How Nike lost Steph Curry – and why the little things matter

Stephen Curry

I read this amazing article on ESPN about how Nike lost Steph Curry to Under Armour.¬†It’s long, so read it after you read this post. ūüôā

Basically, Nike f’d up during their pitch to renew¬†Steph’s deal in 2013. Nike was the incumbent and had every advantage in signing him again.

Yet they didn’t value him and it showed in their pitch.

They didn’t send their top people to the meeting.

Someone¬†mispronounced his name as “Steph-on” and didn’t correct himself.

There was a slide in the presentation that mistakenly referred to Kevin Durant instead of Curry, which showed that the slide deck was repurposed and not reviewed.

Because of these mistakes, Nike lost Steph to Under Armour, a mere upstart in the basketball world. And now Steph is the star of the NBA and Nike is kicking themselves.

It goes to show that attention to detail and how you do the little things loom large.

Back in 2013, Steph may not have been as popular or as important to Nike as Kyrie Irving or Anthony Davis.

But that doesn’t give them the excuse of not being prepared.

They could have pronounced his name correctly.

They could have reviewed that slide deck one more time to check for mistakes.

Nike essentially disrespected Steph by not paying attention to detail.

You can’t give every task an equal amount of attention;¬†more important tasks have to take priority over less important ones.

But you should pay attention to detail, no matter how small that detail is. You should be prepared.

Know how to pronounce your customer’s name; if you make a mistake, correct it.

Double check that presentation for errors.

How you do the little things is how you will do the big things, so make sure the little things are taken care of, because they really matter. Nike found this out the hard way.

What are your thoughts on the importance of the little things? I’d love to hear from you. Write your thoughts in the comments, tweet at me @mikewchan, or email me at

I hope you found this interesting! If so, please share this article with the share buttons on the left. Then sign up for my email list below and connect with me on Twitter for future updates. And check out my podcast at!

This is day 40 of my experiment to blog for 30 consecutive days.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.