The Mix between Religion and Marketing
How Religious Views Affect You and Your Brand
With the NBA Finals wrapped up and the release of Steph Curry’s latest sneaker, Curry 2 “Low Chef”, we wanted to look back on the marketing endeavor that took his reputation to the next level, both on and off the court.
Back in 2012, Nike had its second opportunity to claim basketball MVP, Stephen Curry, as the new face of their brand. A sad 2.5 million dollar contract presented by Under Armour was Nike’s chance to step up, and Curry only had one condition before he accepted. Due to his strong faith, Curry wanted to include a bible verse on the bottom of every signature “Curry One” sneaker tongue. The verse read 4:13 “I can do all things,” which comes from Philippians 4:13 which states, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. According to Business Insider, Nike was unsure Curry would be able to sell signature shoes, and they let him go. This immediately opened up the door for the match up between Curry and Under Armour, who immediately honored his request.
Curry stuck to his morals and it worked.
Today, the “Curry One” is the best-selling item on Under Armour’s website, tremendously boosting overall sales! (Source)
Pop singer Katy Perry had a very religious upbringing that would soon be called into question in order for her to make it in Hollywood.
Perry was raised in an extremely strict household with both parents being ‘Born Again Christian’ pastors. (She wasn’t even allowed to eat Lucky Charms cereal because the term “luck” reminded their mother of Lucifer!)
Perry’s early singing career was in gospel music and she was signed to Christian record label Redhill Records under her birth name, Katy Hudson. The Christian singer was not seeing much success so she decided to take her career in a whole new direction. Much to the dismay of the religious community, her breakout hit “I Kissed a Girl” was exactly what she needed to top the pop charts. To the public eye, she compromised some of her religious beliefs to keep up with Hollywood’s societal norms and obtain the stardom she dreamt of. Perry had succumbed to the lifestyle that Christians do not necessarily agree with. Although she did not give up her faith entirely, she chose this path over her strict Christian upbringing.
Moral of the Story?
Customers watch and judge accordingly. You have to decide how important it is to stick to your religious values when it comes to making business decisions. Sometimes highlighting your morals and making them stand out is the right choice when it comes to marketing (like in the case of Steph Curry.) Other times it is best to put your beliefs to the side and take opportunities as they come (like Katy Perry did.) For some people it will never be an issue.
The “moral” of the story is…each situation is different and in order to make the right choice you should be informed. Go with your gut and if you need advice on how consumers will respond or how an audience will react…just ask us!
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