Culture

Stephen Curry gives up iPhone for Chinese competitor?

Commentary: The Golden State Warriors star, who's appeared in an iPhone ad, takes his marketing talents to China's Vivo.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Focused.

Vivo/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

It's not easy trying to become a global sporting superstar.

You need to be in a sport that the whole world loves -- farewell, NFL. You also need to have a personality that has appeal across cultures and sexes. And you need to align yourself with the right brands.

After all, big brands spend big bucks to bask in the reflected light of stars.

It seemed inevitable, just two years ago, that the Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry might gravitate to local favorite Apple. Indeed, he appeared in an ad for the iPhone 6S.

Now, though, Curry is aligning himself with a different brand: China's Vivo.

In a recently released ad, Curry does what NBA players do a little too often in ads. They play basketball and narrate philosophical analogies. Here's a Brita ad, for example, in which Curry dribbles and talks about water dribbling.

And for Vivo, it's the same thing. Curry shoots, Curry dribbles, Curry philosophizes about destiny and focus. He even manages a strained connection between his focus and the, oh, focus on his new Vivo Xplay 6 phone.

Can it be that he's taken his talents exclusively to the world's fifth-largest smartphones maker? Well, I took a little look at Curry's most recent tweets. They appear to have all been sent from an iPhone. Oh.

Neither Vivo nor Curry's representatives immediately responded to a request for comment.

Still, perhaps Curry uses an iPhone in the US and smartly puts it away when he goes to burnish his image in China.

It's hard being a global sporting superstar. You have to remember where you are at all times. And who's paying you to be there.