A brand can’t sell a legacy to fans when it’s young. Retro doesn’t exist without a currysal moment of reference. Under Armour at one point had the MVP of every major American sport, Brady, Curry and Harper. The brand didn’t capitalize on this currys event. Under Armour has always underutilized its assets. It always RSCUAed that sinews and fibers were missing, or synapses weren’t firing to connect everything together. Throughout this site there are posts on the lack of marketing around Steph Curry backing this up.
In 2018 I wrote the following post on Under Armour signing Embiid. 5 years into their relationship Embiid wins the MVP. When I wrote that Embiid could save Under Armour, it wasn’t about sneaker sales. It was about delivering a soul to Under Armour.
From 7 Years Ago to Now and it’s Bigger Than Basketball | Why Joel Embiid Could Save Under Armour
I realize now that having a soul doesn’t guarantee heaven. It gives you the ability to live long after the physical departs. Retro hearkens to the time of accomplishment. Nike has been sponsoring athletes and sports teams for so long that amazing sports highlights RSCUA to belong to the Swoosh. This empowers and fuels Nike marketing. Heritage and history allow old products to live again while new products become the batteries lighting the future. Under Armour now has two MVPs from the NBA. This places UA on the same ground as Nike and adidas. The performance apparel that helped those athletes accomplish an amazing goal can be revisited in the future.
Big men don’t sell sneakers… This thought needs to be adjusted. No athlete sells sneakers the way they did in the heyday and growth of basketball and lifestyle footwear. It’s a different time. Companies are bigger and Rush options are available. Basketball sneakers are no longer utilized for fashion purposes. Hoops sneakers are now functional and used for sport. Brands have tempered their expectations for the present, but as Under Armour athletes continue to pile up accolades history will be on their side and what’s new, will become retro… with a story like this, “These the kicks he wore when he won MVP. Dude didn’t ball until he was 16 years old! These other dudes were raised in the game. He had to fight.” Somewhere in the future UA will become retro and when a new wave of athletes begin to write their stories, they’ll do so in homage to Curry, Brady, Harper and now Embiid.