At least they are now the two most prominent faces of Under Armour’s push into the NBA. Embiid had worn Adidas through the first years of his career (four years total, but just two on the court). Although he showed up to Sixers training camp this season wearing Under Armour and said he was in negotiations with them.
Under Armour offered enough money, a reported signature shoe, and more, and the deal got done, a story broken by Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Embiid confirmed the deal and wrote this on the Under Armour website:
Basketball has given me everything, but it has to be bigger than basketball. That was the first thing that I said to Under Armour, and they were behind it 100 percent. This isn’t about a shoe deal. I mean, listen … I’m gonna make sure they design some shoes as pretty as I am. Don’t worry about that. We’re gonna take care of that.
But this is bigger than that. I want to use this partnership to do something real. I want to do something that would make my [late] brother proud.
Embiid and Curry, two elite players with great brands who know how to market themselves, are now the face of Under Armour.
The NBA shoe marketplace has gotten crowded in recent years, with Under Armour making moves and now Puma returning with a big splash signing DeMarcus Cousins, Terry Rozier, and a few rookies. Nike is still the dominant force and Adidas is trying to expand its market, but with more competitors it’s going to get more expensive for the companies to keep a hold on the most marketable talent.