I know someone whose 15-year-old son wanted a pair of Stephen Curry Flow 10 sneakers for their birthday.

The kid was delighted with the gift, but refused to wear them because he didn’t want to ruin them.

My friend is considering getting a second pair so their kid can actually wear them outside.

That story captures the modern social dynamics facing kids, parents and sneaker executives.

Steph Curry is, as basketball fans know, the superstar who has led the Golden State Warriors to four NBA championships. He is known for his uncanny ability to hit three-point shots. He has a $215 million sneaker deal with Under Armour and is in talks for a $1 billion lifetime contract.

Under Armour famously signed Curry to endorse their shoes after Nike botched a proposal.

Camp Curry identified several reasons Nike’s pitch in 2013 failed:

–They sent the second string of executives to make the offer.
–A member of team Nike mispronounced Curry’s name.
–Nike recycled a deck from a presentation to another player, Kevin Durant.
–They refused to sponsor a camp for kids that other stars were offered.

So obviously, Nike has to evaluate a lot of players with talent and you aren’t always going to make the right call. You cannot always send the top agents to every pitch.

The one that jumps out to me is re-using the pitch deck! Everyone does that! It’s always a bad idea!

Nevertheless, the story is a great reminder of the need to prepare for every game and treat everyone with respect, especially early in your (or their) career. You don’t know where things will lead.

Even in an age of Big Data, Mass Marketing and AI, deals often come down to personal details.