Air Jordan is a brand of shoes that are modeled after one of the best basketball player of all time Michael Jordan. The shoes are produced and owned by Nike and Michael Jordan. Air Jordan shoes were first released for the public in 1985 after Jordan himself wore them as a rookie in 1984, with new designs released annually thereafter. Ever since Air Jordan and Nike have joined they have become the most dominant shoe seller in the world. Michael most dominant shoe on the market in the United States for many years to come.
Air Jordan shoes have multiple sponsorships which also help the brand stay so popular. Many famous NFL, MLB, and NBA players are sponsored with Air Jordan. For example, future and current hall of famers Derek Jeter, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, and Jason Taylor have all either designed, worn, or sponsored with this company. Those are all big names that help the brand keep going strong. However, many big college basketball teams wear the Jordan shoes every year. North Carolina, Georgetown, and many others wear the Jordan brand shoes and have the logo on the top of their jersey to show their partnership. Jordan is the most widely known brand in all of shoes and apparel in the world. Michael Jordan name will be known forever and as long as the world spins the Air Jordan brand will be the dominant brand in shoes with young athletes, fans, and people that are interested in the Nike shoe with his logo on it.
My cultural artifact is not just a sneaker; it is a representation of Michael Jordan. People that wear these shoes aren’t just wearing any sneaker. Air Jordan shoes represent the greatness that Michael Jordan brought to people and the game of basketball. Jordan attended Laney High School in Wilmington, North Carolina. Jordan tried out for the varsity basketball team during his sophomore year only standing at 5’11. Jordan was told he wasn’t good enough as a sophomore so he started out playing for the junior varsity team. Then he had several dominant games and grew four inches the following year to earn his spot on the varsity roster. He then became an all-star and was selected to the McDonald’s All- American Team. However, in college he was the ACC freshman of the year at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Jordan hit the game winning shot in the national championship game against Georgetown in 1982. His sophomore and junior season he was a first team all American. After his junior season he was the third overall pick to the Chicago Bulls in the 1984 NBA draft. The rest was history and there wasn’t an award or championship he didn’t earn. Jordan was a 6 time NBA champion, 14 time all-star, and 10 time NBA scoring champ. Jordan also won 4 gold medals for team USA throughout his career. After a brilliant 19 year career Jordan is considered a legend and the best basketball player to ever play the game. The Air Jordan shoe will continue to carry on the legacy of the great Michael Jordan because remember everyone wants to be like Mike.
Before Air Jordan shoes were designed, all basketball shoes were white. This is just one example of how well known and the magnitude of the changes in basketball and athletic footwear that Air Jordan shoes have done. Ever since Jordan arrived to the NBA the company has ultimately changed the game of basketball throughout all ages in the United States. Wearing an Air Jordan shoe means much more than wearing a Nike shoe on your foot. It’s the meaning of greatness and wanting to become great from the World’s best basketball player to ever play the game. The first shoe was released in 1985 the Air Jordan 1. It was a red and black shoe that matched the uniform of the team Jordan was on the Chicago Bulls. However, during the time NBA commissioner outlawed the shoe due to the fact that it had no white on the shoe. Jordan would wear the new shoe anyway and every time he wore the shoe, he was fined five thousand dollars by the NBA. Nike used this problem as a promotional instrument in advertisements to hint that the shoes gave an unfair competitive advantage. Nike then would later create a color way with green, white, and black which would be worn by Jordan for most of the 1985 and 1986 seasons. After that the Air Jordan shoes were worn by other players throughout the NBA and from then on they have been worn in the NBA to this day. The Air Jordan shoes started becoming so popular in the 1990’s and the rest is history (Strauss). Jordan will be remembered as the man who could fly, and people that wear his shoes think that will help them fly as well. His style extended beyond the court as he became an international icon.
Back in the late ’80s and early ’90s, Nike’s “Air Jordan” shoe line vaulted into an unprecedented level for a sports brand (Strauss). Spike Lee directed Jordan’s Nike commercials using the “It’s got to be the shoes” slogan, and the spots became era-defining (Strauss). The quote by Spike Lee and all the children wanting to wear the Jordan brand shoes is what sparks people to continue to wear the famous brand that Jordan established as the world’s best basketball players. And everyone will always say “ I want to be like Mike”. Air Jordan shoes are the most popular shoe in the United States. People often demonstrate this by fighting over these shoes in malls and causing riots to have this brand in their hands. For example, “ Explosions of ugliness ensued in at least five different spots across the country ever year in the form of riots, fights, shots fired, pepper spray and child abandonment a revolting showcase of ignorance at its mind-boggling worst (Shropshire)”. People who clamor and fight to buy shoes they can’t afford, which is endorsed by a man whom has never shown interest in his own community, is the apex of stupidity, and insanity over a shoe (Shropshire). Michael Jordan does take a lot of responsibility for these obscene acts over his shoes. However, urban children have been beating up each other every year over Jordan attire and shoes since the 1980s. He most certainly has never lobbied to make his shoe prices more in line with the demographic that inordinately patronize his products (Shropshire).
The acts that happen across the country just show the love and passion for these shoes and the company Air Jordan. All people don’t have the money to buy a pair of shoes that are one hundred dollars or more. But when they have a chance to get their hands on them they will do whatever it takes to get a pair of Jordan’s on their feet. The meaning of putting on those Jordan sneakers mean more to some than their family. Jordan inspires young athletes across the world. What young athlete wouldn’t want to strive for greatness like Jordan. Young athletes support Nike by wearing the Air Jordan sneakers on the court or in the backyard shooting or wearing then around school. Everyone that sees the shoe or wears the shoe knows that it stands for greatness. No other shoe in the world has the meaning that the Air Jordan shoe or brand has. The company has multiple colleges, professional athletes, or other corporations partnering with Nike to wear or be a part of this great company. However, its not that they want to just make a lot of money and be a part of a popular company on the rise. It’s the story of the Air Jordan Company and how it all came about. Jordan didn’t become the greatest basketball player or the most popular human on the earth just by snapping his fingers. Jordan worked tirelessly for many years through the ups and downs he won many championships and began to create a legacy. His legacy will and forever always stands at the top of the basketball world. His Air Jordan shoe will to. Wearing the Air Jordan shoe is a privilege to be apart of his legacy and what makes it so special is that so many people want to keep it going by wearing his logo on their feet for so many years and many years to come. Each year, a new Air Jordan shoe is unveiled. An annual event since its debut in 1985, each unveiling has been met with ever-increasing anticipation from the media, the industry, and the buying public ( Sneakernews).Air Jordan’s continue to dominate the market in sales and demand, establishing with each year’s model higher benchmark standards in design, innovation and performance for the entire athletic footwear industry (Sneakernews). However, the heart of the franchise is Michael Jordan, the greatest player in the history of basketball, and the shoes he’s worn throughout his illustrious career that epitomize his relentless dedication to performance, innovation and achievement(Sneakernews). That’s the reason this company will continue forever because everyone wants to be like Mike. Air Jordan’s even today will continue to build on the franchise’s popular history of famous and historical designs of the Air Jordan shoe. However, inspired by one of the greatest to ever play the game, the Air Jordan Shoe Company continues to lead and shape the athletic footwear industry into the future. This company will continue to grow with people of all ages wearing them not only on the basketball court but as casual shoes as well. Sponsorships will continue to grow with players wanting to join this masterful franchise and the more that do the more popular it will become. And as Jordan’s legacy continues to grow, his legacy in the Air Jordan franchise lives on.
Works Cited Page:
Michael Jordan to Blame for Riots Over Shoes: What Isiah Thomas Said and 5 Things He Could Do With Nike Profits.” Rolling Out Black News Celebrity Videos Entertainment Business Politics RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2013. Air Jordan – History of the Franchise .” The Authority In Sneaker News. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2013.