What Michael Jordan did for Nike is the stuff of legend. The company had been successful, but beginning in 1984, its alliance with the NBA superstar helped it dominate the increasingly lucrative sneaker market, not to mention become a giant in other areas of athletic apparel.
In fact, that value could be as much as a staggering $14 billion. From a report by Business Insider:
“Its Stephen Curry signature shoe business is already bigger than those of LeBron, Kobe, and every other player except Michael Jordan,” [Morgan Stanley analyst Jay] Sole wrote of Under Armour. “If Curry is the next Jordan, our [bearish] call will likely be wrong.”If Curry continues his streak, the difference in market-cap value of the company could be approximately $14 billion, with Under Armour being valued at about $14.1 billion under Sole’s base case and $28.2 billion in his bull case.
Yowza. And you thought Curry was taking the Golden State Warriors to dizzying heights.
Sole’s point was that, in general, he didn’t like UA’s stock price, compared to what he thought its growth would yield. But much as he is doing for the Warriors, Curry represents an “X” factor, an unprecedented phenomenon capable of exploding conventional expectations. From a report by Bloomberg:
The analyst [Sole] suggests that Under Armour’s strong growth in basketball footwear sales might be a sign that the company is prioritizing volume over price, or more ominously, “could be a tipping point signaling the end of Nike’s basketball dominance.”If this is the case, “our call might [be] wrong no matter what UA does in women’s apparel or running footwear,” concludes Sole. “This will be especially true if the Curry effect is so strong, he puts a halo over the entire brand which benefits its apparel and running footwear businesses.”
Of course, that is dependent on Curry continuing to work his magic for an extended period of time, just as Jordan did, a prospect about which Knicks great Walt Frazier expressed considerable doubt Thursday. At this point, though, there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot that Curry can’t do.