Tag: Under Armour

2015 NBA Finals - Game Three

Under Armour to be presenting sponsor of NBA Draft Combine, expand role within league


Under Armour got its foot in the door with the NBA.

The company has wanted to expand its role with the league — most notably it has a shoe deal with Stephen Curry — but weren’t a lot of opportunities, especially after Nike outbid everyone to take over making the official NBA jerseys and apparel starting in 2017 (Adidas does it now). Samsung is the naming sponsor for Summer League. What was left?

The NBA Draft Combine.

Which will be the Under Armour NBA Draft Combine starting in 2018, the league and Under Armour announced Monday. The company will be allowed to develop and market apparel based on the combine as part of this deal. Also, the shoe company will help market and grow the Jr. NBA, the league’s youth basketball program.

The NBA combine is not a huge marketing event (unlike the NFL version). However, now before guys get to put on an NBA jersey, they are going to put on Under Armour gear.

For the NBA, this is an opportunity to grow their youth program and introduce a new NBA Fit app, which will be tied in with Under Armour’s Connected Fitness devices and products.

“We’re proud to expand our partnership with the NBA and continue our shared commitment to help basketball players everywhere realize their potential, on and off the court,” Adam Peake, Executive Vice President of Under Armour said in a statement.  “The new elements of our partnership will allow Under Armour to leverage our leadership in athletic performance innovation and Connected Fitness to foster the worldwide growth of basketball.”

“Under Armour and the NBA share a commitment to basketball, fitness, and healthy living,” Emilio Collins, NBA Executive Vice President, Global Marketing Partnerships, said in a statement.  “Together we have a unique opportunity to teach the values of the game to millions of kids through the Jr. NBA program, and to give our fans the latest information on exercise and wellness through the NBA FIT app.”

It’s a good effort by Under Armour — there simply were not many options to get an expanded role with the NBA, and certainly not where they could make apparel. But they found one.

They got their foot farther in the door.

Video: Derrick Williams tells you where he is from

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Under Armour (which seems to be what the president wears when he plays hoop) learned a great lesson from Nike: Tell a good story in your commercials.

This is the latest in their “Are You From Here?” ads and it features Minnesota’s Derrick Williams. Who is my early pick for rookie of the year (he can finish at the rim and run the court, two things that will get you a lot of dunks playing with Ricky Rubio). Good story, good commercial. Kind of like Brandon Jennings’ better, though.

It’s gotta be the shoes! NBA lockout hurts shoe companies, too

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Adidas has Derrick Rose as a matador. Nike is spotlighting that “basketball never sleeps.” They are both still marketing like there is no tomorrow.

But while basketball may never sleep, the NBA is taking a nap right now. And that lockout could hurt major NBA shoe companies to the tune of $500 million if the lockout drags out for a full season, reports the USA Today.

Basketball shoe marketers such as Adidas, Nike and UA, and national retailers such as Foot Locker, could lose up to $500 million in sales if the 2011-12 NBA season is wiped out, says Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at the worldwide market research company NPD Group. That’s roughly 25% of the $2 billion basketball sneaker market, Cohen said.

About 33% of all basketball shoes are purchased to play basketball, Cohen said. That leaves 67% of the sales from consumers going for the association with an endorser such as Nike’s LeBron James— or with the NBA itself, Cohen said.

“The impact would be huge,” he said. ” Out of sight, out of mind. If the players are not on the court, and the kids aren’t thinking about them, they’re not going out and getting their shoes.”

The Jordan Brand, which still dominates the basketball shoe market, will be hurt but ultimately will be fine. However Adidas and Under Armour could feel the pinch more as they try to carve into Nike’s dominance and now have less of a platform to get their message out.

Frankly, everyone would just be better off if the two sides would solve the lockout. But we’ve known that for months and yet here we are.