Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors could make history tonight if the team sweeps the Cleveland Cavaliers, becoming the first team in NBA history to go 16-0 in the playoffs.
While the feat is undeniably incredible, what it could to for Curry’s shoe sales with Under Armour is debatable.
“Mad Money” host Jim Cramer said on a CNBC’s “Stop Trading” segment this week that if the Golden State Warriors complete the sweep in the NBA Finals, people will want to buy the Curry 4.
However, not everyone in the footwear industry agrees.
“I think he’s wrong in saying that [a sweep] will make an impact. We’ve never really seen a visceral reaction, positively or negatively, around a championship around individual athlete’s shoes,” Matt Powell, VP and sports industry analyst with The NPD Group, explained to Footwear News.
Ankur Amin, co-owner of Long Island, N.Y.-based retailer Renarts, admitted a Golden State sweep could help Curry sales, but it would be a minimal improvement because the consumer base for the baller’s sneakers is slimming.
“It [Curry sneakers] still works for the younger guys, junior high and below. But it works a lot less for people in high school; 14 and over, it’s a little harder [to sell] now,” Amin said.
But even if Cramer was right and people will seek the Under Armour Curry 4, customers will have to wait to buy it: The brand confirmed that the shoe will hit stores in the fall.
Powell believes the Baltimore-based athletic outfit, with the historic feat accomplished, should consider moving up the release of the shoe, specifically through its new UA Icon customization service (which currently allows for the Curry 1 sneaker to be customized).
“I would do the new shoe, the shoe that he’s wearing as opposed to the other shoe,” he said. “I would get the Curry 4 up on the custom site immediately.”
Amin questions if that’s even possible.
“This is a big machine, and to take it off track and put it on another track, it takes a long time to get that done,” he said. “To launch a profile when they’ve had plans to launch it at another time, I’m not sure that that’s feasible. Is it wise? If they have the capability, sure, why not? But I don’t know if that’s possible.”
To make the most of Curry’s potential accomplishment, according to Powell, a commemorative shoe isn’t the way to go. The biggest impact could be from having UCLA and California college ballers wear Curry’s shoes next season. (Under Armour signed long-term deals to become the apparel providers for UCLA and University of California-Berkeley last year.)
“You’ve got the new UCLA and Cal sponsorships coming up. To outfit those players in Curry product would make a lot of sense,” Powell said. “You’ve got California teams coming on stream, that’s a way to extend the credibility, if you will.”
Under Armour Curry 3Zer0, $99.99; ua.com