Michael Jordan (the brand) celebrates its 30th anniversary. And like wine, he continues to improve.

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Michael Jordan was the greatest player in basketball history, the so-called “The Best Ever”.of
He brought the game to another level, both athletic than of show, making of the NBA an international phenomenon and a symbol of the 90’s made in the USA that has enthralled even those ones that were less sport addicted.
All this is quite enough to create a brand linked to a famous sports player. But at this point we must ask why it is not worth as much to Pele, Joe DiMaggio, Joe Montana, Carl Lewis, Michael Phelps, Airton Senna and many others.
As always, to have a right answer you have to do the right question. One has to wonder why Michael Jordan has become a symbol, a global phenomenon, even often without having the media support of Michael Jordan himself. That is, because Michael “Air” Jordan 23 has become a separate entity from Michael Jordan? That is the question. Why the Michael Jordan brand lives without ever seeing Michael Jordan in person sponsoring it?
In fact the problem of trademarks related to sports is that until the practitioner achieves excellent results and he o she is in business, the brand works, when the athlete goes out of business or just do not obtains excellent results, stops being useful to sales, although it continues to be in the spotlight as a public figure, the brand dies.
Then you still have to tell that the brand Air Jordan invoices more than all of the marks related to sportsmen.
To understand what we’re talking about, let’s give a figure that showing the concept immediately. Michael Jordan in 2014 earned $ 90 million from the rights to the brand that bears his name that is owned by Nike. 90 million gain after ten years who retired from basketball. Not only. 90 million are the highest figure that has ever earned in a year, even more than when he was playing, among which the most prosperous year was that of the 1997/98 season with 80 million. That is, the brand is even stronger now than when he was playing and today is the second highest paid sportsman in the world after Floyd Maywheather, but the latter is still training. It seems absurd. But no. Let’s see why.
The brands generally can be very attached to their commodity sector, that almost become a symbol of that market, or can express basic values that are not strictly related to a specific field so that are applicable to various areas of business. The Jordan brand, strange, even in this case, it’s both.
Here are two examples to help you understand the antipodes.
First case: Patek Philippe. Speaks of luxury, history, fine materials and of mechanical engineering brought to the perfection of the milliseconds. All this means high watchmaking uncompromising. The brand is closely linked to the commodity sector. It can only make watches or complementary objects.
Second case: Hello Kitty. Speaks of gentleness, kindness, friendship and tenderness, all sentiment is not tied to a commodity sector identifier of the brand, so it can branding an endless amount of products from various sectors, from the wallets to the packed ice creams.
The Air Jordan brand instead is half way and in a sense this, in the specific case, was a quid of value that has made the brand so important until today. Indeed, Jordan has become a character that has gone beyond the basketball and his brand has gone beyond the active wear sector.
In fact, the reason why the brand Air Jordan is so important and it has been the only one related to an athlete to become so in value is given by the fact that it is the most complete in all respects. Let’s see what they are. First of all Michael Jordan was not just an athlete, but a public figure. His life, his father’s death and the transition to baseball tied him to the public so emotional, people saw that he was a man with his weaknesses, but on the other hand was also the one who embodied “I Believe I Can Fly” , the legend of the six NBA titles, the man who would always have the last shot when the game was one of those who mattered, the leader, the most spectacular of all. With his life Michael Jordan it is as if he had said: yes, I am only a man, but I can Fly. So of Jordan are not only reported the sporting success but also his famous phrases, those of inspiration, a bit ‘as happened with Mohamed Ali.
So why Jordan is a brand and Ali is not?
If to create this incredible brand we can safely say that Michael has given what was needed in terms of values, Nike has made some of the best marketing and branding operations of the history.
No one, before Nike, had thought to make a logo with a sportsman during an his athletic expression that could identified him. To Ali it would surely have been a frame of his fast legs ballet in suspension, for Carl Lewis the profile of his posture while running, Reebok did a similar thing for Shaquille O’Neill but without collect the same success.
However, as said, no one had thought of this before. Another fundamental fact was the period when all that happened. Nike in the 90s had sensed how had become important basketball among boys, also thanks to Jordan and had started the first activity of Cool Hunting in the basketball playgrounds of American cities. It was perhaps the first real activity of Cool Hunting well organized in the history of marketing and of branding. In this way they understood what it was the target in terms of design and what values should comply with the brand. Operation very successful if we think that the Jordan logo is a sign that everyone knows globally and probably also the most tattooed logo on the bodies of the people in the world.
Another fundamental operation was clearly the Jordan shoe. The Nike Jordan is an American product of most important success than the Ford Shelby GT.
Are more than shoes, are collectibles, worshiped as goddesses of the sneakers Olympus. Suffice groped to buy online a limited set of Jordan. I cannot ever. End up after just one hour from the launch. Why? Are the first sneaker photographed and posted on magazines as a film star and their value always increases with time. A pair of Nike not of a limited series, bought in ’94 for 200,000 lire now worth 1,600 euro safely! And there are that are worth much more.
Here we see the Nike winning vision. In the ’90s was increased exponentially the amount of people watching the sport on TV and the sportsmen were becoming increasingly planetary stars. This meant that now also the athlete on the cover could now a quid to sell magazines. Nike have well thought out to make the first shoe with self-reflecting material and put it at the feet of Michael, so that when a picture was taken in the field, Jordan would have been the absolute protagonists, inasmuch, if photographed they became a light beam. This was a milestone in the branding, not only of the sport. From then on the use of commercial products on the media channels it has become an organized market.
Another Nike fantastic idea of branding, which has denoted as thinking outside the box is always a determining factor of success was the decision to put the shoes Jordan also at the feet of others famous basketball players. Who said that the Jordans can put on only by Michael Jordan? In this way, Nike announced that the Jordan brand is not Michael Jordan, but are all the values that he expresses, it is immortal. Not only that, he also said that these values should not be necessarily related to basketball, basketball has been the means to get them out, but those values as the spirit of sacrifice, the search of his own limitations, the movement also of the limits that others believe insurmountable, believing strongly in everything we do and that yes, “I Believe I Can Fly” are values that are valid for whatever we decide to do. In fact, the Jordan brand, as well as having a testimonial in basketball like Blake Griffin, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and other NBA also sponsors Terrell Owens in the NFL, Derek Jeter in the MLB and Roy Jones Jr. in the boxing, but not only, because if it is true that these values apply not only in basketball, it is also true that can cross the sport borders and find themselves in the life of every day and in fact one of the greatest singers about the life of every day is the rapper form Detroit Eminem, who has become the face of the brand Air Jordan even consolidated by a shoe designed specifically for the co-branding Eminen / AirJordan.
The greatest thing in the Air Jordan brand is the purity and the full willingness with which other athletes and other famous characters have wanted to dress his name during their sports performance and in life everyday.
Now, it are 30 years since the launch of the brand Air Jordan and now you know why this brand is so popular and so valuable and also because the party will be in Paris and not in Chicago or in North Carolina .

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