Today, Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry and Under Armour announced the launch of Curry Brand, which the NBA icon and athletic gear company describe as a purpose-driven athletic apparel brand focused on securing fair and equitable access to sports for any young person interested in athletics.
According to a news release from Under Armour, Curry Brand is the first athletic brand that will integrate social impact into its bottom line. This brand says it is aspiring for a world in which the success of any athlete isn’t determined by his or her circumstances.
For Stephen Curry, another slam dunk for social activism
This new brand is the latest chapter in Curry’s long record of social activism, including organizing events in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, speaking out for women’s equality and inclusion, as well as his ongoing push to raise funds and doing his share of work to eliminate infectious diseases.
Under Armour cites a statistic that less than a quarter of kids who live in low-income households are able to participate in youth sports. In addition, the company concludes that the typical child today spends less than three years playing a sport and on average quits by age 11.
The participation of youth in sports has been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, while the San Francisco 49ers football team reaped headlines over the weekend for having to relocate upcoming home games due to a temporary contact sports ban in its home base of Santa Clara County, that same public health order is hitting local youth sports especially hard.
To that end, the partnership between Under Armour and Golden State’s iconic point guard is determined to take on these inequities.
Starting local in Curry’s home base
As a start, the forces behind Curry Brand will work with community-based programs in areas hit the hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic; that will occur through the funding youth sports, contributions of athletic apparel and equipment, and of course building or refurbishing places to play sports safely. Some of the brand’s revenues will be invested in local communities, with projects including the funding of basketball court renovations, offering additional support to schools and community groups, and boosting mentorship by recruiting coaches who can coach future basketball players while helping them become model citizens.
One of Curry Brand’s first initiatives will be a partnership with the Oakland Unified School District to donate both new athletic apparel and sporting equipment for all middle school athletes and coaches within the district. In addition, two local nonprofits will receive funds to groom youth sports coaches across the northern California city. While the city of 430,000 has experienced its share of an economic and real estate boom in recent years, it still struggles with a poverty rate of about 18 percent.
“We have a shared goal of unlocking play for kids, so that became a natural place for us to focus,” Stephen Curry said of this partnership with Under Armour. “I grew up doing a lot of things to give back to the community with my family — and continue that now — while Under Armour has done so much to support athletes around the world.”
Image credit: Under Armour
Leon Kaye has written for 3p since 2010 and become executive editor in 2018. His previous work includes writing for the Guardian as well as other online and print publications. In addition, he's worked in sales executive roles within technology and financial research companies, as well as for a public relations firm, for which he consulted with one of the globe’s leading sustainability initiatives. Currently living in Central California, he’s traveled to 70-plus countries and has lived and worked in South Korea, the United Arab Emirates and Uruguay.
Leon’s an alum of Fresno State, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the University of Southern California's Marshall Business School. He enjoys traveling abroad as well as exploring California’s Central Coast and the Sierra Nevadas.