Air Jordan is a brand of custom made shoes produced originally by the U.S. based sports merchandise manufacturing company Nike. These shoes were designed for and endorsed by all time celebrated in NBA basketball player Michael Jordan. The Air Jordan brand of shoes has significantly revolutionized foot wear in basketball. Before their debut into the world of basketball, all shoes in the game were white. This situation has since changed. The Air Jordan line of shoes and other Jordan products are since being marketed and sold by the Jordan Brand Company.
Michael Jordan started his relationship with Nike in the 9th month of 1984 after he had signed for the Chicago Bull. This resulted in the subsequent release Air Jordans 1, the first of the Air Jordan line of shoes, in March 1985. These shoes were inspired by the vibrant heritage, dream and undeviating concern of Michael Jordan. The replica design of this shoe in different colors and sizes for men, women, and children went on sale the same year drawing massive sales worldwide.
The $2.5 million 5 year deal revolutionized sports entertainment. The bold black and red styling of Jordan 1 flouted the traditional convention color rules in basketball and led to their subsequent banning on the court (Sneaker Head). This line of shoes became one of the leading retailing basketball shoes in the market. This lay the basis of Air Jordan becoming a house hold franchise in sports merchandise particularly shoes.
The following year saw the launching of Air Jordan II. Its reception in the market was, however, not as altruistic as its predecessor. This was attributed to leading designers leaving Nike to start their company and high retail prices that accustomed the shoe. The entry of a designer called Tinker Hatfield brought a new concept into the world of design. He personally engaged Jordan in the design of the following year’s shoe which cemented Michael’s loyalty to Nike.
Air Jordan III took the market by storm as a result of Jordan’s direct input in requesting for its specifications. In addition to that, it bore the famous Jumpman logo that accustomed his winning of the 1986/7 slam duck competition held at Seattle Coliseum. This trade market design of shoes was to later curve out a niche in the market for Air Jordan. Tinker was to team up with Michael in producing exclusive designs of basketball shoes that recorded massive sales within the US and beyond.
Michael Jordan retired from professional basketball in 1993 with the release of Air Jordan VIII (Sneaker Obsession). This was the 9th Air Jordan shoe type since the partnership between Jordan and Nike begun. His retirement, however, did not mark the end of the Air Jordan brand of shoes. Nike continued to release this line of shoes, and they continued with the impressive sales that had been witnessed during his period at the top of NBA basketball.
The successful partnership between Nike and Jordan continued until the latter part of 1997 when Nike adopted a new marketing plan. The Air Jordan line was turned into a sub brand under the larger Nike family and merchandise. The shoes produced from this year were not to bear the Nike logo instead only the Air Jordan Jumpman was to them.
The Jordan brand has since diversified its operations to include other fields rather than just the manufacture of basketball shoes (AirJordanCity). Nevertheless, the manufacture of the trademark shoes still goes on, and it underlines the brand. The Air Jordan Brand has come up with the Jordan Sports Performance collection.
This collection is tailored with training and performance needs of athletes across all the sporting disciplines. This is through supply of training gear, equipment and match day uniforms for the various sporting franchises. In addition to that, the collection also exclusively dresses and brands some superstars e.g. Carmelo Anthony who is under a contractual obligation with them.
The Jordan Lifestyle was also established under the Air Jordan brand of Nike. The lifestyle feature of the sub brand works on specifically producing wares bearing an athletic theme. This feature of Air Jordan is solely designed for youths and young adults and it entails T-shirts, caps, track suits, shorts, and hats.
The Jordan Womens was also established to take care of the ladies who account for a substantial number. Most women fancied Michael Jordan during his playing days both on and off the court. The target of most of the Jordan Womens is the urban lady most of whom are trendy and fashion conscious with regard to their clothing lines.
Air Jordan also endeavors to give back to the community in the line of, social corporate, responsibility. It issues of up to $1million annually, which has totaled up to $7 million, through the Jordan Fundamentals program from its sales for community development. The sub brand caters for the annual Jordan Brand All-American Classic (JBAAC) at Madison Square Garden where massive scouting of raw college basketball talent is done.
The monetary accomplishment of the Air brand is best exemplified by the year 2009, as illustrated by Nike brand which amassed proceeds totaling to $ 1 billion. Further statistics point out that the brand contributes approximately 5% to Nike’s revenues (Rovell). It is further noted that the Jordan brand captures close to 0.8 % of the shoe marketplace in the nation
The Air Jordan brand has grown in leaps and bounds over the years. Its growth from 1985, when Jordan was fined for using his brand shoes to 2010 when the brand enjoys the stability the market has been remarkable. The brand’s quality has helped it to diversify its products and field of operation.
AirJordanCity. Over 50% off all cheap air jordans plus free worldwide shipping. N.D. October 10, 2010.
Rovell, Darren. Michael Jordan First Athlete To $1 Billion. CNBC. 11th September 2009. Web. 11th October, 2010
Sneaker Obsession. Jordan Brand, N.D. Sneaker Obsession Web. October 10, 2010.
Sneaker Head. Jordan Brand History. N.D. Web. Sneaker Head October 10, 2010.