Curry’s marketing appeal as humble Everyman reaching global proportions 

click to enlarge Everyman Stephen Curry, seen here with daughter Riley, is being sought by companies for his marketability. - BEN MARGOT/AP FILE PHOTO
  • Ben Margot/AP FILE PHOTO
  • Everyman Stephen Curry, seen here with daughter Riley, is being sought by companies for his marketability.

None of this appears to have been planned, which is why Stephen Curry's reputation continues to snowball. The fact that Curry resembles the Everyman, the fact that he honestly seems to be taking his burgeoning marketing appeal completely in stride, is ironically what's made him desired by so many companies seeking a spokesman. It's an authenticity that can't be faked, and at least for now, Curry seems to have it.

At the All-Star break in February, Curry's agent, Jeff Austin, said his client was already receiving multiple endorsement offers per week. Now, given Curry's performance in the NBA playoffs, that number will no doubt snowball, especially if the Warriors finish off Cleveland in the Finals and win a championship. In addition, his international profile could skyrocket, especially given the Bay Area's proximity to Asian markets like China.

"For a while, Kobe [Bryant] was the man in China, and then LeBron [James]," said Jimmy Lynn, a Georgetown University sports marketing professor. "But Curry can be a big piece of the pie. Any type of point guard is going to have mass appeal, but Curry especially, for so many reasons."

Curry already has deals with State Farm, Express and Degree, but so far, the primary beneficiary of his prodigious leap to stardom has been Under Armour, the apparel company that released his first signature shoe, the Curry One, earlier this year. Under Armour, which took a chance on Curry in the midst of continued ankle problems — and got outbid in its attempt to sign Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant, now saddled with his own injury problems — is still a small player in the shoe market. It's a business overwhelmingly controlled by Nike, whose primary endorser is Curry's Finals adversary, LeBron James — but Under Armour's footwear revenue rose 41 percent in the quarter ended March 31.

"Anything's up for discussion," Austin told the Wall Street Journal, which published a story on Curry's marketing boom.

For now, of course, Curry has other things on his mind.

"I've got a great agency that handles that, and we haven't had conversations at all since the playoffs started," he said. "There's a time and a place to have those conversations and figure out how we're going to handle that, but it's all about what's going on on the court, and winning a championship, and keeping that focus."

But that, too, is part of Curry's appeal. Everything he does seems to enhance his image; even when he's relaxing, he finds a way to increase his likability.

"You see he and his wife on the kiss-cam at the Giants game the other night," Lynn said. "He's got a bunch of things going for him — his family, his clean-cut image. It's just natural. It's not staged."

And it's become a family thing now, with the constant shots of Curry's mom and dad (Dell, an NBA veteran), of his brother and sister, of his wife Ayesha (already a YouTube star herself) and daughter Riley, as much as breakout star of these playoffs as Curry himself. Curry joked about his daughter's fondness for the spotlight, but he insists he didn't bring Riley into a press conference (thereby arousing criticism from certain sportswriters and broadcasters), or onto the court after winning the Western Conference Finals, in order to somehow soften his image, or to make him seem like a better father. He did it, he says, because he wanted Riley by his side.

"I'm going to enjoy these times with my daughter regardless of how much pub(licity) she gets," he said. "She's my daughter, and it's not anything other than what I have with her at the house. Obviously she's got a personality that's pretty electric, but there's no motive. It's just me and her hanging out."

About The Author

Michael Weinreb

Pin It

Speaking of...

Latest in Golden State Warriors

© 2019 The San Francisco Examiner

Website powered by Foundation