SBD/July 6, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Husky Voice: Under Armour Signs Bobcats' Kemba Walker To Multiyear Deal

Kemba Walker becomes Under Armour's third endorser in NBA
Bobcats G Kemba Walker is the first rookie to "sign with a shoe company," as he has agreed to terms with Under Armour on a multiyear deal, according to sources cited by Darren Rovell of CNBC.com. Under Armour still is "looking for its can't miss star ... less than a year after debuting its first basketball shoe," and that market "might be the toughest challenge" for the Baltimore-based brand. SportsOneSource data reveals that Nike and its Jordan Brand account for 91.5% of all basketball shoe sales, compared to just 0.19% for Under Armour. Walker was the ninth overall pick in last month's NBA Draft (CNBC.com, 7/5). He said yesterday, "Under Armour was just a perfect fit. They love what they do, and I love what I do." Under Armour Dir of Sports Marketing for Professional Basketball Kris Stone said, "Since I’ve been here, around three years, he’s been somebody we’ve always looked at and thought, Hey, we can do some really creative and great things around Kemba." Walker joins Bucks G Brandon Jennings and Grizzlies G Greivis Vasquez as Under Armour endorsers. Walker said, "(Being one of the faces) is the reason why I chose Under Armour. If I would’ve went anywhere else, I definitely would’ve gotten lost" (SLAMONLINE.com, 7/5). In Hartford, Mike Anthony reported Walker has begun "making personal appearances to endorse products," including Axe body spray, and he also "will be filming a Best Buy commercial." He already is "on billboards and the back of busses" in Charlotte. Walker: "My agency is doing a great job getting me involved in different things" (COURANT.com, 6/29).
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