Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry has signed a new long-term extension with Under Armour that will extend beyond his playing days and into his retirement.
Although exact terms were not disclosed, the new agreement could be one of the richest-ever endorsement deals in sports once annual base pay, stock equity, royalties on signature products and on-court incentive bonuses are tallied.
Curry, who first signed with Under Armour in 2013 and launched the Curry Brand in 2020, will have the title of president of Curry Brand and will receive additional resources to grow his namesake brand.
"We started with the signature business, and with the opportunity to deepen the partnership, with an expectation of it going past my playing days and the added investment in the great things that we both bring to the table, it's an exciting time to strengthen that partnership," said Curry, who is on his 10th signature sneaker with Under Armour. "We understand that it's a mutually beneficial venture to do some great things, build a great roster, build more scale to the business and create great storytelling."
The growth potential of the stock awarded and expected annual compensation could see Curry earn more from the Under Armour extension than from his NBA contracts, which will total more than $473 million through the 2025-26 season.
"There's always been a continuation [in mind] with Stephen," Under Armour founder Kevin Plank said. "I couldn't imagine Under Armour without Stephen, or Stephen without Under Armour."
Plank said that specified performance-based revenue targets would trigger clauses to continually extend Curry's contract, saying it has the potential to be a lifetime deal.
Phil de Picciotto, the Octagon agency president and founder who negotiated on behalf of Curry, framed the structure as a "really comprehensive deal" that is "meant to stand the ages."
"Belief is a big part of who I am on and off the court," Curry said. "I believe in Under Armour and Curry Brand, the team now in place, and what we're doing together. We share a vision for a big future ahead."
Said Plank:"Why equity was such an important part of this is that Curry Brand and Under Armour are meant to help each other equally throughout this. We're going to build a kick-ass, long-term, foundational brand with Curry."
Negotiations toward an extension began over a year ago, well ahead of the 2024 expiration of Curry's previous deal. To sign the finalized contract, Plank and Curry met in person last week in Dallas, ahead of the Warriors' road win over the Mavericks.
"The fact that KP has led the charge from his mom's basement [in 1996] to what Under Armour is today, and there's a reinvigorated energy around what we can do together, it was important to have that shaking-of-the-hands moment," Curry said.
Said Plank: "It begins with the person. One of the best things about Stephen that makes this deal so easy is that he truly is a better person than he is a basketball player. And man, he's the best in the world at one of those, so that's a pretty big statement."
This season, Curry became the ninth player in league history to have a signature sneaker series reach a 10th consecutive model. Of the NBA's 22 current signature shoe lines, the Curry series is one of the top five highest-grossing signature businesses annually.
"I took a chance on trying to partner with them," Curry said. "It sounds crazy, but in 2013 they were still an up-and-coming threat to the sportswear industry and building the basketball category. We've been attached at the hip ever since. The good, the bad and the learning lessons of all of it are part of trying to do great things in business."
With Curry's new deal set to extend beyond his playing career, there will also be a focus on signing athletes as Curry Brand endorsers. More than a year ago, Curry's SC30 Inc. company signed UConn women's basketball star Azzi Fudd to an NIL deal. The agreement designated her as a Curry Brand ambassador and provides the 20-year-old with on- and off-court mentorship from Curry.
"I do have a lot left to accomplish on the court, however long I am playing. Hopefully, it's no time soon that I'm thinking about calling it quits," said Curry, who turned 35 earlier this month. "We're going to have an investment in the roster of athletes -- men and women, from various sports -- that want to be a part of the UA and Curry Brand family. That's where I think the biggest growth can come."
After more than a year of poring over the contract's nuances and clauses, the two sides are looking forward to the future for Under Armour and Curry Brand together.
"We had 10 great years and it taught us a lot, but we are truly just getting started," Plank said. "We have yet to play our best game with Curry Brand, and what people are going to expect to see from a product standpoint, from a story standpoint and from an inspiration standpoint, we're going to build something awesome."
Said Curry: "A lot of work goes into what we do daily and thinking about how we can make it even bigger and broader. I'm just proud that we've gotten to this point. Now, the real work begins."