ESPN’s Ethan Strauss has an in-depth look at how Stephen Curry, the most sensational basketball player in the world, ended up signing a shoe deal with Under Armour. While Nike’s own mistakes are largely to blame for the company’s inability to retain Curry, Curry’s young daughter Riley also played a part.
“My favorite story is Riley,” Steph says. It’s a few weeks before a final decision on the shoe contract must be made. At his agent Jeff Austin’s house in Hermosa Beach, California, Curry surveys the array of shoes before him. He asks his baby daughter, “Riley, which one do you like?”
At this point, Riley is little over 1 year old. She is presented with a Nike sneaker, an Adidas sneaker and an Under Armour sneaker. She picks up “shoe one,” a Nike. “Threw it over her shoulder,” Curry says. “She picked up shoe two, threw it over her shoulder. She picked up the third shoe, walked over and handed it to me.” It was the Under Armour Anatomix Spawn. “So I knew right then,” Curry says, smiling.
Of course, Riley’s choice isn’t the only reason Steph ended up with UA. Strauss also recounts how a Nike rep called Curry “Stephon” (like Marbury) in their meeting and how the Nike presentation included recycled material from Kevin Durant.
Still, Under Armour is totally making a light-up shoe for kids now, right?
- Dan Gartland