NBA Star Kevin Durant Slams Under Armour, and Stock Takes a Dive
When NBA star Kevin Durant talks, investors listen. At least they did Tuesday, as shares of Under Armour Inc. tumbled 3% after Durant trash-talked the brand on a popular podcast.
“Nobody wants to play in Under Armours. I’m sorry. The top kids don’t because they all play Nike.” - Kevin Durant
The Golden State Warriors’ All-Star forward, who has a shoe deal with Under Armour rival Nike Inc. NKE, -0.39% , made the comments on an episode of The Ringer’s “Bill Simmons Podcast” that was posted Monday.
In the podcast, Simmons asked Durant why the University of Maryland — a onetime college basketball powerhouse — couldn’t recruit top players anymore. Durant said the school’s deal with Under Armour was a factor.
“I think a lot of kids, to be honest, they don’t choose Maryland unless they play in like an Under Armour system coming up,” Durant, a native of Maryland, said. “Shoe companies have a real, real big influence on where these kids go.”
Durant’s comments came at the expense of his All-Star teammate, Stephen Curry, who has an endorsement contract estimated at $4 million a year with Under Armour, as well as an equity stake in the company.
Durant said he hadn’t discussed with Curry his thoughts that nobody wants to play in Under Armour. “Nah, but come on man, everybody knows that. They just don’t want to say nothing.”
Also weighing on Under Armour and Nike’s shares Tuesday was ailing retailer Finish Line’s FINL, -3.20% move to slash its annual financial targets. Both Under Armour and Nike are reeling this year from weak sneaker sales, though Adidas ADS, +1.65% has bucked the trend, a Barron’s story noted on Tuesday.