The history of Air Jordans started in 1984. During that time, Nike was struggling to be a new and cool shoe company that everyone loved. They thought of a way to reinvent the company, or athletes gain a fresh start. Nike decided to offer NBA rookie Michael Jordan a shoe line, all for himself. Michael Jordan wasn’t exactly in to this idea, he was hoping to get signed with Adidas or Converse. The reason for that is he wore those shoes as a little kid, and they were his basketball shoes. Unfortunately Converse was not interested, since they already had endorsements deals with Larry Bird and Magic Johnston. Sadly, Adidas was not interested either. David Falk, Michael Jordan's agent at the time, saw Nike’s offer as an amazing opportunity. Since that day forward Nike has been manufacturing an incredible shoe line, “Air Jordans!”
How Did Nike Convince Michael Jordan?
Michael still didn’t feel exactly confident signing with Nike. On the other hand, Nike felt the exact opposite way. They thought Michael Jordan would be a great Spokesman. He was quite young, he was also an olympic champion. But most importantly he had charisma and an incredible personality. Nike also knew that Michael would be an NBA superstar. He finally agreed to sign off with Nike, after being convinced by his agent and parents. The main reason he signed was the persuasion and skills of Nike. Michael flew to Nike’s Headquarters in Portland, Oregon and viewed a special video presentation and proposal. He later went with no intention of signing the contract with Nike.
What Was So Special About The Presentation?
The video presentation featured slow-motion clips of highlights from Michael Jordan’s college career. There were also some high-flying olympic moves featured in the amazing video. The Pointer Sisters hit song “Jump” was played in the background of the video presentation. Peter Moore, Nike Head designer, had presented sketches he made of apparel ideas. Peter’s ideas consisted of: Air Jordan Sneakers, jumpsuits, and other common, stylish, and comfortable sports apparel, all black and red. Michael still wasn’t thrilled with the designs he saw. Fun fact - Michael actually said; “I can’t wear that shoe, those are Devil colors!” Even though Jordan was disinterested with the presentation, he later told David Faulk, his agent, “Let’s make the deal!”
What happened after Michael Jordan got signed to Nike?
Michael Jordan was signed to a 5 year deal worth $2.5 million dollars, plus he received royalties and their benefits from Nike. Peter Moore created the First Air Jordan logo, known as the wings logo and the rest of history. The Air Jordan I arrival changed the athletic shoe industry forever. Most basketball shoes were white, before the Air Jordan I. The bold black and red styling of the Air Jordan I changed that convention. The Air Jordan I was banned in the NBA league, but Michael Jordan wore them anyway. He ranked up serious fines of up to $5,000 dollars a game. Nike paid the fines happily, to keep the Air Jordan Is on Michael's feet, 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.
The Turning Point on Air Jordan’s
The year of 1987. The Air Jordan I was a huge success in terms of sale, but on the other hand the Air Jordan II was not as successful due to its high price tag. Peter Moore and Rob Strasser, the designers of both Air Jordans shoes, left Nike, to start their own sneaker company called “Van Grack”! They were hoping to steal Michael Jordan away from Nike, and destroy Nike’s business and success, so they could build their own company around Michael. Surprisingly Michael wanted to leave Nike, and join Van Grack. Once he said that, Nike knew they would need the help of Tinker Hatfield to save the company. He first thing Tinker did over everything else was sit down with Michael Jordan to gather his input about the design of the Air Jordan III. Asking an athlete for their input in the design of a shoe was unheard of. The reason Michael stayed with Nike, and didn't leave to join Van Grack, was due to the good advice from his father. Hs father reportedly told his son to stay with the people that had done a good job for him, and worked incredibly hard for his shoe and his career.
Well that is the history of Air Jordans! I hope you enjoyed, and learned some new information. If you would like to do some more research on the Air Jordan’s, I recommend you use this site: http://airjordanshoeshq.com/air-jordan-brand-history/
Story by Amelia O’Halloran