Jordan Brand Case Study


Julian Esaw

April 18th, 2016

MI 201

Jordan Brand Case Study

Air Jordan’s began hitting shelves in the year 1985 with the Air Jordan One which was a collaboration with Nike. One year prior to the beginning of a new era, Michael Jordan was targeted by Nike because they believed he could revive their brand. They decided to make their debut when Nike endured a tough time. This time was when Nike was known for shoes runners wore to make them faster and lighter on their feet. During my research of the Jordan brand, I discovered that Jordan wanted an endorsement from Adidas or Converse. He had them in mind because he wore them in his games prior to the National Basketball Association. Converse had no interest in signing Michael because of the current endorsements they had with Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. Nike had a lot of persuading to do if they wanted to sign Jordan. Nike assembled a team that pitched Michael several different designs of the concept Air Jordan Ones in the Chicago bull’s team colors. He is claimed to have said that he was unable to sport the sneakers because they were devil’s colors. He agreed to the deal and Nike began their revival instantly by beginning their marketing campaign.

According to Bleacher Report, Nike’s CEO, assembled a team that determined the most affordable and profitable method to get Jordan out to the consumers. It was also confirmed that Nike preplanned their marketing campaign to Jordan’s National Basketball Association entry. The publicity all came when the Air Jordan 1 was banned in the NBA. Jordan was fined each game he played with the shoe on his feet. Jordan paid no attention to the fees because they were paid off by Nike. The NBA’s ban on the shoes was so effective Jordan believed that it would cost millions of dollars to produce that many fans with any other promotional method. Social Media brought the shoes a long way. Facebook began advertising the shoes on their site and shoe sales increased drastically. Twitter also began marketing with Nike, which resulted in another abundance in shoe sales. Youtube advertisements allowed another massive benefit to Air Jordan’s marketing campaign.

Michael Jordan’s performance in the NBA made him headlines on every sports show which also attributed to one of the best marketing campaigns ever established. He was looked up to by almost every child to watch or play the sport of basketball. Television commercials were also great for this campaign because millions of homes have televisions. Advertisements for Jordan are even on billboards and in McDonald’s merchandise. Jordan also was in a movie called space jam where he was a basketball superhero that saved the world by just doing what he does best.

The reason these shoes are benefitting from social media exposure are:

  • Millions of viewers who browse their sites on a daily basis.
  • Consistent updates and specific updates that frequently announce important information like release dates, special events and upcoming items for sale.
  • Customers are available to have conversations with the Brand.

Mobile applications also allowed the customers to have the Brand at the fingertips with their partnership with cellular companies and WiFi. The applications’ developers have implemented a method for sneaker lovers to see when their favorite sneakers will be available for purchase to their collections. Apps like “Unlaced” and “Kixify” made sharing sneakers much easier. Before then people only saw commercials and computer screens. Being able to share the images with their friends is also a very beneficial thing for Air Jordan’s marketing campaign. Air Jordan has even added Car companies to their marketing campaign.

This is unlaced’s application logo for iphone and androids.

Jordan began advertising for not only basketball stars but football as well. Jordan’s football shoes are even selling for their same designs in basketball but with cleats. People mention the brand everyday and it became a household name quickly. Word spread very fast and the innovation of technology over the years brought about Jordan’s multimillion fan base.

Jordan separated from Nike and became its own brand in 1997. Nike came to the conclusion that Jordan had too powerful of a fan base to not be their own brand. To celebrate their success they introduced the Air Jordan 13, Team Jordan’s concept, and the Jordan trainers. The “TEAM” part of the Jordan brand came from when Michael initiated a team of all the players he considered the best. The image above is of Team Jordan’s best around 2006.

Coming to a conclusion, I would have to say that the Jordan brand’s success stemmed from the advancement of technology over the years. Availability to marketing allowed for a higher demand of the product. Social media dealt a great toll onto the rise of their sales. I forgot to mention the advertisements that Google, the world’s most popular search engine shared with them as well.


Social Media Handles

Tweets mentioning Jordan’s


Other examples of content submitted by Jordan



Official Jordan Site shared with Nike

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