SAN FRANCISCO: Under Armour is showing how storytelling can be enriched by context, as Stephen Curry – an ambassador for the sports brand – has helped drive the Golden State Warriors to victory at the NBA Finals.
Curry was named as the NBA's Most Valuable Player in 2015, and is widely regarded as the key member of the Warriors team that beat the Cleveland Cavaliers to basketball's biggest prize.
Having rapidly disproved earlier criticisms about his size, athleticism, muscularity and strength, Curry also embodies many of the values which Under Armour seeks to exemplify.
"At the end of the day, it's really that sort of raw emotion that you can will it to happen. You can make it happen with Under Armour," Steve Sommers, Under Armour's vp/global brand marketing, told delegates at ad:tech San Francisco 2015. (For more, including further details of the brand's strategy, read Warc's exclusive report: How Under Armour sweats the storytelling details.)
Just as Curry's climb to the sporting pinnacle was somewhat unexpected, so Under Armour's rise to prominence has come despite the presence of major industry heavyweights like Nike and adidas.
Curry is the company's leading ambassador in the basketball world, and the firm introduced its "Curry One" signature shoes this year.
"From an Under Armour perspective, we say we make two things. We make 'physical armor' that keeps you warm and dry, light and cool," said Sommers. "And we make 'emotional armor' – fundamentally, that feeling that you can do anything.
"When you step onto that pitch or the court or the field, if you're wearing Under Armour gear, you've got the best performance gear. And you feel the best. And you perform the best."
And the Warriors' progress to the NBA Finals, driven in large part by Curry, also reflects another of Under Armour's storytelling precepts.
"A lot of it is staying on the pulse – what's really resonating, what delivers that brand message the strongest," said Sommers.
Data sourced from Warc