Stephen Curry Is The NBA’s Next Grant Hill

Regular season MVP? Check.
Record-breaking season? Check.
Handles that make the league’s best dizzy? Check.
A wife men can creep over? Check.

Stephen Curry has it all. And at 27, it seems like he’s just getting warmed up. Curry has finally blossomed into the point God guard we anticipated when the Warriors drafted him in 2009. After spending his first few years in the shadows of Chris Paul, Tony Parker, and an agile Deron Williams (ugh), Stephen Curry is now the league’s best floor general and on the cusp of a marketing empire.

If you want the world to recognize your greatness, you deliver on the biggest stage. In 2013, Curry went into Madison Square Garden and dropped 54 points, setting a Warriors’ franchise record for 3s made in a game (11). This season, Curry became the fastest player to reach 1,000 3s and surpassed some guy named Lebron in All Star votes. The latter speaks volumes. Fans worldwide have embraced Stephen Curry as both an elite point guard and a leader in the crowded Western Conference. After winning the MVP, the only thing left for him to do is get his team to the Finals. When you package all of these on-court accolades together, you have an athlete who is marketable in multitudinous ways.

Photo Credit: UA Basketball

Photo Credit: UA Basketball

Under Armour is actively competing to bypass Nike in the realm of sports apparel; more specifically, sneakers. The billion-dollar brand rolled out their new basketball campaign featuring Curry during All Star weekend in New York City. He’s joined Chris Paul in State Farm’s tv spots. On the digital end, Curry’s wife, Ayesha, is expanding the brand with her Youtube channel. Their video, Chef Curry with the Pot, went viral earlier this year; boosting subscribers on Little Lights of Mine. Not to leave out philanthropic efforts, Curry has teamed up with his hometown trainers to create an online skills training platform for players of all levels. The only thing really missing from the Curry portfolio is a major beverage endorsement.

The Currys on a typical Sunday

Curry is basically set to be our generation’s Grant Hill. He comes from a privileged background with an athletic pedigree. However, you don’t care about that because what he does on the court is so incredible. He’s not as polarizing as players like Lebron or Melo and yet he’s up there in talent. With Under Armour’s basketball division, Curry is in a position to do for them what Grant Hill did for Fila. I also think that what makes Curry more marketable is that he’s a genuine, humble guy. Bleacher Report did a profile last week from the perspective of Steph’s younger brother, Seth. In it, he said:

Non-basketball fans know who he is with the commercials and stuff he’s doing off the court. That’s great to see, but you can tell that’s not really what he’s about. He just likes hanging out with his family and friends.

Does that not sound like the kind of player you can build a long-term marketing campaign around?

The majority of athletes have an expiration date in terms of their marketability and appeal. Few athletes have the type of longevity in which brands will carry them all the way until retirement. Michael, Kobe, Lebron, Allen Iverson, these are players who became giants in sports marketing off the court. Now, there’s Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving raking in the millions. Stephen Curry will join this list. In the next 5 years, he’ll be a top earner on Forbes’ list of sports figures. There’s no market niche Curry can’t put his mark on.

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