A Last Word: Did Nike Choose Data Over Intuition?
The brand battle that will consume the minds of everyone in marketing (and even tech) will be Nike v. Under Armour. To the $UA brand, Steph Curry is worth an estimated $14B. The Maryland company has seen a 350% growth in their shoe sales as Nike’s has begun to fall. Where it gets interesting? Let’s begin in 2013 with a comparison to Kyrie Irving, all-star NBA point guard.
Both men were roughly 6’3″ and 190 pounds, a size small by NBA standards. In 2013, they averaged 22.5 and 22.9 points per game. And yet, that year – Nike chose not to match UA’s offer, emphasizing the marketing duplicity of having two signed “small” players on their roster. Nike went all in on Kyrie Irving as their “tier 2” shoe salesman (Kobe, Lebron, Durant are tier 1) and the rest was history.
On March 23, 2013 $NKE had a $54B market cap and $UA’s market cap was $5.4B. On March 23, 2016, the little brother brand is no longer 1/10th of the size of big brother. UA now has around 1/5th of Nike’s market cap. Steph Curry was the greatest coup in sports marketing since Jordan chose Nike over Adidas. Remember him?
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