Air Jordan: How Nike Created A Brand That Drives Culture

air jordans

According to Nike Inc.’s fourth-quarter 2018 earnings release on June 28, the company reported that Jordan brand revenue was down 8% to $2.86 billion this year versus $3.1 billion in the same period last year. Some argue that Jordan Brand’s popularity is waning. But that’s still a lot of money from just one brand. And the main revenue driver are Air Jordan sneakers. But AJ’s are more than sneakers, they’re cultural objects that are worn just as much outside a basketball court as inside of it.

Brand Jordan revenue is likely going to increase because in a few weeks the popular Air Jordan 11 “Concord” will be re-released; the first time since 2014. FYI these are the sneakers Michael Jordan wore in 1996 when he came back from playing baseball; which makes them very popular and culturally significant.

Check out this Twitter thread below to see why:

In sneaker culture, the AJ 11 Concord are the most sought after sneakers. But then again, all AJ’s are in high-demand. Owning more than a pair of Air Jordan’s gives its owner high-status within sneaker culture.

Why is Air Jordan so popular?

I’m a huge Michael Jordan fan, and like AJ’s for various reasons:

  1. Michael Jordan;
  2. MJ stood for excellence, his sneakers are made with that in mind;
  3. Premium materials and fit;
  4. Design is cool!

With that said, how did AJ’s become so popular? What makes them so appealing? And why are they still so sought after even though Michael Jordan last played a game in 2002?

Every year Nike releases a new Air Jordan, this year’s model is XXXIII; which comes with a new lace-less technology. But launching a new AJ every year is not everything they do to stay relevant. I’ve written before about how Nike has followed a refresh strategy recently by redesigning its earlier models. They also create special edition designs of earlier model, driving demand and elevating their value even further.

Anyway, for a deeper dive on their strategy check out the video below by Valuetainment where they talk about how Nike create a brand worth billions, driven by Air Jordan.