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5 Interesting Facts About Michael Jordan and His Air Jordan Brand of Shoes

Written by Sean Smith

Michael Jordan is one of the greatest basketball players of all time and a billionaire from his brand of Air Jordan shoes. It’s hard to believe that Jordan actually wanted to sign with Adidas, not Nike, in 1984 after leaving the University of North Carolina. Nike offered him more money and the rest is history. Air Jordans have been around for 36 years, and here are just a few interesting facts about his shoes.


  1. Color & Price

The 1984 Air Jordan I shoe was designed in red and black because Michael Jordan just signed with the Chicago Bulls. Jordan didn’t really like the colors or want to wear the shoes because he said, “those are the Devil’s colors.” Since Jordan was a rookie, the company wasn’t even sure the shoes would sell, especially since they were $65. The average price of suede or leather Nike shoes at the time was $25-$30.


  1. Almost a Switch to Adidas

Michael Jordan always liked Adidas, so when his contract with Nike was up in 1988, he almost left to sign a shoe deal with Adidas. A young, new designer named Tinker Hatfield created the Air Jordan III with an elephant print and the Jumpman logo. This new shoe design kept Jordan with Nike and the Jumpman logo is still used on Air Jordan merchandise today.


  1. Sore Feet in 1998

Michael Jordan was close to retiring again in 1998, so he decided to wear his first pair of Air Jordan Is for what could be his last game in Madison Square Garden on March 8, 1998. Jordan’s feet had grown an extra size, but he still wore them. Even though his feet were sore, Jordan scored 47 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, and 3 steals.


  1. The First $200 Basketball Shoe

The Air Jordan XVII was released on February 9, 2002, and sold for $200. This was the first basketball shoe sold at this price. The Air Jordan XVII came with a briefcase and an interactive CD. They were impressively styled and “built for all those who want to perform at the highest level.” Even with the high price, these shoes sold out all over.


  1. The Secret Message on Air Jordan XXIs

Counterfeit basketball shoes have always been around hoping to fool someone to pay regular price for fake shoes. The Air Jordan XXIs were designed with a secret message when they were held up to an ultraviolet light. The message was on the ankle part and used a special decoding system. When the letters were rearranged, it spelled “authentic.”


New Air Jordans are still very popular and being designed each year for release. Previous years’ shoes are often re-released in new colors with improved materials. The Nike-Michael Jordan partnership continues to be a winning combination by design.


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About the author

Sean Smith