“Data is the new oil.” — Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank — Stephen Curry Edition

Mar 11, 2016 | Audience Intelligence, B2C, Influencer Identification & Attribution, Persona Creation

Data is the new oil. The companies that will win are the companies that are using math,” Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank was quoted as saying this past weekend at SXSW in Austin, Texas.

He’s right.

Stephen Curry and Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank. Check out Plank’s advice for young entrepreneurs here.

American sports apparel, gear, and accessories company, Under Armour, is on a tear. Three years ago, UA managed to beat their rival — they of the universally recognized swoosh logo — to what seems to have been the coup of the sporting goods century. Under Armour managed to sign the Golden State Warriors’ supernova point-guard, Stephen Curry. UA has only been in the shoe game since 2006, but they’ve got Curry and according to many fans and experts alike this could be as big for UA as the Chicago Bulls’ number 23 was for Nike. They may very well have a brand-making personality in their midst.

It’s worth noting that while Curry is the golden boy, it’s not as though the remainder of Under Armour‘s spokepeople are schmoes, waterboys, and benchwarmers. Ever heard of Dwayne Johnson? Have you ever smelled what he was cooking? He’s a UA faithful, and as though that weren’t impressive enough, a certain New England Patriots quarterback — that’s Mr. Thomas Brady himself — is on their roster.

Imagine being Stephen Curry and knowing that your calls are probably taken before those of Tom freaking Brady. That’s got to be a heck of a feeling.

Apparently Nike had their shot at Curry — failing to match a deal valued at under $4 million — in 2013. A lot of bread for Under Armour to strategically risk at the time, given that Curry once had a reputation as a perennial injury risk. Fast forward to 2016, and Curry is already being lauded as the greatest shooter of all time; he’s changing the NBA in ways that were practically impossible to predict. Now that he’s arrived and UA has forever altered the course of its business, there are ways to use social media audience data to leverage this asset to its fullest.

Morgan Stanley just predicted this week that the sneaker industry will see the most unthinkable of upsets occur, as they suspect Curry will unseat a certain Mr. LeBron James as the signature-brand, basketball sneaker king. This chart based on Morgan Stanley‘s projections speaks for itself:

So what can Under Armour get from StatSocial that the analysts at Morgan Stanley aren’t telling them?

What we’re doing here — with our utterly one-of-a-kind data — is analyzing those social fans who have already gone public with their love of both the great Mr. Curry, and his chief sponsor. We are going in deep, digging for oil, and while we’re there we might drink your milkshake as we uncover a universe of details regarding these fans of BOTH Curry AND Under Armour. Using our mighty StatSocial platform, we’ve located 50,000 social media users who fit precisely this description.

The audience being analyzed, the 50,000 people in StatSocial’s database who identify as fans of both Mr. Curry and Under Armour.

Let’s start with some top brands. Nearly 70% of this audience are also swoosh logo fans. 61% are NBA fans (Curry’s fame transcends his league). 52% are getting their sports news from ESPN. This is just a taste (for the record, StatSocial has over 37,000 segments in its taxonomy).


Top Brands - Under Armour AND Stephen Curry

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Next up — let’s review the top influencers for this audience. It’s worth mentioning that UA’s other big names, most notably Mr. Brady, are conspicuously absent from the below. Apart from Tim Tebow and Tiger Woods, however, non-basketball players in general are lacking.


Note that nearly ⅔ of these people are also Kevin Durant fans, but only ⅓ are fans of LeBron James. Does this mean that UA would be better off signing KD rather than LeBron? While StatSocial provides insights upon insights to ultimately aid our users in finding conclusive and definitive answers, based upon these findings we’d say that further investigation into whether or not Durant is better aligned with the UA brand would be an imperative.

Data + Intuition is better than intuition alone.

Social media marketing need not involve much if any guesswork, if you know how to harness the extraordinary audience data it provides.

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Now that you’re getting the hang of this, we’re going to sort the above list of top influencers using our “multiple” metric. Looking at raw percentages often has its own important story to tell, of course, but StatSocial provides the essential opportunity peruse our data through many lenses.

What is the “multiple”? Using the average social media user as our baseline, the “multiple” is a number quantifying the likelihood that a member of a certain social audience will engage in a specific behavior, or be a fan of a certain thing. StatSocial can even assess the likelihood that he or she will dislike something. For example, in a recent post here on the blog we revealed that fans of Netflix‘s ‘Fuller House’ are over 130 times more likely to be fans of Dave Coulier than the average social media user.


This tells quite a different story, and unearths a deeper truth about this audience’s more unique affinities. On-again/off-again UA sponsoree Deandre Jordan ranks in second place on this list. Curry teammate Andre Iguodala comes in at third.

One way StatSocial can immediately be of use to a company like Under Armour — or any company looking to find that diamond in the rough, or even the fully realized jewel who, for whatever reason, has not been allowed to shine, the great player whose starpower has yet to come to full flower — is that we can help a company stay one step ahead of the mainstream. We know who the real-deal, hardcore fans are paying attention to. We know who matters. This kind of data was previously only available through expensive and time-consuming consumer surveys. Now instant focus-group studies — with samples, at times, numbering millions in size — providing immediate, actionable insights of a scope and granularity heretofore unimaginable are available, right at a marketer’s fingertips.

All in all, StatSocial tracks data for more than 23,000 influencers. So if you want to look beyond the world of sports, we’ve got you covered. Which actors or musicians or CEOs — or you name it — are resonating with the audience you’re reaching, or the one you’re hoping to reach? We have those answers, and so many more.

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If you’re a national or multi-regional brand, and expansion is on your mind — as it is the minds of what we’d wager are the majority of those in the captain’s seat of such companies — it comes down to that oldest of sayings forever ruling the real estate game, “location, location, location.”

You may be thinking that if recognition for your brand is zilch outside of your region, then StatSocial can’t possibly be of use to you in the above scenario. This you think as you daydream of expanding into parts unknown.

Do not be so cynical about our awesome platform.

You are not confined to only investigating insights regarding your own brand. With StatSocial you can poke around the countless piles of insights just waiting to be calculated. You can assess a region’s tastes and their needs. If there’s a social media audience you can imagine, we can tell you all about them. Do you want to know the favorite HBO shows of FC Barcelona fans, between the ages of 18 and 34, who live in the Poughkeepsie region? If that sort of thing would be of use to you, or for whatever reason floats your boat (hey, we deal in statistics, we’re not here to judge), we assure you that we’ve got you covered. That may not be a big audience, but StatSocial will tell you what there is to know.

Back to the Stephen Curry matter, if we may…

We all know from where Golden State Warriors fans more or less originate, but from what places do the fans of both Stephen Curry and Under Armour call home?

Here we use Mr. Curry himself to approximate the part of America where his popularity begins to noticeably increase

Looking at the Nielsen television markets where Curry’s presence is most profoundly felt, some are obvious, such as the defending champ Warriors’ northern California home.

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Charlotte, North Carolina pops up as a not too surprising hot spot. It’s where Stephen grew up and spent many years while his father, Dell, played for the NBA’s Hornets. Stephen found much success while there, playing high school ball for Charlotte Christian School. Those years found him named All-Conference, All-State, and leading the school to three conference titles.

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As you can see, Mr. Curry’s numbers in this region comfortably exceed the average

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Every day it’s seeming more and more likely that we are witnessing one of American sports’ all-time greats. We may mean Mr. Curry, we may mean Under Armour. If we do mean the latter, it’s worth saying that great companies need great data, too.

Those interested in talking shop, talking basketball, or learning more about what we do are encouraged to reach out to us via Twitter. You’re also encouraged to simply visit the StatSocial site. There we go into detail about what we do, provide sample reports, and the whole shebang.

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If you like what you’ve read, please take a few minutes to watch this overview of StatSocial’s data:


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