The Jumpman and Air Jordans Go Sky High
On February 6th, 1988, Michael Jordan made his signature slam dunk from the free throw line the inspiration for the Air Jordan sneaker and the “Jumpman” logo.
Don’t pass up this opportunity to learn how the iconic Michael Jordan Jumpman logo became the world’s most famous athlete logo of all time.
Swoosh to Jumpman
In the early 1980s, several early versions of the Jumpman logo were seen circulating around Nike advertisements of the Air Jordan I shoes.
At the time, the Jumpman logo was just background art, the original Nike Swoosh logo was used on the shoes instead. However, it wasn’t until the third version that the Jumpman became the official logo.
Rob Strasser, Nike’s top marketing director, and company co-founder Phil Knight, had different opinions about how to sell the shoe. In 1987, Strasser wanted Air Jordan to become its own entity while Knight felt it was too early.
The Chicago Bulls drafted Michael Jordan where he would win Olympic gold in 1984 and sign a five-year endorsement deal with Nike worth $2.5 million. Based on his outstanding performance, Jordan could opt out after year three.
Strasser pitched Jordan that he could become the face of a new shoe company. With a lot of convincing from his agent, Jordan figured staying with Nike was the best decision.
In 1985, Michael Jordan did the Jumpman pose in a pair if Nike shoes. That’s when Nike saw that there was a business opportunity. Today, the Jordan brand generates more than $3 billion in annual global sales.
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