For Golden State Warriors fans, the big news of the day is that we’re going to see Steph Curry on the court in less than two weeks, as the Warriors are slated to begin their preseason schedule on Dec. 12.
But for Curry himself, there’s some other exciting news: he’s getting his own brand.
On Monday, Under Armour — which has had Curry in their line of athletes for seven years — announced the creation of Curry Brand, an all-new line centered around the Warriors two-time MVP.
Curry Brand is not a signature sneaker, which the three-time champ has had for some time, but rather it’s own brand, similar to how Michael Jordan has the wildly-successful Jordan Brand at Nike. Curry Brand is its own line within Under Armour, and will presumably even sign athletes directly, as Jordan Brand does. To the best of my knowledge, Curry Brand is the only player-specific brand within a large company other than Jordan Brand. Even stars like LeBron James simply operate with a signature sneaker rather than a separate brand.
The line will get up and running on Dec. 11, just in time for holiday shopping and a brand new NBA season. And according to Under Armour Chief Executive Patrik Frisk, Curry will take a very hands-on role with the new brand. Frisk told CNBC that Curry will, “be actively involved in the development of the product. And we’re so excited to see one of our athletes being so involved in the product.”
But it’s not just a for-profit company. Curry Brand will also seek to make sports more accessible for children, especially those from lower-income backgrounds, and address the diminishing numbers of kids partaking in organized sports.
That starts in the Warriors backyard, as Curry Brand will be working directly with the Oakland Unified School District to make sure there’s a basketball program at every middle school in the area. Curry Brand is also partnering with Positive Coaching Alliance, a Bay Area-based nonprofit organization, to bring professional-quality coaching to local youth sports coaches.
“What we want to try to do is change the game for good,” Frisk told CNBC. “So it goes beyond the actual sales of product. But, the sales of product are important because we’re going to take part of the sales and actually invest that back into this program.”
Curry’s relationship with Under Armour has been fascinating. They poached him from Nike in 2013, after the sports retail giant flubbed a sales pitch and didn’t meet Under Armour’s price. Curry seemed happy with the company for a long time, but, following complimentary comments of Donald Trump by one of the company’s executive, the star said he would consider leaving if Under Armour’s values did not align with his.
With the announcement of Curry Brand, it seems safe to say that the partnership will exist for many more years to come.