Steph Curry’s new shoe hasn’t even officially hit shelves yet, but Randal Konik, an analyst at Jefferies, is already calling it.
“Our calls, store visits, social media analysis and review of StockX pricing of Curry 4 soft launches (official launch 10/27) points to very strong buzz in the market,” Konik wrote in a note to clients. “With competitor products aging, we believe Curry 4 will become the #1 sneaker in basketball this year which should also help Under Armour shares rebound.”
The Curry 4 is Steph Curry’s follow up to his somewhat disappointing Curry 3 sneakers. The new shoes still aren’t available for general purchase, but they were released in a “More Rings Championship Pack” on Tuesday to coincide with the start of the NBA regular season.
Konik says the long lines and already frenetic social media activity around the new shoes is evidence of its coming popularity. Curry has been promoting his new shoes since last season’s NBA finals, and some of the lucky few that have nabbed a pair are reselling the shoes for an 80%-100% markup, according to Konik.
Konik even went as far as to count the number of Instagram hashtags for the new shoes to try and predict its popularity at launch. Curry4 has been used more than 5,000 times, which is impressive, according to Konik, as the Curry3 hashtag has been used a total of 28,000 times since that shoe was released.
For Under Armour, the maker of the shoe and sponsor of Curry, the hype is all good news. The company’s Curry 3 shoe was a bit of a disappointment and forced the company to play catch-up with its rivals. The popularity of the Curry 4 could change that.
“After a very unsuccessful Curry 3 launch which caused the Curry line to lose share in basketball, the Curry 4 buzz combined with intel of slowing competitor products gives us conviction that Curry 4 can regain the #1 share in bball this year,” Konik wrote.
Konik rates Under Armour as a buy with a price target of $28, about 85% higher than the company’s current price of $15.11. Konik’s rating is by far the most bullish on Wall Street, which has an average price target of $19.85.
Under Armour has been hit by a sector-wide decline in retail, and is down 41.32% this year.