NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Golden State Warrior's star point guard Stephen Curry is now an NBA champion, which is music to the ears of one large company.
Curry's sponsor Under Armour (UA) will likely look to capitalize quickly on the young phenom's growing popularity, which is at an all-time high following a widely publicized NBA championship series. But, make no mistake, Under Armour was well on its way to cashing in on Curry fever before his biggest ever pro win.
In February, Under Armour launched the Curry One basketball sneaker line. It is the athletic-wear maker's first signature basketball sneaker, taking aim at Nike's (NKE) Michael Jordan brand and other formidable athlete sponsors including Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and Curry's competitor in this year's playoffs, Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James. The sneaker launched with six different styles at an affordable price of $120, which is almost half the price of some of Nike's top Jordan basketball sneaker lines.
Since the well-received launch of sneakers, the Curry brand has been splashed by Under Armour on t-shirts with motivational phrases, and performance socks. This summer, Under Armour will unveil a low-top version of its now sought-after Curry sneaker, likely a precursor to some holiday-season special editions. TheStreet takes a look at how Under Amour's new sports-star money maker was showing up in the world of retail and importantly, the company's growth before becoming a champ.
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1. Retailers want to sell more Curry merchandise.
Prime spots on the sales floor of a specialty sneaker retailer are tough to come by as Nike tends to be a formidable foe with its signature basketball and running styles. That equates to Nike sneakers hanging on the walls, plastered on window ads and sitting in glass display cases at the center of these stores.
But Curry's popularity both on and off the court has caused at least one major sneaker retailer to consider offering more of its floor space to Under Armour. A decision to officially do so could be looming now that Curry is an NBA champion.
"We have some things in discussion with Under Armour regarding vendor space," said Foot Locker (FL) CEO Dick Johnson at an analyst event held in mid-February. The comments came after a favorable response by consumers to the Curry One that was available at Foot Locker.
Foot Locker did not respond to a request for comment for this story. Its main competitor in the mall, Finish Line (FINL), declined to comment citing quiet-period restrictions ahead of its June 26 earnings release.
The relative affordability of Curry sneakers and related apparel, as well as his appeal amongst everyday kids, could also lead it into a department store such as J.C. Penney (JCP), whose shoe section is heavily dominated by Nike. While J.C. Penney has no current agreements in place with Under Armour, the retailer said it would be open to doing so.
"We have not announced a partnership with Under Armour, Curry One, or Jordan Spieth, but we are always open to exploring new design and brand partnerships if it makes sense for the J.C. Penney customer," said a Penney company spokeswoman via email.