Under Armour CEO talks about Kevin Durant offer
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Kevin Durant’s decision to pass on Under Armour’s offer and stay with Nike has been a pretty controversial one that started quite a few interesting conversations involving KD, Iguoadala and Steph Curry.
UA CEO/Founder Kevin Plank also had some interesting things to say to Bloomberg about KD, the offer and competing with brands like Nike who own 96% of the business.
On whether Under Armour needs a Marquee Basketball player to make an impression in a sport where Nike has 96 percent of the business:
“I don’t think that – we’ve got a nice basketball business today that we’ve been building from the grassroots for a very long time. Any company is never about betting yourself on one activity, one league, one athlete. The – the statement we had, and we haven’t said it publicly yet so this is the first time that we’ll be talking about it, but look, there are three things that we want to accomplish. It’s first and foremost Kevin Durant is an incredible basketball player. He’s an even better human being. And the fact is that the guy from my home state is now going to take – it was originally a $200 million offer and walk away with $350 million over the next.”
On why they made an offer to Kevin Durant:
“So we believe that there was a great opportunity for us, but we also believe that there was a place where it would work. So we wish Kevin the very best. The second thing we wanted to do with this deal was we wanted to send a message really out to every athletic director, every president of every team club, every league commissioner and say if you have a deal, there’s no deal too big that we can’t sit at the table and play with, that you should call us if we haven’t already called you by any chance. But that’s where we wanted to send that message loud and clear. And if there’s a third message that came across from Kevin Durant it’s that we’re going to grow 20 percent plus next year with or without the deal. So we’re very pleased I think on where the business is too, and we’re going to be opportunistic. When we see chances, we’re going to go for it.”
On winning, even without landing Durant:
“No. I think you go for things – this wasn’t a win or lose. The great thing about our business as well is that it’s not a zero sum game where one’s going to win and the other one’s going to lose. I think what you’re seeing is there’s a bit of a two-horse race that’s been created and we’re happy to be part of that race, but frankly we expect to win it too. And this isn’t a quarterly conversation. It’s not even an annual conversation. But in time, we’re a young, hungry, aggressive brand that has a lot of runway in front of us. And frankly we’re just getting started. So this is a good idea about what’s more to come.”