Air Jordans, one of the most desired sneakers amongst shoes enthusiasts, has been able to capture nearly 95% of the market within the footwear industry. This becoming one of the best and most powerful strategic partnerships built by Nike and Michael Jordan during his colorful career in the NBA. Aside from the fresh design and the memories left behind, what other aspects of this brand influences consumers to crave every sneaker Air Jordan releases?
Perhaps it has to do with the history behind the creation of this amazing product. Before Michael Jordan’s arrival in the NBA, most basketball shoes worn before 1984 were primarily white, and Converse was the go to shoe for the sport. However, when Michael Jordan signed with Nike as a rookie the two sides introduced a pair of red and black Air Jordans that would change the footwear industry forever. Despite matching the Chicago Bulls’ uniforms, the NBA fined Michael Jordan $5,000 per game whenever the shoes made an appearance on the court. The NBA’s ban against Air Jordans ignited a transcending movement among basketball shoes, and thus, a marketing blitz was born. The Air Jordan phenomenon was engineered by the new style of design for sneakers, and through the historical memories Michael Jordan left on the court while he wore his signature shoes.
Recognizing the success throughout the footwear industry, Nike gladly paid the NBA’s fine placed on Michael Jordan’s signature shoe, and would eventually create 28 different styles of sneakers to presently feature on the Air Jordan line. The continuous innovations made by Nike and Michael Jordan have filled several shopping centers across the U.S. with crazed shoe fanatics in anticipation of possessing a fresh new pair of Jordans. For instance, Forbes noted that the 2013 retro release of the Air Jordan 10 “Powder Blue” created a huge buzz among consumers throughout the nation which helped Nike generate $35 million in sales in just one day.
Shoe fanatics also remember Michael’s amazing moments against several of his Eastern Conference foes such as the Cleveland Cavaliers, the New York Knicks, the Indiana Pacers, and the infamous “Bad Boys” of the Detroit Pistons. In 1989, Spike Lee teamed up with Nike to promote the Air Jordan brand as he featured in a commercial with Michael Jordan. Playing the character of Mars Blackmon, Spike Lee cleverly marketed the brand as he constantly antagonized Michael to reveal why he was the greatest basketball player on the planet. With Michael not zoning in on any particular reason, Mars came to the conclusion that “It’s gotta be the shoes.” As a result, creating one of the most iconic slogans ever used to promote the Air Jordan brand.
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