Kevin Durant plays basketball for the Golden State Warriors. This year, he helped them win the NBA Championship and took home the NBA Most Valuable Player Award for himself. He earns an annual salary of $26.6m, plus about $34m in endorsements, including a shoe agreement with Nike. He has 16.8 million followers on Twitter and 8.6 million on Instagram. As Ron Burgundy might say, he’s kind of a big deal.
This was never more apparent than when he recently made a few comments on a popular sports podcast: “Nobody wants to play in Under Armour. I’m sorry. The top kids don’t because they all play Nike.” Just 18 words, but from someone with Durant’s status and influence, they count – Under Armour’s share price took a dive to the tune of 3%.
For a company that had already announced job losses and store closures, and in a year of weak trainer sales, it must have come as a bit of a blow. For anyone uncertain about the power of influencers, it’s a slam dunk of an example.