In early April the movie Air premiered, and while the movie lacked marketing the story focuses on a vital aspect of marketing brand personality. The film tells the story of the birth of Air Jordan, and how Nike, while on the verge of losing their basketball department due to lack of profit and market share, focused on personality and the rest is history.
Getting Michael Jordan to join Nike was a struggle on its own as in the 80s the two leading basketball shoe brands were Converse and Adidas. As Nike was on the verge of losing their basketball department, they also lacked the money needed to obtain Jordan and a couple of others players; as the deal was not to sign just one player but to get multiple.
However, a risk was taken and that risk came with a signature shoe just for Jordan that would eventually launch the Air Jordan line as Nike and change the basketball shoe industry. But what made it such a powerful shoe was the personality. Having a shoe made custom for an athlete and having him be the marketing, having Jordan basically be the shoe is what created success. Instead of it being viewed as just another Nike shoe this athlete’s attachment, which was just as simple as having him wear it to having it break the NBAs color rule resulting in constant fines, gave it power. Decades later while the line has extended and eventually incorporated other NBA players, his personality has remained. People buy those shoes to be like Jordan.