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Michael Jordan's Agent Reveals 'Air Jordan' Wasn't First-choice Name For Sneaker Brand

During a recent interview, Michael Jordan's agent David Falk revealed that the legend's Nike brand was almost called 'Michael Jordan' instead of 'Air Jordan'.

Michael Jordan

Nike and Michael Jordan released the first Air Jordan shoe in 1984 when Jordan had just signed with the company as a rookie. Now, a pair of Michael Jordan shoes can cost as high as $250. However, Michael Jordan's agent David Falk recently revealed how the Michael Jordan sneaker brand was going to be called something other than Air Jordan.

Also read | LeBron James' Nike sneaker deal at par with late Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan sneaker brand Air Jordan

Michael Jordan shoes: How was the Michael Jordan sneaker brand Air Jordan named?

Also read | What time does the Michael Jordan documentary air? The Michael Jordan The Last Dance broadcast schedule

A recent interview with Falk in a leading American publication broke down how Michael Jordan's sneaker brand ended up with the name Air Jordan. Falk had come up with the name in 1984, when they were still negotiating with Nike. The shoes were made public in late 1984. 

Back when he was a rookie, Jordan reportedly was even considering Adidas as an option. He was so keen about the company, that his parents apparently had to convince him to attend the first few meetings with Nike. During the negotiations, Falk convinced Nike that the six-time NBA champion would need his own signature line of clothing and sneakers. He wanted Nike to treat Jordan like a tennis player. 

When Nike's executive Robert Strasser asked Falk what they would call the line, he replied with 'Michael Jordan'. Back then, Nike was not keen on giving a rookie a self-named brand. During the interview, Falk revealed that Nike was considering it, but wanted them to have a name that was not Michael Jordan. Falk revealed that while he had been originally frustrated, he eventually thought of 'Air Jordan'.

While explaining it to Nike, Falk said he used 'air' because of Nike's Air technology that they had developed for new running shoes. It was also a double entendre as when Jordan plays, he is the air. Peter Moore, who developed the Air Jordan 1, came up with the logo during the meeting, which the brand still uses. The rest, as Falk said, was history. 

Now, Nike's Jordan brand is a billion-dollar product line. The brand now even caters to sports other than basketball. The brand's later shoe – Air Jordan 5 'Fire Red' – recently sold out instantly after Michael Jordan's documentary was released. 

Also read | Luka Doncic’s Michael Jordan sneaker brand Air Jordan mega-deal reported to be a 5-year, 7-figure agreement

The Last Dance

Michael Jordan's documentary The Last Dance was released on Sunday, April 19 (Monday, April 20). The documentary is a ten-part docu-series which focuses on Michael Jordan's career with the Chicago Bulls, especially the 1997-98 season which won them their sixth championship and simultaneously brought an end to the Bulls dynasty. Two episodes of the series will be released each Sunday, each focusing on a different aspect of Jordan's final journey with the Bulls. The next two episodes are scheduled to release on April 26 (April 27 IST). The Last Dance is broadcasted on EPSN and ESPN2 in the USA, and is later available to stream online. 

Also read | Michael Jordan documentary to feature interviews with Kobe Bryant, Barack Obama

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