Even after the man himself had expressed a desire to work with adidas, Nike managed to change
Michael Jordan's mind and signed a deal with him in the mid ‘80s. This five-year endorsement contract was reportedly worth over $2.5 million.
The Air Jordan 1
arrived in 1985, retailing for $65 – making it the most expensive basketball shoe on the market. Designed by Peter Moore, the AJ 1 wasn’t packed with new technology, but did feature a Nike Air unit for heel cushioning and padded foam ankle collars for protection. The design was similar to other hugely popular Nike silhouettes, including the Air Force 1 and Dunk. The very first AJ 1 was released in a red and black colourway to match Jordan’s team colours of the Chicago Bulls.
MJ hit the courts in the famous OG colourway and David Stern of the NBA banned the sneaks for not meeting the uniform code, as there wasn’t enough white featured in the design. Despite the ban, Jordan continued to wear the AJ 1 for each game, resulting in a $5000 fine every time, and with Nike happily picking up the bill. They ran a campaign for the shoes that claimed they were so great that they were illegal, and gave an unfair advantage to the wearer.
After the AJ 1, Jordan brand have gone on to create almost 30 different Air Jordan silhouettes. Their impact on sneaker culture has been massive, and releases of OG and retro colourways can sell out almost immediately. We can't wait to see what's next for Jordan brand. To see more of the history check out our post on 30 years of Air Jordan
Check out the full range of Nike Air Jordan kicks online at Footasylum now.