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How Nike lost Steph Curry


PhilBoxing.com




Nike has 11 of the 15 highest paid endorsement deals in sports, including contracts with LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, etc.

Reason why every NBA player?s dream is to be sponsored Nike. LeBron, now with the Los Angeles Lakers, had just signed a lifetime contract that is worth upwards of $1 billion.

Back-to-back NBA champion Golden State Warriors, superstar Stephen Curry would have dreamt, too, being in the company of Woods, Jordan, Bryant et al in the distinguished list of endorsers of the world-famous sports apparel.

But why he isn?t?

Curry wore Nike products growing up and throughout his entire college career at Davidson.

When he was drafted 7th overall by the Warriors, no one ever doubted that he was going to sign with Nike.

Which he did, actually. . Nike signed him to a 4 year deal that lasted up until 2013.

In 2013, when Curry scored a career high 54 points at the Madison Square Garden, he wore Nike Zoom Hyperfuses. He saves that pair of sneakers to this day at his house to remember just how far his career has gone. It was his breakout year, setting the single season record for 3-pointers made in the process.

Following the end of his Nike contract in 2013 he was free to hear pitches from other companies, although Nike still owned the rights to match any deal that was made to him.

Nike set up a meeting with Curry and his father, former NBA player himself, Dell Curry, at the Oakland Marriott, the same building where the Warriors practiced. Steph was, of course, confused a bit why a company he?d already signed to would still make a pitch, especially since he was familiar with some of the people in the room.

As it turned out, Nike is structured as to have tiers of athletes. The top tiered athletes had preferential treatment, which included the likes of Bryant, James and Durant.

Once the meeting began, it was crystal clear to both Steph and his father that they weren?t a top priority to Nike and weren?t even close to being considered in the top tier of the company.

The entire presentation by Nike was poorly planned and made Curry appear as an afterthought to other big name athletes.

According to Curry?s father, Dell, the first sign of disrespect was when the Nike representative giving the presentation mispronounced Stephen?s first name, calling him Steph-On instead of Steph-En. And the worst part was, NO ONE else in the room representing Nike corrected him. But that wasn?t what turned Curry away from Nike forever, it was something much, much worse. (To be continued)


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Eddie Alinea.


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