Michael Jordan and the history behind Air Jordan 1 Michael Jordan and the history behind Air Jordan 1

Michael Jordan and the history behind Air Jordan 1

‘I have always believed that if you put in the work, the results will come sooner or later’ Michael Jordan
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As Jordan progressed with the Bulls, the Nike brand was getting closer to the future basketball star. Nike’s marketing manager at the time had to be convinced that the young promise was worth being signed. The goal was to show Michael Jordan as an exemplary athlete who could transmit a lot as a player.
The negotiation process was not easy since Jordan’s manager, David Falk, demanded a lot from anyone who wanted to work or collaborate with the young promise. On the other hand, Michael Jordan was a big fan of the German brand, Adidas and even wanted to sign for them, but the brand was not in adequate economic conditions at that time. Another brand that was involved in the world of basketball was Converse, since Jordan had used several models to play during college, but the price offered was low.

Jordan signing for Nike

At this point, Jordan was not interested in signing with Nike, but the sports company had a plan. To create a completely new shoe that would fit Michael Jordan since his feet were not the same size. In addition to this, Sony Vaccaro, a Nike executive at the time, convinced the brand to offer him 500,000 dollars a year for five years to be part of the brand. In this way, Nike had a plan and was that any other sponsorship would remain small next to this one.

Jordan’s manager approached Adidas and Converse to see if they could offer him a better opportunity. But evidently, the amount was scarce next to Nike. After much paperwork, Michael Jordan signed for Nike and the new model called Air Jordan was put into development. Meanwhile, Jordan was wearing shoes called Air Ship that resembled the model that was in the works.

During a game while his shoes were being manufactured, Michael Jordan wore black and red shoes and was fined for breaking the rule that uniforms must be mostly white.Nike’s plan was to create a black and red Air Jordan, and another black, red and white. Due to the threat of fines for wearing sneakers that did not comply with the uniform rules, Nike decided to create another model in white, black and red. Currently known as the Air Jordan Chicago.

Finally, in 1984, Jordan was first introduced with the legendary pair of Air Jordan 1s. This shoe is still on sale today, a model with a leather upper and perforated details for greater breathability when playing basketball.


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By Pablo Manén

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