Under Armour unveiled Thursday its newest basketball shoe, the "Dark Matter" Curry One, and a new global brand campaign, "The Book of Will," featuring NBA All-Star Stephen Curry and Oscar-winning actor Jamie Foxx.
While the Baltimore-based athletic apparel company has been making basketball shoes since 2010, Curry's endorsement of Under Armour and the launch of his branded shoe is critical to the company's drive into the global sneaker market, a $55 billion industry, as estimated by SportsOneSource.
The Curry shoe, promoted in a minute-long YouTube advertisement starring the two men, will be sold on Under Armour's website for $119.99 beginning Friday, the company said.
A longer version of the advertisement, titled "Volume One: Shakespeare Got It All Wrong" will air during the NBA All-Star game Sunday, the company said. It features Curry shooting 3-pointers on a stage in a dark theater, with highlights and old home videos of him playing on a giant screen behind him. Foxx, wearing a suit, walks the stage behind Curry and narrates the clip.
In the ad, Foxx dubs the five-year NBA veteran and second-time All-Star "the patron saint of the underdog, the league's most unguardable player," tying to themes Under Armour likes to play up in its campaigns as it strives to compete with industry giant Nike.
"Into the stage of mere players enters the baby-faced assassin," Foxx says as Curry drains a final shot and looks at the camera, "and he's about to write his own story."
The new ad is the first in a series featuring Under Armour athletes and shoes that are directed by film director Peter Berg, who directed the movies "Battleship," "Hancock" and "Friday Night Lights."
The Curry shoe features the company's trademarked "Charged Cushioning" technology, which Under Armour says "absorbs impact and converts it into a responsive burst, offering explosiveness in every step and change of direction." The shoe also has foam and mesh to provide for "anatomical support at key pressure points," the company said.