If you haven’t heard yet, Kevin Durant has a huge decision to make in the next couple days or weeks. As of right now, the reigning MVP is deciding on two brands, Nike and Under Armour. It was reported that Durant rejected an offer from another company you may be familiar with, adidas, so that leaves only the Swoosh and UA. Under Armour has reached out to offer KD a whopping $320+ million. Nike has yet to make a offer. He also withdrew out of team USA due to mental and physical exhaustion. All these signs indicate to KD leaving Nike.
His initial deal with Nike in 2007 was $60 million for 7 years, about $8.6 million per year. Since then, KD has developed his resume by achieving many records and awards such as multiple Scoring Titles, one NBA Finals appearance, 5-time NBA All-Star, and of course 2013-2014 MVP. With all this, it would be foolish for Nike to let go of their scoring champion right? Or should Nike move forward to upcoming players such as Paul George, Kyrie Irving, James Harden? Check out my reasons below on why I think, Kevin Durant should leave Nike and join Under Armour.
Home is where the Heart is
For starters, the Under Armour headquarters are based in Baltimore, Maryland. And guess where Kevin Druant is from? That’s right, DMV. It would be an almost Lebron-like decision if Kevin took his talents back to his hometown. If you thought marketing would be an issue for Under Armour, this alone could be the marketing strategy for them.
He can be the FACE of UA Basketball. Despite his growing popularity, Durant has always been second fiddle to Lebron James and Kobe Bryant since his Nike debut in 2007. Kobe Bryant has always been the alpha male and now Lebron James is too. KD hasn’t reached that point yet, so why not pull off a Dwayne Wade and jump ship to a smaller brand and help them grow as he grows? Sure Under Armour has Stephen Curry, Brandon Jennings, Kemba Walker, but they don’t have an MVP. KD can and will bring them to the spotlight they need by being the man and finally being NUMBER 1, which leads me to my next point… SPOTLIGHT.
Word of Mouth.
Under Armour may not be the best at marketing their athletes by having the best looking shoe, most entertaining commercial, or largest fan base, but he is the second best player in the league. We know UA isn’t number 1 and they don’t need to be. Their goal by signing Durant isn’t only about money, but gaining exposure and visibility. In fact, Under Armour already is getting recognized because of this news right now. Social Media plays a big part in todays world as word of mouth can spread in an instant.
The Art of Design
Leo Chang is a great designer, but he isn’t going to further the line. Personally, I find Leo Chang’s designs lackluster and generic. Don’t get me wrong, the Nike Hyper Rev and KD IV were great models, but other than that, it doesn’t come close to what Tinker Hatfield (Jordan), Eric Avar (Kobe), or Kenzo Link’s (Lebron 1-6) designs. I’m not saying Under Armour can design a better sneaker, but at least it would be different. UA will develop better technology as well as be more creative in their market strategy for their hometown hero.
Competition Brings out the Best
Competition makes everyone better. If Kevin Durant does decide to leave Nike Basketball and join Under Armour, it will only improve the basketball market. Just take a look at what adidas is currently doing with their Boost system. Nike developed Lunarlon around 2007-2008 and with that, adidas decided to create their own with 2500 capsules offering instant feedback by developing Boost. Imagine what Under Armour could invent if they got their hands on the likes of Kevin Durant. Nike would only be losing a portion of their 93% share in the basketball market.
There are a few more reasons such as cheaper prices as KD initially wanted his shoes to be affordable. Cheaper kicks means more technology will be left out so that may not be the wise decision anymore. I can speculate and give formidable points all I want, but we need and should have an answer from Kevin soon. His contract expired about a week ago so in due time we will find out. If I was in KD’s size 16 sneakers, I would want to be back in my hometown, have the local kids wear my shoes, and play for the Wizards and create a new legacy.