“AIR” Inspires This Brief History Of Air Jordan

Air Jordan has a rich history that got its shine in the movie “AIR.”

BYAlexander Cole
“AIR” Inspires This Brief History Of Air Jordan

One of the biggest names in the sneaker world is none other than Air Jordan. Of course, this is the signature sneaker line of Michael Jordan - the greatest basketball player of all time. Overall, the Air Jordan line has 37 different signature shoes. Moreover, it has thousands of colorways that have made their way into the homes of consumers all throughout the globe. At this point, Air Jordan is a household name, and with the movie AIR receiving rave reviews, this is especially true.

This new movie stars the likes of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. Damon plays Sonny Vaccaro, while Affleck plays Phil Knight. AIR recounts the true story of how Knight and Vaccaro went to great lengths to sign Michael Jordan to Nike. Although Jordan was a huge star with UNC, no one knew how good he would be in the NBA. However, Vaccaro and Knight had an inkling that he would be a transcendent superstar. Consequently, they wanted to give him his own sneaker, which was unheard of at the time. While Jordan remained reluctant about signing a contract, his mother ultimately convinced him after she said that he could sign a royalty deal. Subsequently, Jordan signed a five-year deal worth $2.5 million.

The Air Jordan Line Is Born

Air Jordan 1
Image via Nike

When MJ first signed with Nike in 1984, he wore the Nike Air Ship for his first few games. At the time, the Air Jordan 1 had yet to be developed by designer Peter Moore. However, eventually, Jordan was given his new sneaker, and it ultimately changed the sneaker industry forever. In the photo above, you can see how the sneaker has a simple yet timeless design. Moreover, this "Chicago" color scheme quickly became iconic, and the blueprint for all other OG Air Jordan colorways.

From there, Moore would team up with Bruce Kilgore on the Air Jordan 2. An underappreciated model that is starting to get a lot more shine right now. Although, it is important to note that following the release of this shoe, Michael Jordan grew frustrated with Nike and was very close to leaving the brand altogether. However, in came Tinker Hatfield with the blueprint for the Air Jordan 3. After showing Jordan his plans for an entire merch line attached to the shoe, MJ decided to stick around. From there, the rest was history as Hatfield continued to design Michael's sneakers until 1999s Air Jordan 15. Overall, these designs helped make Air Jordan the most iconic sneaker line ever created.

The Creation Of Jordan Brand

A close-up view of an Air Jordan brand shoe with the Jumpman logo as worn by Joel Berry II #2 of the North Carolina Tar Heels during a game against the Michigan Wolverines on November 29, 2017 at the Dean Smith Center in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. North Carolina won 86-71. (Photo by Peyton Williams/UNC/Getty Images)

By September of 1997, Michael Jordan had sold millions of sneakers. Furthermore, he was a five-time NBA champion and Nike was sitting pretty. To reward Jordan for his efforts, they gave him his very own imprint within the company, called Jordan Brand. This started with the Air Jordan 13, as well as numerous pieces of merch. There were even other Jordan silhouettes that were created to complement the mainline. To this day, Jordan Brand remains a massive success that has expanded to various realms of sport.

For instance, Jordan Brand has its own signature athletes who have their own sneakers, just as MJ did. Luka Doncic has the Jordan Luka 1, Zion Williamson has the Jordan Zion 1, and more recently, Jayson Tatum got the Jordan Tatum 1. Needless to say, the brand is expanding throughout the NBA, and the fans could not be any happier. Additionally, the brand is also doing big things outside of basketball. One could just look at the partnership with soccer club Paris Saint-Germain. This collaboration has led to numerous Jordan sneakers and jerseys. Lastly, you can't mention Jordan Brand without referencing their work with various NCAA schools. Colleges like OregonGeorgetownMichiganUCLA, and UNC, all have their own Air Jordan PEs. It is a testament to just how much reach the Jordan Brand imprint has.

Let us know your favorite Air Jordan silhouette, in the comments section down below.

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About The Author
Alexander Cole is the current Managing Editor of HotNewHipHop. He started at HotNewHipHop back in 2018 where he began as a Sports and Sneakers writer. During this time, he has shown an expertise in Air Jordans, Yeezys, and all things that have to do with Nike. His favorite kicks are the Air Jordan 1 High OG, the Air Jordan 4, the Air Jordan 6, and the Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 in the "Beluga 2.0" colorway. Although his collection might not be the biggest, he is always looking to add new styles to it. When it comes to sports, Alex has a particular interest in the NBA and the NFL. His favorite teams are anywhere LeBron goes, and the Kansas City Chiefs. As a Montrealer, the Montreal Canadiens hold a special place in his heart, even if they haven't won the Stanley Cup in his lifetime. Alex also works for the Concordia Stingers, where he provides play-by-play and color commentary for the football, hockey, and basketball teams His favorite hip-hop artists are Kendrick Lamar, Playboi Carti, Travis Scott, and Lil Uzi Vert.