Michael Jordan's time in the league was the stuff of legends. He shot for 32,292 points, he's 3rd on the all-time scoring list, holds 6 NBA titles with the Chicago Bulls, and was one of the greatest clutch players in history. While Jordan’s on the court success is the stuff of legend, his business success is not far behind. #23 has earned millions in salary, endorsements, real estate and business holdings, and partnerships with NBA franchises. However, MJ's biggest business asset may be his shoes, the Air Jordans. The Nike Air Jordan I, 'Notorious', was first used by Jordan in 1984, released to the public in 1985 and quickly gained popularity right alongside of its namesake. The importance of owning a pair of Jordan’s for the average teenager is the equivalent of the Rolex for the wealthy businessman. It’s a status thing that earns respect and envy. It is about being the best and flaunting it, much like Michael himself.
For the average Joe, a basketball shoe is simply a basketball shoe. One puts it on, laces it up, and gets onto the court, but Air Jordans are a bit different, they're more special. People have said that basketball is not a sport, it’s a culture, and the same can be said for Air Jordans. These kicks live comfortably both on and off the court. People buy them in certain colors to match with certain outfits. They are priced on the higher end, which itself brings a feeling of quality and richness. They are created with cutting edge designs and flamboyant styling, and are often kept as clean as the day they first came out of the box. They are fashion and function combined, worn by arguably the greatest basketball athlete, personality, and businessman of all time. These are Air Jordans.
6 Believe it or not, Jordans Were Not the First Basketball Shoe
5 Nike Air Jordans Almost Didn’t Happen
4 Who Designed the First Jordans?
3 People are Robbed for Their Jordans
We can no more blame rioting on Michael Jordan and his shoes than we can blame robberies on Michael Jordan and his shoes. In 2012, some not so scrupulous groups decided that the whole Christmas spirit thing was overrated. According to USA Today, “The release of the $180 Air Jordan XI shoe before Christmas caused a riot at a mall in Indianapolis, fights in Seattle and a stabbing in Jersey City.”
It was also this wonderful Christmas cheer that led other areas of the country to follow suit. The Daily News also reported that, "The highly anticipated release of the Nike brand’s new design, the Gamma Blue 11, sparked brawls in shoe stores from California to the Bronx as customers battled each other to buy the $170 sneakers”.
1 Other Athletes Wear Jordans
Air Jordan’s are not just for Mike. As a testament to the quality and popularity of the shoe, and the reliability of the brand, Jordans have crossed over to not only other basketball players, but also baseball players, football players, and even NASCAR drivers! Forbes states, “Nike signed up current NBA stars Carmelo Anthony, Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, as well as non-NBAer's like Derek Jeter and Nascar’s Denny Hamlin”. This demonstrates that the Air Jordan franchise has grown beyond Michael Jordan and taken on a life of its own, helping to build on an entirely different fan base and to be part of the creation of new legends.
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