Why Under Armour’s NBA Partnerships Are Vital to the Brand’s Success in Basketball

Nike has the NBA apparel deal, but Under Armour has partnerships with the basketball organization — specifically with its Jr. NBA youth initiative — to ensure its presence in the sport is felt.

And during the 2018 NBA All-Star Weekend, the brand delivered experiences to Los Angeles area kids that are sure to make them fans of the brand.

Included in Under Armour’s weekend festivities was a special day in the 10-week Building Bridges Through Basketball program, which had kids learning the game with retired NBA legends including Robert Horry and Dee Brown and members of the LAPD, plus a chance to meet current rookie Josh Jackson of the Phoenix Suns.

Under Armour also brought out current stars Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors and Dennis Smith Jr. of the Dallas Mavericks to meet with kids throughout the weekend, including its Jr. NBA Day activation at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Under Armour Dennis Smith Jr. 2018 Jr. NBA Day Los Angeles
Dennis Smith Jr. surrounded by kids at 2018 Jr. NBA Day.
CREDIT: Under Armour

Trey Evans, director of basketball partnerships and operations at Under Armour, believes not only does its NBA deal connect with today’s young hoops fans, but it gives the brand something that is critically important to its success in the sport.

“The importance for us is the authenticity factor with the NBA,” Evans explained to FN. “Any time we can do anything through the lens of the curriculum that the NBA sets, it authenticates us in the category of basketball.”

But the benefits don’t stop there. Since basketball’s popularity has expanded worldwide, and the NBA is home to several foreign talents, the partnership supports another goal for the brand.

“It allows us to expand our brand awareness throughout communities other than the East Coast and Baltimore, which we’re familiar with,” Evans said. “And it’s extremely important for us to become a true global brand by being involved in basketball. It’s critical to growing globally.”

In 2015, Under Armour signed on to become a partner for the Jr. NBA, as well as the NBA Draft Combine. (The brand now outfits everyone at the combine and sells combine-related fan apparel.)

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