随着Nike代言人、前奥克拉荷马城雷霆球星Kevin Durant加入了以Under Armour代言人Stephen Curry为基石的历史级强队金州勇士，Nike和Under Armour这两大运动品牌，下赛季将在同一个战区里展开竞争。
Two key figures on opposite sides of the sports apparel war will play in the same lineup next season, as Nike (NKE) endorser and former Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant joins forces with Under Armour (UA) endorser Stephen Curry as cornerstones on a historically-formidable Golden State Warriors roster.
Nike推出的Durant系列最近几个赛季表现挣扎，而Under Armour的Curry系列在过去的两年却销售火爆。如今，Durant将会为NBA最炙手可热的球队出战，同时也进入了一个更大的传媒市场，今后任何赛场上的胜利，都将使Curry不得不与Durant、一名Nike旗下的运动员，分享聚光灯下的关注。Yahoo体育记者Adrian Wojnarowski将Durant转投勇士的决定称为Nike试图打压Under Armour势头而发起的「政变」，他还补充说Durant「必定会影响Curry的星光」。
Durant, whose line of Nike basketball apparel has struggled in recent quarters, will enter a bigger media market to play for one of the NBA’s most popular teams. Curry, whose brand of Under Armour basketball sneakers have sold extremely well over the last two years, will have to share the spotlight from any future on-court success with Durant, a key Nike athlete. Yahoo Sports reporter Adrian Wojnarowski called Durant’s decision a 「coup」 for Nike in its bid to 「slow Under Armour’s momentum,」 adding that Durant’s arrival 「promises to impact Curry’s star.」
But success for one player’s brand doesn’t have to come at the expense of the other, according to industry experts. Sales of Nike’ 「KD」 basketball sneakers and apparel could marginally improve if Durant leads the Warriors to a championship, but it wouldn’t erase the strides Curry has made for his brand – and for Under Armour as a whole. And Nike still has to contend with the shifting consumer trends, pricing issues and overall competition that derailed its basketball business in the first place.
「从全球来看，对于像Nike这样价值300亿美元的大公司，我不认为一名球员的动向会对公司的业绩造成什幺可观的影响，但我能肯定的说进入一个更大的市场和未来可能的冠军会使KD系列受益。」Jonathan Jensen说。Jonathan Jensen是北卡罗来纳大学教堂山分校体育管理项目的助理教授，一位体育赞助方面的专家。
“For a global, $30 billion company like Nike, I don’t think the movement of one player will have an appreciable impact on their business, but I could see how the KD line could benefit from being in a larger market and a potential title down the road,” said Jonathan Jensen, an expert on sports sponsorships and Assistant Professor in the Sport Administration program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Nike Basketball, the company’s largest division other than running, saw its total wholesale revenue fall 1% in 2016 compared to the previous fiscal year – a rare sign of weakness in a category Nike has consistently dominated. Executives at Foot Locker, one of Nike’s chief retail partners, said in May that sales of Durant gear have slowed in recent months. The head of Nike’s basketball division resigned in June as the company attempts to re-establish its dominance in the sector.
Wall Street analysts have repeatedly pointed to increased competition from Adidas and Under Armour as a key element of Nike’s recent struggles. Curry’s rapid ascent to NBA superstardom has fueled sales of his sneakers, while Adidas’ emphasis on classic and retro styles has resonated with buyers.
儘管以任何标準看Durant都是联盟的当红球星，但毫无疑问，Curry位于NBA的最顶端。Curry在之前的两个赛季都拿到了例行赛MVP， 2015-16赛季更是率队豪取创纪录的73胜，仅在总冠军赛输给了LeBron James和克里夫兰骑士队。
While Durant is a major star in the league by any measure, Curry’s place at the top of the NBA is unquestioned. Named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player for the last two seasons, Curry led the Warriors to a record 73 wins during the 2015-16 season, only to lose to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals.
Any additional accolades would only serve to boost Curry’s public profile, even if they come with Durant at his side, Jensen said.
「In terms of Curry, I would think that any move that helps him win multiple titles (despite a major Nike endorser like Durant joining the team) would end up being a net positive for his own brand and also for Under Armour,” Jensen said.
正在变化的消费者偏好也向Durant的Nike产品线摆出了难题，无论他身披的是哪支球队的战袍，KD系列篮球鞋定位高阶，定价一直是199.99美金。但如今消费者已经不太倾向于购买效能向的实战篮球鞋了，他们更偏爱复刻版球鞋和经典款设计。据NPD集团[译注2]分析师Matt Powell在6月6日所写的笔记，Under Armour是唯一在实战篮球品类上显示增长的知名品牌。
Shifting consumer tastes could also pose a problem for Durant’s Nike line, regardless of which uniform he wears. 「KD」 sneakers are high-end products that routinely sell for $199.99, even as customers shift away from performance basketball sneakers in favor of retro and classic designs. Under Armour was the only major brand to show growth in the performance basketball category, NPD Group analyst Matt Powell wrote in a June 6 note.
「I do not see KD to [the Warriors] as having a negative impact on Curry sales, nor do I think KD sales will get a lot better,」 Powell wrote on Twitter. 「Marquee basketball [is] soft right now.」