Under Armour's huge gains in the important basketball footwear category are largely attributable to one man: Stephen Curry.
Footwear sales surged nearly 95 percent year-over-year in the last three months of 2015, and "much of this is due to the success of Curry's signature basketball sneaker, and the opportunities for growth are huge," Motley Fool's James Sullivan said in a report this month.
But until 2013 – for the first four years of his NBA career with the Golden State Warriors – Curry was a Nike athlete.
Curry, the reigning league Most Valuable Player, said last year: "Under Armour has felt like family since day one."
An ESPN report today says there's more to the story.
It quotes the player's father – former NBA player Dell Curry – saying a Nike official incorrectly addressed Stephen as "Steph-on" during a 2013 pitch meeting about potentially extending the partnership.
It said a PowerPoint slide at the meeting featured the name of fellow Nike star Kevin Durant, "presumably left on by accident," instead of Curry,
"In the meeting, according to Dell, there was never a strong indication that Steph would become a signature athlete with Nike," the report says.
There was no immediate comment from Nike today on the report, and ESPN said a prominent Nike official at the meeting did not respond to interview requests.
Last year, Under Armour doubled down on Curry, extending its sponsorship deal through 2024 and providing him an equity stake in the company.