Stephen Curry is remaking his Curry Brand with new tech and designs beyond basketball — The Undefeated

It’s been a year since the Golden State Warriors sharpshooter Stephen Curry launched his own subset company within Under Armour — Curry Brand. Ever since, Curry has both reasserted his dominance over the league after missing nearly all of the truncated 2019-20 regular season and made major steps in building the company he hopes can extend well past his playing career.

In just the last 12 months, Curry Brand has:

– Launched a new logo, inspired by Curry’s family legacy and impact on the sport.

– Debuted “Flow” technology, a foam compound bridging lighter-weight cushioning and court feel.

– Expanded beyond basketball into golf footwear and apparel, along with running and lifestyle sneakers.

– Funded the relaunch of Howard University’s Division I men’s and women’s golf programs.

– Contributed to upgrading and refurbishing the famed Rucker Park basketball court in Harlem, New York, with quarterly skills camps and activations for young athletes planned.

– Pledged to refurbish at least 20 basketball courts by 2025.

– Committed resources to more than 125 programs for young athletes around the country, with ongoing training for 15,000 coaches and 100,000 youths.

The question after the All-Star Game scrum in March of last season was simple: What fuels you? What more do you have to accomplish? The dozen-word response from the Zoom screen display name of “All Star 2” perfectly encapsulated Curry’s approach to the latter half of his career.

“I have a lot to accomplish,” Curry said firmly. “I don’t have anything to prove.

“There’s a little subtle difference there,” he added.

Last season, he had a career-high 62-point outburst in early January. Then he passed Hall of Famer Reggie Miller for second place on the league’s all-time 3-point list, behind only Ray Allen. He’d eventually close the 2020-21 season in third place in MVP voting, even though the shorthanded Warriors finished in the eighth slot for the Western Conference’s play-in seeding.

Fast-forward to this season, and Curry has picked back up where he left off, pouring in 3 after 3 while leading the Warriors to a 15-2 record. Currently at 2,918 made 3-point field goals, he’s just 56 from breaking Allen’s record of 2,973.

Curry likes to credit the Flow technology that all of his Curry Brand footwear has incorporated since it was launched.

“I know a big part of leveling up my play is coming correct with my footwear,” he said. “I’ve never had anything like it on my feet — no one has.”

Curry Brand

While the Curry 8 and Curry 9 are the most recent models in his signature series with Under Armour, the story of their crafting and how it came to be goes much deeper.

Just after Curry won his first NBA championship in 2015, he and Under Armour ripped up his initial five-year endorsement deal from 2013, added an extra six years to the original length and made him the face of the company’s basketball business.

Locked in until 2024, the new agreement was set to make Curry the headliner of a 20-year-old company that he had only been with for only two seasons, and which had just launched his first Curry 1 signature sneaker.

“Stephen’s impact on the NBA that [2014-15] season changed how the game of basketball will be played forever, and his association with Under Armour immediately changed the trajectory of our basketball business,” said Ryan Drew, general manager of Curry Brand. “His impact on our product could be felt immediately.”

Three summers later in 2018, after Curry added the league’s first unanimous MVP season and another two titles to his accolades, amid a string of four straight NBA Finals appearances, the two sides began discussing something even grander: his own brand.

Defining a new logo

Besides the launch of new technology, Curry was also looking to unveil a new logo and brand mark during those first few 2018 conversations with Under Armour executives. That process started to pick up steam after the Charlotte, North Carolina, All-Star Game in 2019, with the final design decided later that summer.

“I thought it was great to have a fresh start,” said Curry.

Gone is the “SC30” logo with his initials and jersey number that was first seen on Curry’s product in 2014, and will continue to live on in retro footwear.

The new brand mark layers a series of elements and inspirations.

“We call the logo the ‘Splash,’ ” said Drew. “The design started by using the stroke of Stephen’s signature as the foundation for the logo. The ‘S’ clearly stands for Stephen, while the ‘C’ for Curry is his family legacy and was very important for him to include in the design. The ‘High Wing’ at the top of the logo is a reminder to always lead life and the game to fulfill his higher purpose.”

It visually comes together to represent Curry’s favorite on-court gesture, the 3-point sign after makes from deep.

“That is a huge part of my game and something that I hope I transformed on the court in terms of what it means to shoot the 3 with volume and efficiency,” Curry said.

Even the “CURRY” font used on shoeboxes, clothes and sneakers has a specific inspiration.

“All of the curves and lines [of the lettering] is the 3-point arc,” Curry said.

At one point, the team toyed with a variety of emojilike characters as logos, with Curry wearing playful golf hats in tournaments two summers ago with early concepts of his logo. Over the past year, the emphasis has been on layering in added meaning to the new mark.

“At the end of the day, it’s all about impact,” said Drew. “We are committed to the Splash logo always being a symbol for doing good.”

Curry Brand

Beyond an annual signature shoe and a collection of hoop gear, the sublabel distinction under the Under Armour umbrella makes Curry the second active NBA player to launch his own brand with a stateside company. Michael Jordan is the other, launching Jordan Brand with Nike at the start of his “last dance” season with the Chicago Bulls in September 1997.

Jordan, then 34, has carried his namesake company for more than two decades after retiring from the NBA, generating more than $4 billion annually as a full-fledged brand. The financial success earned each year through the partnership was pivotal to Jordan purchasing the Charlotte Hornets in 2010. (Coincidentally, Curry’s father and ’90s Hornets franchise icon Dell Curry has been the team’s TV analyst for the past decade.)

Earlier this fall, while filling in as a TV correspondent at the Ryder Cup tournament held in Wisconsin, Curry sat with Jordan to discuss their shared love of golf and the competitive drive they find through the sport. Afterward, they discussed his recent launch of Curry Brand.

“It was actually interesting to think about where Jordan Brand was when MJ retired [in 1998 and 2003], and where it is now and the amazing growth that they’ve had,” Curry said. “Obviously, he is the GOAT, he’s a legend and he has paved the way for this generation to do what we’re doing.”

Jordan Brand now competes head-to-head with top athletic brands globally, setting the bar for every signature shoe business that followed.

As with Jordan Brand, there are hopes to sign athletes to “Team Curry,” with plans to include women’s and men’s basketball players and golfers, along with creative influencers, while also continuing to expand the product assortment of Curry Brand.

“He gave the encouragement to keep doing what I’m doing, and make sure it’s authentic to me,” said Curry. “I feel like that’s easier said than done, but it’s also one of those motivating factors to know that we are just getting started. The 2020-21 version of what Curry Brand is is amazing right now, but it’s just scratching the surface of what it can be, and he’s obviously proof of that.”

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