Stephen Curry, drafted by the Golden State Warriors in 2009, has played through ankle injuries to elevate his play and the game of ball itself.
In 2013 Curry signed a deal with Under Armour when Nike couldn’t match a deal at $4 million a year. The following season, he debuted the Curry One shoes designed for him by Under Armour. Curry’s performance that season earned him the league MVP and the Warriors won the NBA title.
Not only did Curry’s new kicks have an impact on the floor, but an impact out of the game as well. Facing decreases since 2006, the Under Armour contract with Curry caused an explosion in sales, as the company sold $153 million in shoes over a period of three months. CEO Kevin Plank predicted that they would make up an estimated 22 percent of their projected $7.5 billion in sales by 2017.
But 9-year-old Riley Morrison from Napa, California pointed out in a handwritten letter that Under Armour had missed a large group of consumers.
“My name is Riley (just like your daughter), I’m 9 years old from Napa, California. I am a big fan of yours. I enjoy going to Warriors games with my dad. I asked my dad to buy me the new Curry 5’s, because I’m starting a new basketball season. My dad and I visited the Under Armour website and were disappointed to see that there were no Curry 5’s for sale under the girl’s section. However, they did have them for sale under the boy’s section, even to customize,” Morrison wrote.
“I hope you can work with Under Armour to change this because girls want to rock Curry 5’s too,” Morrison added.
This was met with a personal, handwritten response by Curry,
“I appreciate your concern and have spent the last two days talking to Under Armour about how we can fix the issue. Unfortunately, we have labeled smaller sizes as “boys” on the website. We are correcting this issue now,” Curry said.
This was accompanied with a tweet thanking Riley and the hashtag #MoreToCome. Curry also gifted Morrison with a pair of Curry 5’s and the promise that she would be among the first kids to sport the new Curry 6 once they were announced. He also invited Morrison to their home game against the Denver Nuggets on March 8, which is also International Women’s Day.
According to Bruno Manrique of ESPN, it wasn’t a mistake and the Curry line intentionally caters to boys of multiple age groups. However, Curry 5s are now in both the boys and girls section labeled as UA Lightning or UA Jet.
“It’s all about trying to get better in terms of everything I represent,” Curry told The Mercury News. “When you hear somebody say they have an experience with your shoes and I try to serve as an inspiration for the kicks out there, it was a vantage point I hadn’t thought about. She opened my eyes and the company’s eyes to get better and make some quick changes.”
“He’s such a busy man. I didn’t expect him to write back. He’s a good person and he obviously didn’t have anything to do with the Under Armour problem. He’s been doing a good job with it. I can tell you he’s trying his best to fix it,” Morrison’s father, Chris Morrison commented after seeing Curry’s response.
Curry’s corrective actions were paired with an equally powerful message,
“She spoke up. That’s a lesson in itself right there,” Curry explained. “That’s a great connection. A lot of change happened in terms of how we go about inspiring the next generation through my shoes and what I stand for.”
The letters have since gone viral and Curry has received tremendous praise. The Warriors’ head coach, Steve Kerr, wasn’t the least bit surprised by the change in Under Armour,
“That’s the beauty of Steph. He understands his power. He understands the impact he can make on people’s lives. I’m just incredibly proud of him and our other guys,” Kerr said.