Under Armour has a long way to go before it beats Nike — here’s why

Steph curry
Steph Curry. Ezra Shaw/Getty

Under Armour has a long way to go before it usurps Nike.

Though the company has reported impressive earnings quarter after quarter, one of its strongest points is comparatively weak when pitted against rival Nike.

That’s NBA star Steph Curry.

Steph Curry’s partnership with Under Armour has been a major source of growth for the company. CEO Kevin Plank has acknowledged his contribution to the brand repeatedly.

Analysts estimate that Curry could be worth as much as $14 billion to Under Armour.

But he has a long way to go before he is becomes the industry’s next Michael Jordan.

According to a recent Slice Intelligence report (via The Washington Post), Nike’s sneakers hold a much bigger share of the online sneaker market than Under Armour’s sneakers do.

According to Slice’s data, Nike accounted for 31.7% per cent of United States online sneaker sales from January 2015 to March 2016. Meanwhile, Under Armour accounted for a paltry 1.4%. The only companies even remotely close to catching up to Nike in online sneaker sales would be Amazon (21.1%) and Zappos (13.5%).

Additionally, Slice highlights how Michael Jordan is the top NBA star when it comes to online sneaker sales; he accounted for 72.4% of online sneaker revenue during the documented time period. Curry accounted for 4.2%.

But that’s not to say that Curry hasn’t helped Under Armour. In fact, he’s helped the brand’s sneaker business explode. In its most recent quarter, footwear revenue soared 64%.

Still, that doesn’t make it nearly as big as Nike. Nike reigns supreme in the apparel and footwear world.

Air Jordans

Last year, it was ranked the biggest apparel company. The company’s total revenue for fiscal 2015 was $30.6 billion. (Under Armour’s net revenue for fiscal 2015 was $3.96 billion.)

The company is a favourite amongst millennials and teens, and according to a recent Piper Jaffray survey, Nikes (specifically, Jordans), are the number one trends for male teens in spring 2016.

And Nike is constantly ready for the competition.

During a recent conversation with CNBC’s Squawk on the Street, Nike Chairman Phil Knight told Sara Eisen how he feels about Under Armour.

“They’re one of them [the competition]. They’re one of them,” he said. “There are lots of them we compete with. But believe me, we will compete.”

And when asked if he “[despises his] enemies still or the competition,” he replied, “always.”

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