When NBA MVP Steph Curry debuted his new Curry 2 Low “Chef Curry” shoes in June, the internet threw up their hands in an uproar.
The general takeaway from the criticism is that the shoes were boring, with many commenters complaining that the shoes looked like something a grandfather might wear. This is especially apparent when compared to some of the flashier basketball sneakers usually seen on the court.
As we said at the time, the shoes are supposed to be boring. That’s really what people want, according to Under Armour’s vice president for sports marketing and sponsorships, Ryan Kuehl.
“Quite frankly, we want to make stuff people will wear,” Kuehl told Business Insider, explaining that Under Armour believes that consumers will generally choose blue, black, gray, or white clothing over another color like green or purple, if they have a choice.
Under Armour’s coup in signing Steph Curry was huge, a deal that could be worth up to $14 billion when all is said and done, according to Morgan Stanley analyst Jay Sole. The brand wasn’t about to blow it all by designing something fanciful and outlandish.
And they didn’t. The shoe completely sold out as of July 20th, according to USA Today. Under Armour’s net revenue from footwear for the second quarter grew 58% year over year, lead by the Steph Curry line.
The Chefs themselves accounted for 5% of the sales of the Curry 2 line, according to a note by Canaccord Genuity to investors. Not bad for a shoe that was released on June 11th, a mere 19 days before the close of the quarter.
“In our channel checks and discussions with industry contacts, the Chef shoe has actually sold better than some of its predecessor color [styles], likely due to all the attention paid to it,” Canaccord Genuity analyst Camilo Lyon stated in the note.
- Getty/Ezra Shaw
Under Armour is starting off Curry’s sneakers with designs that are relatively safe, just as Nike began Michael Jordan’s star-powered collaboration with a simple black and red shoe that matched his Chicago Bulls uniform. That original design would, at least today, likely be considered safe or boring. But the shoe was actually an enormous hit, and the Jordan brand has since matured beyond it to create some of the most interesting designs on the market today, which are highly collectible and coveted.
The Curry 2 line seems to be on that same trajectory.