In January, JPMorgan ChaseJPM +0.15% announced a naming rights deal for the Golden State Warriors’ new arena, which is expected to open in 2019. The 20-year agreement ranks as one of the biggest naming rights deals ever. The bank unveiled another prized NBA catch Sunday with a multi-year endorsement deal with Warriors’ point guard Stephen Curry. Chase announced the news over Twitter ahead of the Warriors’ nationally televised game Sunday against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Chase is the latest addition to the growing endorsement portfolio of Warriors’ star Stephen Curry. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Curry is the hottest figure in sports right now, leading the Warriors to a 55-5 record and on pace to eclipse the NBA record of 72 regular-season wins set by the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls. He leads the NBA in scoring this year at 30.7 points per game and is a lock to win a second straight MVP. Curry broke his own record last week for single season three-pointers with 24 games left to play.
Chaseis the latest endorsement partner for Curry, whose profile has skyrocketed since leading the Warriors to the title last year and winning the NBA MVP award. Curry signed a three-year deal with Brita water in December. Other partners include Under ArmourUA +1.10%, Kaiser Permanente, Unilever’s Degree, JBL, Muscle Milk and Fanatics. Curry will bank an estimated $12 million this season off the court with his earnings potentially doubling next season. He is quickly rising up the ranks of the NBA’s top-earning endorsement stars.
Curry ranks as the NBA’s most appealing, aspirational and influential star, according to research firm Repucom. He is the only athlete to finish first in their sport in the seven attributes Repucom tracks about celebrities. His endorsement score ranks No. 9 overall among the 3,800 celebrities that Repucom tracks, ahead of Taylor Swift, Oprah Winfrey and just about every other person on the planet.
Curry has been a boon to Under Armour with its basketball shoe business up 250% last year to $154 million thanks entirely to the performance of the Curry One and Curry Two. The Baltimore-based firm is still a bit player in basketball with just 3.6% market share (up from 1% in 2014), according to research firm SportsOneSource.
“Curry is a phenomenon, and Under Armour will continue to ride his wave,” says SportsOneSource analyst Andy Annunziata. He expects UA to expand the size offerings of the sneaker this year to further boost sales. Curry could add as much as $14 billion in market value to the Baltimore-based firm, according to a recent Morgan StanleyMS -0.04% report. Under Armour’s current market value is $18 billion.
Chase plans to use Curry as part of the bank’s “Mastery” campaign, which launched last year with Serena Williams, who took years to master her backhand and just minutes to master the Chase mobile app as the ad says. The Curry ads are expected to debut in the spring/early summer. Chase will also use Curry beyond the Mastery campaign as well. A Chase spokesperson wouldn’t comment on the financial value of the deal, but it is expected to be worth at least $2 million a year.
JPMorgan ChaseJPM +0.15%’s sports sponsorship portfolio is extensive and includes the U.S Open, PGA of America, World Squash Championships and a handful of sports teams and arenas. The biggest is its pact with Madison Square Garden, which has been estimated as high as $30 million annually. Chase has also partnered with Victor Cruz and LeBron James in their philanthropic efforts.
The biggest U.S. bank with $2.4 trillion in assets continues to be the strongest player in the banking sector. It topped earnings estimates in January for the fourth straight quarter. Leading banking analyst Mike Mayo at CLSA compared the bank’s dominance to another NBA star in an appearance on CNBC in January: “JPMorgan is still the LeBron James of banking.” A more apt comparison might have been the Stephen Curry of banking.