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

Headshot of Tim Nudd

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 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.


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


"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

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.