Under Armour has one huge advantage over Nike

Stephen CurryKyle Terada-USA TODAY SportsGolden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) dribbles past Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard.

Nike dominates the world of basketball sponsorships.

But Under Armour has a powerful rising star in its corner: Stephen Curry.

Curry’s team, the Golden State Warriors, on Wednesday advanced to the NBA Finals for the first time in four decades.

That’s great news for Under Armour, which released its first basketball shoe with Curry earlier this year.

The Curry shoe has already provided a major boost to the company’s fledgling basketball business, Sara Germano writes at the Wall Street Journal.

“Retail sales of Under Armour’s basketball shoes have more than quadrupled in dollar terms so far this year compared with last year,” Germano reports, citing data from SportsOneSource.

The shoe is sold out of most sizes on Under Armour’s website. And it’s gaining some attention from the elusive “Sneakerheads,” an important faction of basketball fans who determine what’s cool in athletic footwear, according to the Journal.

Under armour curry oneUnder ArmourThe Curry One basketball shoe.

But Under Armour still has a long way to go.

“Under Armour is widely perceived as a locker-room brand that resonates most with suburban boys,” Germano writes. “It is a good place to start, but to see bigger sales Under Armour will have to gain clout among urban retailers and the fashion-focused crowd.”

Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank said in April that he wants to build a $US1 billion basketball brand around Curry, who was named the NBA’s 2014-2015 MVP earlier this month.

It will be tough to steal market share from Nike and its Jordan brand, however, which control about 90% of the US basketball shoe market and 62% of the total US footwear market.

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