Nearly 16 hours and 10,000 miles later, we arrived in Hong Kong. CNBC is following around two-time NBA MVP Steph Curry as he embarked on a marketing tour across China and Taiwan as part of an Under Armour-sponsored trip.
The stakes are high for Baltimore-based Under Armour. After years of rapid growth in the United States, the brand now needs to reach that global customer. And China is a key market. A country with more than 1.3 billion people, which includes by some estimates 300 million basketball players, the Chinese consumer can't get enough NBA gear.
The NBA is the top-selling league when it comes to merchandise in China. According to Fanatics, which sells NBA-licensed merchandise, league merchandise saw a 48 percent spike last season.
This trip will help Under Armour and Curry become household names that they hope will translate into more sales.
Nike and Adidas have found big success in this region and had a huge head start. Unlike UA, Nike has a wider network of basketball stars under its umbrella to try to appeal to the Chinese consumer (Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant). Under Armour is staking its future on one guy.
Can Under Armour break through in China and reach the next level?
That's one of the key questions we're looking at while here. We're following around UA CEO Kevin Plank and Curry as they visit factories, retailers and consumers in Hong Kong and then Taiwan.