Why The Internet Backlash Over Stephen Curry’s Latest Under Armour Shoe Is Actually Good For Business

Under Armour Curry Two Low Che
The Under Armour Curry Two Low "Chef."
Courtesy of brand.

The saying “You can’t win ‘em all,” has never held truer for Under Armour and its famous endorser NBA MVP Stephen Curry over the past week.

Just days after the Golden State Warriors leading man’s latest signature shoe release, the white Curry Two Low “Chef,” became the butt of a slew of social media jokes, Curry’s team was dealt a loss at the hands of the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night.

And it wasn’t a loss of the garden variety, either. In the headline-topping game, Curry shouldered six fouls, frustratingly tossed his mouthpiece into the crowd and was ultimately ejected in the final minutes.

Where footwear is concerned, Curry’s misses (although arguably few and far between) are often analyzed for their impact on Under Armour, which has boasted a buzzy and lucrative foray into the basketball shoe arena, carried on the back of Curry.

NBA wins and losses aside, the onslaught of social media trash talk aimed at the Curry Two Lows has been dubbed a major shoe defeat for both the brand and its signature shoe star.

But if the latest developments lead you to want to count Curry and Under Armour out of the game, Canaccord Genuity Inc. analyst Camilo Lyon says “not so fast.”

In our channel checks and discussion with industry contacts, the ‘Chef’ has actually sold better than some of its predecessor color ways, likely due to all the attention paid to it,” Lyon wrote in a note Friday. “A quick scan of Under Armour’s site shows that the ‘Chef’ (white) has the second most sold out sizes out of a total of six color ways, not too bad given that it has been in market for about a week.”

Not to mention, sales impact from the Curry Two Low style, which launched in February, were always expected to be minimal, Lyon pointed out.

The Curry Two low has never been a big contributor the overall basketball franchise for Under Armour and is considered a non-core style,” Lyon pointed out. “In fact, we believe the Curry Two low has had underwhelming sell-throughs all along, especially relative to the Curry Two high top version.”

Lyon estimates that the Curry Two Lows represent 20 percent of the Curry Two basketball SKUs and likely less than 5 percent of the dollar volume.

As Curry and his team turn their focus to Game 7 of the NBA Finals, slated for Sunday night in Oakland, Calif., Lyon believes consumer attention should shift back to the Curry 2.5 release over weekend.