In the mid-1980s, the sneaker market was led by Converse, followed not so closely by Adidas and far behind, with a market share of just 17%, stood Nike. The favorite brand of running and elite athletes could not get out of the basketball courts, so its influence on the street was almost nil, until one fine day when the Air Jordan arrived in stores and advertisements.
The path that the brand traveled from when the players took off their trainers when the game ended until the best player in the world lent his name to baptize the iconic Nike shoes becomes almost a feat in airThe new movie Directed by Ben Affleck starring Matt Damon, Jason Bateman, Viola Davies and Affleck himself, among others.
This emotional film chronicles brand executive Sonny Vaccaro’s (Damon) relentless efforts to make his hunch come true: to land Michael Jordan, a player of barely 18 years in whom he saw a promising future in the NBA. Despite the doubts of the CEO of the company, Philippe Knight, who is played by Affleck in this film, Vaccaro, together with the head of marketing, Robert Strasser (Bateman) and the designer of the brand, Peter Moore (Matthew Maher) managed to make an offer that the athlete could not refuse.
‘Air’ tells of the feat of a company for managing to unseat the most successful sports brands from the podium with the most classic commercial and marketing tricks, until they ran into the mother who changed everything
The action takes place in 1984, the year in which Bruce Springsteen published Born in the USA and in which the radio stations played the alternative rock of Violent Femmes. With this soundtrack, air turns the feat of a company to unseat the most successful sports brands from the podium with the most classic commercial and marketing tricks into a moving epic. Until they ran into a mother. Michael Jordan’s mother, Deloris Jordanwhich managed to change the rules of the game.
The turning point consisted, as has already been reported in other documentaries, such as One man & his shoes (2020), in a fundamental requirement on the part of the Jordan: if the new shirt design was going to bear his name (Air Jordan), then, the player should receive a percentage of each sale. Thus, the business that until then did not contemplate benefits for the sponsored derived from the sales, had no other option but to accept.
Air Jordan was a revolution, because not only the conditions for athletes were changed, but the brand managed to change the rules on the basketball court. Until then, the NBA only allowed playing with white shoes, but Nike assumed the fines just to be able to dress the player with your design. In the first year alone, the brand achieved profits of more than 160 million dollars and today exceeds 4,000 million dollars with its Air Jordan brand.
air: money, basketball and nostalgia
Michael Jordan is a sports myth, as this documentary reminds us, in which, however, he has neither a face nor a voice, something that quite fits with his few appearances in other documentaries, such as the praised the last dance (2020), centered on the 1997-1998 Chicago Bulls season, Jordan’s last on the team. His decisions and his whims, such as wearing an Adidas tracksuit or including a red Mercedes in the final contract, are transmitted in this documentary through his agent, his parents and other close friends, while he attends the meetings as an inanimate bust and just tilts his head at the proposals.
air It’s an emotional and even moving film, but if there’s one thing to criticize, it’s this film’s eagerness to endow the most materialistic targets with a human aura. It is, after all, about achieving a successful economic agreement for the brand, thriving in a competitive industry and achieving the best results from a risky investment. Money no more no less, even despite the endearing way in which the head of the family negotiates to obtain a dignified agreement and at the level of the promising future of his son. What followed was a wild consumerism that is a far cry from the best hero stories, but that’s another story best told in documentaries.
Otherwise, this is a very entertaining movie, inspiring nonetheless, with a nice nostalgic hook and a bunch of good acting (Matt Damon and Viola Davies are brilliant). With permission from the ticket office Super Mario Bros: The Movie (record of the year at its premiere) and the excellent the empire of light, air It is one of the best options among the powerful productions that have hit theaters in recent days.