Steph Curry's Move

Steph Curry’s Move from Nike to Under Armour

Nike vs. Under Armour... What would you do?

It’s pretty rare that we consumers get a glimpse into what goes on behind the closed doors of mega-companies like Nike and Under Armour. But this fascinating article takes an in-depth look at how Nike, the perennial marketing powerhouse who’s used to being the odds-on favorite to sponsor any name-brand athlete, lost the transcendent (and highly valuable from a marketing standpoint) talent that is Stephen Curry to new-kid-on-the-block UA.

From our perspective, the issue at hand is merely a matter of communication. Shame on you for losing sight of such a basic tenet of effective business, Nike.

At Mr. Smith, our team is laser-focused on clear, open communication, and we preach that gospel every single day both internally and externally. We understand that every interaction with our clients is a chance to learn more about their ultimate goals for their project, and we strive to foster consistent lines of communication from the onset of every single project, no matter how big or small. In short, we know that communication counts…a lot, and it would tear us up to lose a client because we didn’t bother to treat them with the respect and open mind they deserve.

So, I guess what I’m saying is this: Hey, Steph Curry…want to rep the Mr. Smith brand? We’d love to have you…

IT’S OCT. 7, 2015, and the Cavs are hosting the Hawks in Cincinnati. It’s the NBA preseason, a nothing game, really — save for one detail: LeBron James is debuting his new, flashy signature sneaker, the LeBron 13. On this nothing night, the bright yellow shoe is a beacon beaming out to younger hoops fans around the world. It is also something of a dog whistle, visual noise that grandpa Cavs fan won’t notice as his grandson locks in on the sneaker’s flashy side panel, a quirk that looks vaguely like a funhouse mirror view of a propeller blade.

Hawks wing Kent Bazemore starts off playing up on James far from the hoop, in a very un-preseason manner. In the first quarter, the two get tangled on a lob intended for LeBron, and James tumbles into the baseline. The matchup remains physical into the third quarter. “LeBron pushed off, he decked Bazemore,” Hawks announcer Bob Rathbun intones as Bazemore draws a foul on a James drive with 9:41 left in the period. Near the 5:45 mark, LeBron rushes out to guard Bazemore, lightly shoving him as the shot clock expires. On the next Hawks possession, it escalates. Bazemore and James fight for position in the paint, and their arms get tangled. Simultaneously, they push off and whip their arms away. Now Bazemore is standing a few feet from James, a gap LeBron suddenly closes with aggression. In front of the baseline referee, LeBron launches a right forearm shiver into Bazemore’s chest. As Bazemore stumbles back, a foul is called. Cavs announcer Austin Carr chuckles at the replay of the hit, saying, “That’s to send a message.”

But what kind of message? And why?


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