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Who's feeding who? Instructive tale re celebrity endorsements

Did you vote for President Trump?

If so, are you now averse to buying any products made by Under Armour, a mass manufacturer of athletic shoes and both sports and casual clothing?

Under Armour boss Kevin Plank, who recently took several hits from celebrities following his endorsement of the current president's business policies, certainly hopes that is not the case.

In fact, Plank is so concerned that he recently had private talks with those high-profile individuals in an obvious effort to walk back any damage to his company.

And here's the deal: The pointed criticisms aimed at his comments were authored by people in his own endorsement stable, that is, mega-watt personalities already under contract with Under Armour to tout its products.

"It's remarkable," says sport agent Leigh Steinberg in noting the singular occurrence of top-tier endorser Stephen Curry openly deriding Plank's pro-Trump comments.

Under Armour wouldn't have cordially and carefully smoothed things over with the ruffled star -- as the company also did with movie icon Dwayne Johnson and international ballerina star Misty Copeland -- in bygone days, even the recent past.

"They would have cut Steph Curry," says Steinberg.

Not any longer, given the sheer and outsized reach that Curry and others with a similar level of recognition have in the public domain when it comes to professing their likes -- and dislikes -- regarding any product (or, as noted herein, subject).

In discussing the recent Curry/Under Armour story, the New York Times refers to the potentially "transformative shift in the endorser-endorsee dynamic."

And another commentator voices what is becoming increasingly apparent in the world of so-called "jock endorsements," namely, that select athletes like Curry "are more in control of their brand than ever before."

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