How Under Armour's slogan revival befits Steph, Warriors


SAN FRANCISCO – If ever there was a year for Stephen Curry and Under Armour to revive one of its signature taglines, it is now because it perfectly summarizes the Warriors this season.

The “Protect This House” slogan, which Under Armour debuted in 2003, is being revived for its 20th anniversary, and Curry is the most prominent face of the campaign. Who better, given the state of the Warriors?

“We’re at top-five team at home and a bottom-five team on the road,” Curry told NBC Sports Bay Area. “We are the NBA’s quintessential ‘Protect this House’ team right now.”

The Warriors this season have been one of the most dominant home teams in the NBA, posting a 29-7 record through the first 36 games at Chase Center. Though the road, where they are 7-26, has been an entirely different matter, the Warriors have, as the campaign urges, protected their house.

“Thank God it’s developed at Chase because if not, we’d be (in trouble),” Curry said of what has become Golden State’s homecourt advantage.

The campaign features ads starring Curry and, among others, Hall of Fame South Carolina women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley, Gamecocks star Aliyah Boston and WNBA star Kelsey Plum.

For Curry, the “Protect This House” slogan stirs memories.

“We used to say it all the time when we used to take the floor at Charlotte Christian,” Curry said, referring to his high school in North Carolina. “It’s a call to action in a lot of different ways, but in our world that’s part of the lingo. At a bare minimum, and I don’t care how good or bad your team is, you want to protect your house every time you set foot on the floor – not just for you, but for the team and for the fans. There’s a sense of pride behind it. I definitely feel like I’ve echoed that in a lot of different ways over the years.”

Though the phrase can directly apply to a given team’s homecourt, or home field, the origin of the meaning goes far beyond that. It’s a plea to be remain true to one’s commitment, individually and collectively.

“To young athletes with big dreams: Anyone can become a ‘dawg.’” Plum said. “You just have to be consistent with how you show up. No one will hand anything to you, and you’re not entitled to anything in this life. If you want something, you’ve got to go get it – for yourself and for your team. That’s what it means to ‘Protect This House.’ ”

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Curry’s generosity with fans and admirers is well known, whether it’s through personal appearances, responding to letters or making charitable donations. This campaign, being rolled out on his 35th birthday, comes with a message from the Warriors superstar.

“For those of us who were around 20 years ago, when the ‘Protect this House’ campaign first dropped, there was a movement around it,” Curry said. “There was a fusion into the culture and sports world, of what that means for each individual. It stirred up a lot of emotions or competitiveness and grit and determination. You form an identity around that.

“And now, to resurrect it 20 years later, to inspire this generation of athletes and how the landscape has change in terms of the narrative around today’s athletes being motivated by not only their competitiveness but where they fit within the concept of team and the concept of playing for something or being about something that’s bigger than themselves.”

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