NBA's Kevin Durant rips Under Armour, stock falls

Kevin Durant NBA Finals

Shares of Under Armour Inc <UAA.N> sank more than 3 percent on Tuesday, a day after National Basketball Association star Kevin Durant said young players do not like the company's shoes.

"Nobody wants to play in Under Armours. I'm sorry. The top kids don't because they all play Nike," the All-Star forward of the 2017 champion Golden State Warriors said during an interview on "The Ringer" podcast on Monday.

Under Armour did not immediately respond to a request for comment

Sportswear companies pay top-tier athletes millions of dollars to endorse shoes and other sports gear. Durant signed a new shoe deal with Nike <NKE.N> in 2014, spurning a deal from Under Armour that reportedly was worth as much as $285 million over 10 years.

Warriors teammate Stephen Curry has a multimillion dollar contract with Under Armour that includes an equity stake.

Asked if he had spoken to Curry about Under Armour shoes, Durant, the 2017 Most Valuable Player in the NBA finals, said, "Everybody knows that. They just ... nobody don't want to say nothing."

Curry's shoe line carried Under Armour's sales for three years, but demand for the latest collection, Curry 3, has been underwhelming.

Baltimore, Maryland-based Under Armour became a sensation in recent years, helping pioneer "athleisure" fashion. But with changing trends, the company is struggling to attract shoppers with new offerings.

At the start of August, it said it will cut jobs and close stores, sending its stock to all-time lows. On Tuesday, shares shed 3.5 percent at $16.34, bringing their loss to 44 percent since the start of the year.

Adding to pressure on Under Armour as well as Nike, athletics shoes retailer Finish Line <FINL.O> on Monday cut its full-year profit forecast and said the retail environment would remain "highly competitive and promotional".

Finish Line fell 18 percent and Nike was down 2.2 percent.

(Reporting by Noel Randewich in San Francisco; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)