Just when you thought Under Armour's 2015 couldn’t get any better…
In the same week that Stephen Curry wins an NBA title, Jordan Spieth wins the U.S. Open. Spieth's victory marks the first time a player has won the first two majors of the year since Tiger in 2002 and the youngest to win the U.S. Open since Bobby Jones 1923.
Under Armour (presciently) signed Spieth to a 10-year contract back in January, and so far the return -- at least as measured by share of voice -- has been immense. Spieth plastered the UA logo on primetime TV throughout the weekend and even managed to mention Under Armour in an interview immediately following his victory when asked if he had a 5th outfit for a playoff.
Shares of UA are up 1.3% today following Spieth's victory.
The challenge for UnderArmour at this point is whether the company can monetize these moments when its athletes are in the limelight. Historically, that's where every single brand has fallen down when playing the athlete endorsement game. It's not enough for the athlete to play, win, and advertise the logo all along the way. The company needs to use events like this to establish emotional connections between the Brand and the Consumer.
With Nike, we'd argue that its competitive edge in endorsements is not just a function of its huge wallet, but rather its ability to drive this emotional connection -- which clearly drives loyalty and increased sales. In fact, Nike has been known to do this even when it's athletes don't win -- or flat-out lose. This is the one area where we're waiting to see UA shine. If it succeeds in this regard, then 2H and 2016 expectations will prove far too conservative for UA.