Under Armour To Dominate The California Market

It’s no surprise that Under Armour (UA) is a big brand in the Bay Area, with the brands flagship athlete Steph Curry leading the charge in Northern California. While Under Armour’s presence rise in the NBA has been widely covered, the company has infiltrated the basketball market at all three levels.

Warriors at Wizards 2/3/16

Warriors at Wizards 2/3/16

Under Armour made headlines in the collegiate offseason by locking up CAL Berkeley and UCLA apparel deals, two of the most high profile college basketball programs on the west coast. UCLA and Cal Berkeley are programs to watch, and their recruiting has significantly improved in recent years. Under Armour is set to help boost these programs even further.

UCLA will be Under Armour’s flagship program on the West Coast and they have a lot of big time players coming in the new few years. The impact that the apparel companies have on determining where big time players go is an under looked phenomenon that plays a large role in the recruiting process.

Under Armour entered the grassroots basketball scene just a few years ago, and has taken it by storm with its Under Armour Association league, heavily competing for top youth players among their competitors Adidas (ADDYY) and Nike (NKE). Relationships between top athletes at the high school level and apparel brands is a topic that goes under the radar but it is indeed prevalent.

The ultimate goal? To get NBA players and sell shoes. The big brands hope the can build a relationship early; so then when they do have a potential endorser headed for the NBA they will have a loyalty to the brand. With Steph Curry’s success on the court translating to big sales in the basketball footwear space, it is no surprise that UA wants to find the next big star. With Curry’s reported $14 Billion in value he creates for the brand, this is a very big deal.

Under Armour paid a lot of money for the UCLA deal, and want to make sure they make a big splash. Prior to the UCLA Under Armour Deal, basketball analysts at 247 Sports had UA’s top youth star Trevon Duval (currently ranked the top point guard in the country by ESPN) was projected to go to Under Armour’s flagship East Coast school, Maryland. As soon as the UCLA deal was signed, his projection to UCLA skyrocketed to nearly 100%. Coincidence? Probably not.

While critics will say that these youth players are unimportant or too far away from the league to make an impact, many of these players only compete for one year in college then jump straight to the NBA and sign an endorsement deal. With Under Armour taking their time in adding new superstars to its basketball roster, it is likely to see some big new signings in the next few years.

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Stock Loverrrrr 7 years ago Member's comment

I agree that #UnderArmour will be able to poach some players, although I'm not sure when. We saw this past year's draft that none of the top ten picks signed with Under Armour which is not ideal. You don't want to be stuck in the Kevin Durant dilemma from a few years ago waiting for a powerhouse like #Nike to match your offer. It's best to get these guys and get them in your brand early. They were fortunate enough that #StephCurry was completely overlooked/disrespected by Nike for him to fall in to their hands. Another problem facing Under Armour is that their basketball shoes just flat out don't look good (personal opinion, majority). Stephen Curry's latest release was a laughing stock among sneaker heads. Under Armour is fortunate in baseball with the likes of Bryce Harper helping them out and they may do a better job thriving in baseball than basketball until they draw those bigger names and improve shoe design. $UA $NKE

Stock Loverrrrr 7 years ago Member's comment

obviously they are thriving with likes of Tottenham and in football, but my points are made strictly from a basketball viewpoint.

Dhaval Shanischara 7 years ago Member's comment

Players like Curry will only increase in value so it will be interesting to see Lebron James, Kobe, and others will fight with Under Armour