Under Armour locked up another piece of its future on Wednesday, as Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry made a surprise appearance at the company's annual investor day and pulled out a signed contract out of his back pocket that will keep him with the brand through the 2024 season.
Terms weren't disclosed, but the company did say the new deal includes ownership in the company, which hit its all-time high stock price today.
"Stephen is a once-in-a-generation talent and has unprecedented influence on the game of basketball," said Adam Peake, the company's executive vice president of global marketing. "His work ethic, uncompromising self-belief, and commitment to the community are characteristics that make Stephen the perfect partner to ignite the growth of Under Armour in the sport of basketball and around the world. We are extremely proud to call Stephen family, and we are excited to write the next chapter of our shared story."
Two years ago, Under Armour signed Curry after Nike failed to match a deal worth less than $4 million a year, which quickly became a bargain as Curry emerged as one of the best players in the league. Last year, in his first year in his signature shoe, the Curry One, he won the league MVP and his Warriors won the NBA title.
"Under Armour has felt like family since day one," Curry said in a statement. "In the first two years of our partnership, we accomplished so much both on and off the court, and I'm looking forward to being part of the brand's story for the rest of my playing career and beyond."
Having Curry under contract allowed Under Armour, which struggled to attract the masses to its shoes since entering the space in 2006, to taste success in the footwear category. Sales of shoes were up 40 percent last quarter, with the Curry One helping Under Armour sell a record $153 million in shoes in three months. On Wednesday, the brand's founder and CEO, Kevin Plank, told investors that its footwear business, which made up 14 percent of its $3 billion in sales last year, would make up an estimated 22 percent of its projected $7.5 billion in sales by 2017.
Under Armour already launched the Curry Two earlier this month in Asia when it brought Curry to the continent. The first colorways of his second signature shoe will hit stores in the U.S. on Oct. 24.
In May, Under Armour filed for trademarks associated with Curry, including "Slay Your Next Giant," "Baby-Faced Assassin," "The League's Most Unguardable Player" and "Charged By Belief," a phrase the brand had used to launch the Curry One.
Curry isn't the first Under Armour endorser to get an equity stake. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and golfer Jordan Spieth, who the brand signed to a 10-year deal in January, also have ownership in the company. As a practice, neither Nike or Adidas has offered equity in exchange for endorsements.