Ever since Under Armour signed Stephen Curry in 2013, the brand has seen a surge in sales, regularly putting up impressive quarterly earnings that can be attributed largely to the Golden State Warriors sharpshooter. Earlier this year, it even managed to turn what was a seemingly negative viral reaction to Curry’s low-top “Chef” sneakers into a positive.
Still, despite these recent triumphs, CNBC financial analyst Jim Cramer says that Nike is actually better at choosing its sponsored athletes than Under Armour.
“I know that Phil Knight, when I spoke with him recently, would say, ‘If you back certain players, certain players are really worth it,’ “ Cramer said during an episode of “Squawk on the Street.” “And it made me think — LeBron [James], Kyrie [Irving] — maybe as great as Steph Curry is, that he may not be in the league of people who really know how to sell.”
A clip from the episode (embedded below) cites 2016’s top-selling basketball sneakers globally, and it shows the Under Armour Curry 2 ranking fourth behind signature sneakers belonging to James, Irving and Michael Jordan.
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Cramer argues that while Under Armour managed to strike gold with Curry, it’s going to need more elite level players to truly compete with Nike.
“I know that Under Armour has had some big wins in terms of who they anoint … You need more than Steph Curry, you need kind of a big panoply, because you need to have the Foot Lockers of the world take all your product,” he said.