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Can Stephen Curry help Under Armour steal Nike's thunder?

Under Armour (UA) may be stealing Nike's (NKE) thunder with its new power player and chief basketball endorser, Stephen Curry.

Curry's team, the Golden State Warriors, advanced to the NBA finals for the first time in 40 years. This is a big score for Under Armour, as the company released its first basketball shoe with Curry earlier this year.

Under Armour is a small player in the U.S. basketball shoe business, as Nike controls more than 90% of the market, according to The Wall Street Journal. Under Armour reported $161 million in total footwear net revenue for the first quarter of 2015, while Nike's footwear sales topped $4 billion.

In April, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank said that he hoped to build a $1 billion basketball business centered on Curry, who was crowned the NBA's most valuable player earlier this month.

"This is exactly how Under Armour wants to play this," says Yahoo Finance Senior Columnist Michael Santoli. "This was a much more Under Armour way to do it. [They found] an up and coming guy, an underdog from a small college. That's exactly what they want: work harder, want it more. They realize they're not going to take over the shoe business, but they want to layer in these different products sets that in a way make people think of Under Armour as the brand that performs better."

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However, Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Andy Serwer sees one tall mountain it will have to climb to take on the king of athletic footwear.

"Under Armour has the suburban panache, which is an oxymoron," he says. "You want to be cool, you want to be urban and Under Armour doesn't really have that."

Santoli also feels Under Armour, which was named Yahoo Finance's 2014 Company of the Year, still has a long way to go.

"Kevin Plank basically said they could be methodical and patient about entering these new markets because they realize they're one tenth the size of Nike. They can't just go in with all their firepower," he says. "People are wondering if they can keep up the growth rates…I doubt they're going to overtake Nike. All they're trying to do is close the gap."

Serwer adds that he has an optimistic outlook for Under Armour.

"There's got to be room for more than one player, and Under Armour's done a really good job of getting themselves in," he says.

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