Ad of the Day: Stephen Curry Vows to Avenge NBA Finals Loss in Under Armour Spot

Harmony Korine directs the brand's latest redemption story

Under Armour doesn't seem to mind when its star athletes fall just short of a championship. It makes for a better story when the next chance comes around. 

UA and its agency, Droga5, have crafted a few of these redemption stories already—the famous one with London 2012 underachiever Michael Phelps ahead of Rio 2016, and Super Bowl runner-up Cam Newton's recent spot ahead of the Panthers' 2016-17 season. 

Now, it's time for UA's biggest star, Stephen Curry, to avenge his loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals in June, a devastating finale to an otherwise dream season for Curry and the Golden State Warriors. (Curry set a record for 3-pointers and was the league's unanimous MVP, while the Warriors set their own record by finishing 73-9.) 

Curry, 28, tweeted out the new video, made by Droga5 and MJZ director Harmony Korine, about an hour ago. It's a dark, gritty, neon-hued spot that acknowledges, among Curry's notable 2015-16 successes, the one big failure—and aims to make it right. 

Or as the spot puts it: "Make that old." 

There's nothing too revolutionary going on here. Fans—who are actually local youth basketball players—are seen gathering to celebrate Curry's achievements, then exhort him to do even better. Curry broods, then enters a glowing-pink practice court and gets to work. (He's seen wearing an elevation training mask, which simulates the limited oxygen intake at high elevations—a nod to UA's focus on the pain of prep, rather than the glory of results.)

The spot has a bit of a surreal vibe—not the supernatural overtones of the Newton spot, but rather a groovy '70s feel that's helped along nicely by the soundtrack, which is the 1971 version of Louis Armstrong's "Nobody Knows" as performed by Pastor T.L. Barrett & the Youth For Christ Choir.

"I will," says the onscreen text at the end. 

Then we get a short coda showing the new product that's actually being advertised underneath the spot's larger redemption song—the Curry 3, available at retailers Oct. 27 and featuring UA's newest technology, called Threadborne, a fabric derived from the thread composition of a parachute. (The Dub Nation colorway, which is the one featured in the spot, will be available on UA.com and the UA Shop App on Oct. 25.) 

"The last year has been an incredible roller coaster of emotions, and this campaign completely captures those highs and lows," Curry said in a statement. "This year, it's all about recalibrating to understand there's still so much left to do and achieve on the court and with Under Armour. This film, and the work we've done on the Curry 3, jumpstarts that mindset—knowing that the next chapter in our story will be written only by perseverance and the will to succeed."

UA remains the ultimate challenger brand to market leader Nike. And casting the game's best player as a challenger brand, too, is a neat and useful trick—the valuable silver lining to that brutal loss back in June.

CREDITS

Client: Under Armour
Campaign: Curry 3
Title: Make That Old
Launch Date: October 24, 2016

Agency: Droga5 NY
Creative Chairman: David Droga
Chief Creative Officer: Ted Royer
Group Creative Director: Tim Gordon
Senior Art Director: Laurie Howell / Toby Treyer-Evans
Senior Copywriter: Laurie Howell / Toby Treyer-Evans
Junior Art Director (social): David Spradlin
Copywriter (social): Evan Barkoff
Executive Design Director: Rob Trostle
Senior Designer: Toga Cox
Chief Creation Officer: Sally-Ann Dale
Executive Producer: David Cardinali
Senior Broadcast Producer: Jennifer Chen
Senior Social Producer: Chris Parke
Music Supervisor: Mike Ladman
Music Supervisor: Ryan Barkan
Head of Interactive Production: Niklas Lindstrom
Global Chief Strategy Officer: Jonny Bauer
Co-Head of Strategy: Harry Roman
Group Strategy Director: Will Davie
Strategy Director: Sam Matthews
Strategist: Newman Granger:
Head of Communications Strategy: Colleen Leddy
Communications Strategy Director: Hilary Heath
Communications Strategist: Kathryn Ruocco
Data Strategist: Kaveri Gautam
Executive Group Account Director: Julian Cheevers
Group Account Director: Shane Chastang
Account Supervisor: Jordan Cappadocia
Associate Account Manager: Andrew Mullen
Senior Project Manager: Bill Wilson
Project Manager: Connor Hall
Head of Integrated Production Business Affairs: Dianne Richter
Senior Integrated Prod. Business Affairs Manager: Librado Sanchez
Senior Business Affairs Manager: Alesa Blanchard-Nelson

Client: Under Armour
Chief Executive Officer & Founder : Kevin Plank
Chief Marketing Officer : Andrew Donkin
Senior Vice President, Global Brand Management: Adrienne Lofton
Senior Vice President, Global Communications : Diane Pelkey
Vice President, Global Creative : Brian Boring
Vice President, Global Consumer Engagement : Jim Mollica
Senior Director, Integrated Brand Communications : Jack Daley
Senior Director, Global Brand Management, Basketball : Julian Duncan
Senior Director, Global Sports Marketing, Basketball : Kris Stone
Director, Campaign Integration : Teresa Oles
Manager, Campaign Integration : Bené Eaton
Manager, Campaign Integration : Kristen Ensor

Production Company: MJZ
Director: Harmony Korine
DOP: Arnaud Potier
President: David Zander
Executive Producer: Kate Leahy
Producer: Laurie Boccaccio

Editorial: Cartel
Editor: Leo Scott
Assistant Editor: Vanessa Yuille
Managing Partner: Marc Altshuler
Executive Producer: Lauren Bleiweiss
Producer: Cristina Matracia

Post Production: Blacksmith
Executive Producer: Charlotte Arnold
Producer: Megan Sweet
VFX Supervisor, Lead 2D: Daniel Morris
2D Compositor: Rich Lyons
2D Compositor: Liz Lyons
2D Compositor: Iwan Zwartz

Color: Company3
Colorist: Tom Poole
Short Form Color Producer: Clare Movshon

Music:
"Nobody Knows"
Written by Thomas Lee Barrett
Performed by T.L. Barrett and the Youth for Christ Choir
Courtesy of Light in the Attic Records & Distribution, LLC
Under exclusive license from The Numero Group

Sound: Sonic Union
Mixer: Steve Rosen
Producer: Patrick Sullivan

Sound Design: Q Department
Executive Producer: Zack Rice
Producer: Guin Frehling