. He’s a model citizen off the court and doesn’t shy away from speaking of problems in the country or sharing his faith.
Yes, LeBron James is one of the most decorated players of all time and is considered the greatest of all time, or GOAT, to many, but he earned his contract with Nike the same way: James is a model citizen off the court. He frequently speaks out on racial and social injustices. He openly shares his love and support for his family. James even built a school in his hometown in Ohio.
Both Curry and James are cut from a different cloth when it comes to playing basketball, but the same applies to the way they live. Yes, these contracts are revolutionary and could lead to players wanting more, but there’s no one like Curry and James.
Contracts like these are reserved for the greats. Greats that stayed loyal to their brand by putting their bodies on the line while wearing their gear and staying with the brand for numerous years. Both greats put money in the pockets of these brands even though they outshine the logo.
Lifelong deals are for generational talents, and Curry is just that.