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Jordan Brand History(shang)

(10-03-04 12:26)

In the beginning

Early in 1984, Nike was a struggling shoe company. The running shoe phenomenon that has fueled their sales in previous years was slowly dying and they needed a way to revitalize and reinvent themselves in order to appeal to another segment of the market. At the same time, rookie player Michael Jordan was already endorsing several products, but Nike hoped that his appeal would generate sales. Jordan, though, had other ideas. He had always preferred Adidas or the Converse shoes endorsed by North Carolina Coach, Dean Smith, and hoped to sign on with either company. Converse, with Larry Bird and Magic Johnson on board as spokesmen, were not interested in offering a better deal than Nike, and Adidas wasn't interested at all at the time; perhaps due to Kathe Dassler's death the same year. While Jordan, himself, did not initially see the significance of Nike's offer, his agent, David Falk, saw a golden opportunity in Nike's offer to create a new line of shoes called "Air Jordans." and urged him to give Nike a chance.

Really Not That Interested

At that time, there was not a tremendous impact from a shoe endorsement, and few companies were willing to risk so much of their marketing budget to bet on one athlete to promote their products. An athlete as paid for wearing the products but little else resulted from an endorsement. It's possible that Jordan's reluctant attitude stemmed from this fact as much as his allegiance to Converse and Adidas products.

Nike saw something special in Michael Jordan, though. They saw a chance, an opportunity. He was a champion with personality, charisma, and heart, and they were willing to put the company on the line. They knew from the beginning that he would be a star and wanted to help him get there. Finally, after much persuasion from his manager and parents, the reluctant rookie agreed to cheap jordan shoesfly to the Nike headquarters in Portland, Oregon to view a special video presentation and proposal though he later stated in retrospect that he went with no intention of signing with Nike.

The video presentation featured slow-motion cheap jordansclips of Jordan's college career and some of his high-flying Olympic moves with a background of then hit music "Jump" by the Pointer Sisters. Nike Head Designer, Peter Moore presented sketches of AJ1 shoes, jumpsuits, and sports apparel, all in black and red. Michael's remarks upon seeing the designs were less than enthusiastic. He is reported to have said,

"I can't wear that shoe, those are Devil colors"

Throughout the entire meeting Jordan was reported to seem disinterested and bored, but as he and Falk left the meeting, Jordan said to his agent, "Let's make the deal."

A Legacy (and a Controversy) is Born

With those four words, the Air Jordan legacy was born. Nike signed Jordan to a $2.5 million deal for 5 years, wholesale replica jordan shoesplus royalties and other fringe benefits. Peter Moore created the first AJ Logo with a basketball with wings lifting it. The introduction of the Air Jordan I turned the athletic shoe industry upside down. Before the AJ I, most basketball shoes were white, but the bold black and red styling of the Jordan I flouted this air jordan shoesconvention. The NBA banned the shoe from the league in response, but Jordan wore them anyway, racking up serious fines of up to $5000 a game. Nike, of course, was more than happy to pay these to keep the shoes on Jordan's feet and in the public eye. All this controversy and Jordan's spectacular numbers that year served to put the Air Jordan line on the road to becoming a household name.

 

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