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The history of the brand Air Jordan

The history of Air Jordans begins in 1984, at a time when Nike was a brand struggling for global leadership in the sports shoe market. At that time, the Nike brand was known as a manufacturer of running shoes, a market that was slowly dying and reborn in a different look. In search of a way to enter new market segments, Nike turned their attention to an NBA rookie named Michael Jordan. At the time of the proposal, Michael had already preliminarily approved several other proposals, but Nike representatives felt that Jordan would help them turn the market around and were not going to abandon their idea. Initially, Michael Jordan hoped to sign a contract with Adidas or Converse, since he always loved these brands and went to the games in Converse sneakers, which he loved back when he was playing for the University of North Carolina. But Converse was not interested in such a deal, since they had already signed a contract with Larry Bird and Magic Johnson. Adidas also saw no financial gain for the company in such a deal. Nike’s offer didn’t really interest Michael Jordan personally, but his agent at the time (David Falk) saw a great opportunity in this deal. Nike invited the basketball player to create a completely new line of shoes called Air Jordans.

The history of the brand Air Jordans
Michael Jordan is not interested in Nike’s offer
Jordan was not 100% sure that he wanted to sign a contract with Nike. Maybe he still felt loyal to Converse and Adidas. On the other hand, Nike, were convinced that they wanted to sign Michael as their representative. He was a young Olympic champion, had charisma and was a strong personality. Nike also knew that he would become an NBA superstar. After the agent convinced Michael Jordan and his parents, the basketball player agreed to fly to Nike’s headquarters in Portland, Oregon to watch the company’s special video presentation and evaluate the offer. Michael will later tell that he went to this meeting without the intention to sign a contract with Nike. But what happened happened. One of the highest-profile contracts in history between an athlete and a commercial brand has been signed.

Make a deal
Nike’s video presentation consisted of time-lapse clips that presented Jordan’s career from college to his historic victorious jump during the Olympics. All this in the background was accompanied by the song “Jump” from Pointer Sister’s. After watching the video, Nike’s chief designer Peter Moore presented sketches of sneakers and other sportswear of the Air Jordan I line. Everything was done in black and red. Michael was not very excited about the presentation he saw. In fact, he said: “I can’t wear these shoes, they are of devilish colors.” Although Michael did not seem interested in Nike’s presentation, he later told his agent David Falk: “Let’s make a deal.”

Air Jordan I Presentation
Nike signed a $ 2.5 million 5-year contract with Michael Jordan, and the company also provided the athlete with other benefits that were not reported. Peter Moore created the first Air Jordan logo, known as Wings, and the rest is history. Air Jordan’s entry into the market has changed the sports shoe industry forever. Before the advent of Air Jordan I, most basketball shoes were white, but the bold black and red style of Air Jordan changed that trend. This outraged the NBA and the league forbade Jordan to go out in red and black shoes, threatening a fine of up to $ 5,000 for 1 game. Nike, of course, was more than happy to pay this penalty for every superstar game. In addition, it only raised interest in Air Jordan shoes. All these disputes, fines and spectacular game Jordan set the line of Air Jordan on the path to success.

A turning point in the history of Air Jordan
The year 1987. Air Jordan was a huge success in terms of sales, but the Air Jordan II was not so successful because of the high price. Peter Moore and Rob Strasser, Air Jordan model designers, left Nike to start their own company called Van Grack. They hoped to steal Michael Jordan secretly from Nike and build their new sports shoe company around him. Michael himself was also ready to leave Nike. The management of the company had to work hard to save the situation. The first thing Nike executives did was sit down at the negotiating table with Michael to get his opinion on the design of the Air Jordan III. Asking an athlete for shoe design was unheard of in those days. In this way, Nike showed how important a basketball player is to the company. However, the main reason Michael stayed with Nike was the good advice he received from his father. He reportedly told his son to stay with people who did a great job for him.

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