Under Armour’s CEO is obsessed with Stephen Curry

Stephen curry
Stephen Curry Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Stephen Curry is having a pretty good stretch over the past two years, winning an NBA MVP, NBA championship, and leading the Golden State Warriors to the most wins in a season in NBA history.

With those credentials, it’s no wonder that some people have become fans. But Curry’s biggest fan of all may be Kevin Plank, CEO of Under Armour.

Curry is a spokesperson for the sportswear company with his own line of basketball shoes.

On the back of Curry’s success, Under Armour has seen exploding footwear sales and its basketball business has exploded. Plank has noticed the correlation.

Here is Plank just a few minutes into the company’s quarterly earnings conference call Thursday:

We have started off our 20th year in business with impressive results. Are first quarter revenues grew 30% with the growth coming from every facet of the business. And to be clear, that 30 number was no accident. When Stephen Curry decided to average 30 points this season to take the scoring title while wearing the number 30, we thought that putting up 30% growth on our end was the best way for us to demonstrate our pride and support of Stephen and the Warriors.

Plank then went on to mention Curry nearly 20 more times throughout the call. He highlighted the fact that footwear revenue increased 64% over the first quarter in 2015 on the back of the Curry 2.0 basketball shoe.

“And, the Footwear MVP for Under Armour, just like he is in the NBA, is Stephen Curry,” said Plank. “Our strong momentum in the fourth quarter of 2015 carried through into the year with the Curry Two topping the signature shoe charts consistently week after week.”

He also mentioned Curry’s impact on the firm’s burgeoning business in China. Here’s Plank again (emphasis added):

Last summer we brought the NBA’s best player, Stephen Curry to China, and the impact on the consumer there has been phenomenal. Driven by sales of the Curry Two, Footwear accounted for nearly one-third of our overall business in China compared to the rest of the world, which was less than 20% in 2015. Later this year, we will once again travel to China and Southeast Asia with Stephen as we continue to drive brand awareness and consumer engagement all over the world.

So from footwear to China to the entire company’s bottom line, Curry is doing huge things for Plank and Under Armour.

This obsession with Curry probably shouldn’t be too surprising. Plank has mentioned Curry in calls before, but the frequency of calling out the Warriors’ star is certainly notable.

In March, Morgan Stanley analyst Jay Sole said that Curry could take Under Armour’s market cap from his base case of $14.1 billion to $28.2 billion. This means that Curry may make a $14 billion difference to the stock.

Sole even said that if Curry continues his meteoric rise it “could be the end of Nike’s basketball dominance.”

Based on that maths, Plank’s focus on the basketball star is certainly not misplaced.

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