Former NC State point guard Dennis Smith Jr. has landed a lucrative endorsement deal with Under Armour. It is a 3-year deal that could pay the #9 draft pick up to $2 million per year with incentives. While a lot of the big names in the 2017 NBA draft signed shoe deals back in June, Smith Jr waited until after the summer league to do so, and he saw his stock rise significantly. Prior to the summer league, Smith Jr. was receiving offers under $1 million per year, but after his performance in the summer league, the offer more than doubled with Under Armour.
“I am definitely excited to be a part of team Under Armour as I get ready to go into [training] camp for my rookie year,” Smith Jr. said. “Under Armour is an explosive brand in basketball right now, and I’m excited to join Stephen [Curry] and Seth [Curry] and the team at UA in making our mark together.”(ESPN)
The first time Kris Stone, Under Armour’s pro basketball sports marketing director, saw DSJ play was at Stephen Curry Camp.
“The first time that I saw Dennis Smith at camp was when Stephen ran out of the gym after he tried to dunk on somebody,” Stone said with a laugh. “Dennis got so high — his elbow was at the rim. It was unbelievable. That was my first time experiencing what Dennis can bring to the table in terms of explosiveness. The reaction that Stephen had was ridiculous. Stephen was coming off of an MVP season and an NBA championship, and here he is, watching a high school kid own the moment and respecting it.” (ESPN)
Smith Jr was overlooked in the 2017 NBA Draft, and Under Armour is often overlooked as well. They both have a chip on their shoulder and have something to prove together.
“If you look at all the other brands we’re competing with, we’re not even a quarter of their size and we’re the underdog. Dennis was overlooked in the draft. We’re both still trying to climb a mountain,” Stone said. “He has a lot of hunger to be on top. Hopefully, we can really partner with him and not just have some transactional relationship. We’re looking to have a real partnership with him and help him get to those places that he wants to go.” (ESPN)