Apr 18, 2016 by Media Solutions Category: Blog 0 comments


What We Can Learn From Steph Curry & Under Armor

I am a sports fan. I grew up watching and playing soccer, tennis and skiing. My love of football is a funny story, grown out of a want to do anything other than catch up on required college reading for whichever class I happened to take during fall quarter. Baseball is enjoyable as a pitching duel, homerun derby and statistics lesson.

My first love, however, is basketball.

There’s the drive. And, two from the paint!

Off the glass. Banks it in.

He fires. Quick catch and release. Nothing but net!

It is, put simply, the best. That’s one reason why the ESPN.com article, “You Won’t Believe How Nike Lost Steph to Under Armor” by Ethan Sherwood Strauss caught my eye.

The Steph Curry of 2016 is the reigning NBA MVP, team leader, single season 3-point record-holder, and cool dad. In terms of endorsers, you can’t go wrong with the guy. But, as Strauss says 2013 Steph Curry wasn’t there yet. He was an outstanding athlete on a team that had nowhere to go but up, but in terms of LeBron, Kobe and Jordan, Curry wasn’t on everyone’s radar. Yet.

Regardless, one would have hoped that the Nike, especially Nike, had done a little more investigation. But, at the end, Under Armor played the best game.

These are my takeaways from this legendary story:

  1. Don’t give up. Don’t stop trying to pitch new clients, or strategy, or creative. Under Armor took a different route to reach Steph Curry, they started wooing his teammate Kent Bazemore , who in turn became a street team and brand ambassador all rolled into one. While we don’t all have the budget of Nike and Under Armor, a killer idea for a new market strategy (with detailed research to back it up) is just as valuable as free shoes.
  2. Don’t be afraid to try something new. Dell Curry couldn’t have said it any better. Whether it’s a new medium, strategy or even proposal layout, take the leap. You don’t know until you try.
  3. Never underestimate the person sitting on the other side of the table. Being the incumbent gives you an edge, but never assume that your competitors haven’t done their work to get to your client either. We don’t know why Nike didn’t offer the chance to host a training camp, but if he attended them as an up and coming athlete, they must have been important. Nike, having had Steph Curry signed to the brand, should have known this. This is part of incumbency, having access to the client. It might mean being able to bring a “one more thing” big idea that started as an offhand mention walking to the elevator after a meeting.
  4. Lastly, but most importantly, Do your homework. Proofread your deck. Practice your presentation with an audience. If you are even the slightest bit unsure of how to pronounce someone’s name, pick up the phone and ask. Worst case scenario on the day of the meeting, if you still aren’t sure, ask. Coming from someone with an awfully hard to pronounce name, the effort is not unnoticed.

Steph Curry and the Warriors had a good year. So did Under Armor. Why not give Media Solutions a call to see how we can help you have a good year too.

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