All Articles Tagged "Air Jordan"
Say what you want about Michael Jordan, the man knows how to turn a profit. A recent Forbes article discussed that even after his retirement eight years ago, the Jordan brand is still a profitable franchise. According to the article, Jordan racked in approximately 60 million dollars last year – without touching a basketball.
Like most star athletes, Jordan had his pick of endorsements throughout his career and most, like Gatorade, Hanes, Upper Deck and Nike are as synonymous of Jordan as much as his red Chicago Bulls jersey. Jordan has also inked endorsement deals with 2K Sports and Five Star Fragrances; he also bought five restaurants and a car dealership in North Carolina.
However, Nike is still Jordan’s most profitable endorsement. Although, Jordan inked a $2.5 million contract with the company, straight out of college in 1984 – his endorsement checks are higher now since his brand has exploded. His annual revenues from Nike alone bring him an estimated $1 billion, with Jordan’s brand market share coming to a whooping 71%. Nike follows after with a share of 22%, with Adidas and Reebok owning the rest at 3% and 2%. Not to mention, Jordan has other well-known athletes under his brand umbrella, such as Derek Jeter, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Denny Hamlin also bring a considerable amount of traction insuring Jordan’s financial coiffures remain full.
During his tenure with the Bulls, he was banking about $50 million from his endorsement deals and during his last two years with the NBA dynasty, he made $63 million in combined salary.
Neilson and E-Poll Market Research produce an N-Score for celebrities that measure their awareness; general appeal and likeability, Jordan’s N-Score comes out to be 682. He is the highest scored athlete by nearly 300 points. His awareness is ranked at 71%; with the only athletes above him being Tiger Woods, Mike Tyson and OJ Simpson (easy to guess why). His rate of being liked by the public is charted at 93%, which shows how far his presence extends. Current b-baller LeBron James, whom many believed would follow in Jordan’s footsteps, has a likeability of 51% – nowhere near close.
Many attribute Jordan’s ability to be in the mind and heart of the consumer was his ability to stay negatively out of the headlines. Unlike his counterparts James and Kobe Bryant – while, they may be popular – their popularity has been somewhat tainted by their off-the-court extracurricular activities. Not that Jordan was a saint, there have been plenty of tales surrounding his gambling and philandering way but being that Jordan’s popularity was amassed before the era of social media. Did the lack of celebrity profiling help cement his legacy? Perhaps, one thing is for sure, Jordan’s business growth is undeniable and with his ownership of the Charlotte Bobcats, his stock will go nowhere but up.
Cynthia Wright is an avid lover of all things geeky. When she isn’t freelancing, she can be found on her blog BGA Life and on Twitter at @cynisright.
The date was October 26, 1984, and the Chicago Bulls were taking on the Washington Bullets in their season opener. In the starting lineup was an anxious rookie from North Carolina, fresh off of a gold-medal performance as a member of the ’84 US Olympic team and eager to make his NBA debut.
Michael Jordan won Rookie of the Year honors that season while leading his team in almost every major statistical category, including total points scored, points per game, rebounds, assists, steals and minutes played. Over the course of 15 seasons – intermixed with a couple of highly publicized retirements and reinstatements –Jordan proceeded to re-write NBA record books and earn scores of accolades on his way to becoming, who most believe to be, the greatest basketball player of all time.
Equally as impressive as his on-court domination was Jordan’s methodical construction of a now billion-dollar retail empire –Air Jordan. And, despite the fact that he hasn’t taken a professional jumpshot in more than seven years, his dynasty is more secure than ever and growing stronger – and more profitable – each year.
The Air Jordan I was launched in the spring of 1985 and, even though it was banned in the NBA (the red and black color scheme violated uniform regularity rules), the shoe flew off the shelves. In the process, Nike devised a way to capitalize on the controversy, producing a 30-second commercial that claimed, “On September 15, Nike created a revolutionary new basketball shoe. On October 18, the NBA threw them out of the game. Fortunately, the NBA can’t stop you from wearing them.”
Erin Patton, who was later handpicked to lead the marketing and branding efforts of Brand Jordan, vividly remembers the buzz surrounding the first Air Jordan release – particularly within his own circle of friends.
“That shoe changed the game,” he recalled. “There was a sense of rebellion associated with it because it was banned in the NBA, and we saw that as a license to embrace it. That just made us want it and want it more.”
Jordan continued to wear the shoes, racking up thousands of dollars in fines – paid by Nike – to go along with the legions of fans who were clamoring to get their feet in a pair of the iconic sneakers. When the dust settled, Nike had made around $130 million that first year – far surpassing their goal to net $3 million by the end of the third year of MJ’s contract.
By all accounts, the partnership was a phenomenal success, and the AJ I frenzy was only a sign of things to come.
By Brittany Hutson
As hip-hop became the soundtrack for a younger generation, companies took notice and have been utilizing hip-hop’s prime players to endorse their products in the hopes of reaching those younger and potential consumers. Mike Street, senior digital strategist for Syndicate Media Group, a communications and marketing agency, explains that in order for a company to have a successful marketing campaign featuring hip-hop artists, brand managers must find an artist who is aligned with the culture and mission of the product. “If the artist doesn’t even really use the product or have a passion for the product, consumers will see right through it and it will be money wasted,” he said.
TAP consulted with marketing experts to critique some of hip-hop’s more successful inspired marketing campaigns, as well as those that fell short.
Mos Def and Air Jordan XVI
Nike and Michael Jordan made a slam dunk in 2001 when they combined “basketball, hip-hop and sneakers into the perfect 30 second piece of art,” said Street. To promote the company’s Air Jordan XVI sneaker, Mos Def was tapped to include his melodious track “Umi Says” from his solo debut album, Black on Both Sides, as the commercial’s background music. Even today, people still associate Mos Def’s “Umi Says” to the Air Jordan XVI commercial.
Watch here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nhRjV_60R4
(Washington Post) — Of the many thousands of people who watched the Lakers game on Christmas Day, some didn’t tune in to admire Kobe Bryant’s prowess; they swooned over his sneakers – even if they might have been inspired by the Grinch (designed, perhaps, to steal attention). The shoes, the Christmas Day edition of the Nike Zoom Kobe VI, are a spectacle in lime-green, detailed with red trim and polyurethane nodules that look like a snake’s skin. Leveraging an athlete’s superstardom and calling to mind a much-loved children’s story, they stitch together status and nostalgia and are the sort of thing that kids and adults alike might hope for as they bound out of bed and race for the Christmas tree. With this release, Nike has built on its own tradition of creating shoes that inspire a cult following. Indeed, kids happy to sport cool kicks at school sometimes grow into devoted collectors – or sneakerheads – who dish out thousands of dollars for a closet full of shoes they might never dare wear on a court. Nike’s black-and-red Air Jordan I, released in 1985, catapulted the collectible-sneaker trade into big business. Now in its 25th year, the Jordan brand is a $1 billion-a-year franchise that operates independently from Nike’s broader basketball business.
In fashion it’s always refreshing to see someone demonstrating her unique style. After all, [Yves Saint Laurent] said it best: fashion fades but style is eternal. As the first female to design an Air Jordan brand shoe, Vashtie Kola combines tomboy street wear with a slight couture glam.
This Trinidadian director who wrote the treatment for Common’s “Testify” video, served as the Director of Creative Services for Island Def Jam, and directed Solange’s “T.O.N.Y.” video, also has her own clothing brand VIOLETTE.
Recently teaming up with brand Jordan to pay homage to ladies who love rocking sneakers, Vashtie admitted that it’s a perfect fit because Jordans are her favorite sneakers; and the self proclaimed ‘Downtown Sweetheart’ boasts an impressive collection to prove it.
But before designing a Jordan, Vashtie has been on many style radars as she demonstrates her unique tomboy style.
Merging comfort and couture, check out some of Vashtie’s stylish, street-glam looks.
by Keya Carter
Anybody in their late 20s and early 30s more than likely remembers the catchphrase and commercials with an Air Jordan sneaker-clad Spike Lee touting in disbelief, “It’s the shoes. It’s got to be the shoes!” Meet the guerilla marketing genius behind the ever-prevalent Jordan brand, Erin O. Patton. From behind the scenes, Patton was a trailblazer in the fusion of urban niche marketing and pop culture and paved the way for Shaq to “have your back” on behalf of Comcast today.
In his new book, “Under the Influence: Tracing the Hip-Hop Generation’s Impact on Brands, Sports & Pop Culture”, Patton uses his experience as the Jordan brand marketing director for Nike and as CEO of his brand marketing and managent firm, The Mastermind Group, to discuss how consumer demands, particularly within the urban segment, have shaped the core of pop-culture today. And that’s certainly not a one way street. Here, Patton talks to TAP about his rise through the advertising and marketing ranks, why Air Jordans will continue to sell and how barbers represent important conduits for urban marketing. Examine the engine behind the working machine, as it were, called “ Air Jordan.”
TAP: For starters, can you tell me about your marketing and branding experience?
Patton: I grew up being a part of the hip-hop generation in the inner-city of Pittsburgh where the music, lifestlye and culture permeated the times. I came of age in the late eighties and early nineties, when hip-hop music was becoming more than just a sound but a conduit for self-expression and a means for brand identification – adopting certain brands and certain styles, particularly within footwear and apparel. For instance, the Nike Air Jordan or the Adidas or other brands at that time that became relevant like Fila or the Kangol hat and L.L, [pause] I could go on forever. So I was shaped by the music as a means to express myself. Not just the brand and products that we chose but there was also an awareness of current events from groups like Public Enemy and A Tribe Called Quest that helped shape our mindset. So when I moved into corporate America, I brought a sense of understanding of that market segment because I was part of it.
I went to Northwestern and after graduating I immediately started working at Burrell Advertising which, at the time, was the premier African-American advertising agency in Chicago. We had clients like Proctor & Gamble and Sprite. Now with a brand like Sprite, which was very much focused on the youth market, I was able to inject into their marketing strategy and creative process how the hip-hop audience and, more importantly, the hip-hop culture and lifestyle could be leveraged from a marketing standpoint.
For example, Sprite’s tagline was “Obey Your Thirst” and that, to me, is the essence of this generation. Be true to yourself. Be distinctive and have your own style and flavor. There was a range of artists who were bringing their own creative style to the music and lifestyle at the time. It was natural to marry that particular brand with hip-hop culture. We had artists like Kid N Play, who were also very unique, so it was strategic, it wasn’t just about tapping into the growing phenomenon called hip-hop, it was about making it fit and positioning the hip-hop culture into the core brand values. That’s really when I found my niche because I was able to translate the hip-hop phenomena into a marketing opportunity for corporate America to hone in on this emerging audience. And to do it in a way that was authentic and relevant to the culture.
TAP: So you didn’t just land a job at Nike fresh out of undergrad?
Patton: Right. I was on the agency side at Burrell and then I went over to Edelman PR to gain some experience in mainstream marketing. With Edelman I was able to go to Mircosoft and other clients and tell them, “hey you’re missing a huge opportunity.” I gained experience coming out of Burrell but all we did was reach out to the African Americans and Hispanics. So going into an agency that focused on “mainstream markets,” presented opportunities. I was able to go into a meeting whether it was with a healthcare, technology or consumer package goods company and say, “ I see the mainstream but there’s a broader market segment out there! ” I was able to bridge some of the gap. A lot of my story is about recognizing windows of opportunity, timing and value creation.
Patton: I’d say the early nineties, when hip-hop, as well as business and brands, were exploding across popular culture. In my book, I refer to artists and athletes of that time as software developers because they were designing the language, styles and brands. They were creating a killer application for this culture in terms of what’s the newest lingo, what’s the newest style, the newest artist or DJ? And that eventually would run on the mainframe or hardware, if you will, called corporate America, i.e. the record labels, T.V. networks and film houses. So we were creating the content or software to be distributed to the masses. I had that understanding but at the same time I knew how important education was and I was able to get the training necessary to crossover into corporate America and really define my niche and the audience I was after and also a part of. So from there I went to Nike and the rest is history.
TAP: Wait! You can’t stop there! You were the brand manager for the Nike Air Jordan when they first hit the streets. Let’s talk about that. How did that come together for you?
Patton: I got a call from an executive recruiter who asked if I would be interested in working for Nike. As I mentioned, I grew up in Pittsburgh, a sports crazy city, and sports is a part of my DNA so I jumped at the opportunity to go and interview with Nike for the position of U.S. Manager of Public Relations. I was at a point where I was working for the agency but I wanted to do something different. I wanted a change. I wanted more money. I wanted a lot of things. In the meantime, I had interviewed for a position with Kellogg’s and that job was looking attractive to me but I didn’t get it. It wasn’t meant for me, it wasn’t connected to my values in any way and they are serious about their cereal game up there! [Laughs] So if I had gotten that job with the cereal company, my story would be a lot different.