Brandon Jennings does not like snakes. More specifically, he does not like certain basketball players who take a snake as their nickname.
At least that’s what a photo he posted on Twitter would have you believe.
But the current Under Armour endorser and intern might have some other motives for disliking snakes of all kinds (as long as their shades are purple and gold). Like being a foot soldier at the front lines as Under Armour tries to make its move into the NBA footwear business.
Under Armour is trying to get into the lucrative sneaker business. The apparel company that has made a name for itself for performance sportswear is trying to expand its presence in the NBA. Jennings and rookie Kemba Walker are under contract to wear Under Armour this year and the company is looking to make its move.
The company’s new ad, entitled “Change Agents,” makes veiled references at a King, a snake, a superhero and someone talking about practice. It just so happens that LeBron James and Kobe Bryant represent Nike, Dwight Howard is sponsored by adidas and Allen Iverson was the face of Reebok.
Under Armour definitely has a target audience. It is signing young, scoring point guards in Jennings and Walker to represent this new wave of players. Of course, it should be noted that the ad is taking shots at accomplished players while its two main representatives are completely unproven.
Jennings struggled for much of his sophomore year. His scoring increased from 15.5 points per game to 16.2 points per game and his field goal percentage increased to 39.0 percent. But neither of those numbers are quite where anyone expects him to ultimately be. He had a 44.3 percent effective field goal percentage and his true shooting percentage is below 50 percent at 49.3 percent. His PER was a very average 15.6.
And of course Kemba Walker is completely unproven as a rookie who has not played a single NBA game to date.
So maybe Under Armour should save its shots at the other shoe companies and their representatives until their players earn something. I do not think Nike, adidas and Reebok are worrying too much about the new kid on the block quite yet.
Photo via Bradon Jennings’ Twitter.