One of my favourite books following the journey of Michael Jordan through the eyes of his Jordan shoe designs.
The book has been done beautifully and for me it showcases the idea that design and branding can be very powerful when it has a story; a brand story.
Jordan had a brand story that lives on still today, over 10 years past his retirement, and his brand power is currently still worth a lot of money.
Jordan has been relegated to basketball deity and his shoes are still among the highest selling of any basketball shoe around the world.
But what made “Brand Jordan” so successful? Here’s some thoughts:
- Jordan was already the best. There was no need to improve the product. People recognised that they were watching someone who may be known as the best player ever. What this does for your brand is unquantifiable.
- He was smart, and extremely confident. Early on, Jordan forced Nike to separate his shoe line “Air Jordan” to become it’s own entity. Now that’s confidence. Turned out to be the best move they ever made.
- he was visible. How do you build a strong brand? Make it visible to the right people. Jordan was already visible everywhere. Even now, Jordan still comments in the media regularly and jokes about how he may return to basketball.
- The beauty of sport is that the longer a person stays retired, the more they become crystalised as deity in the history books (“Remember how good Jordan was?” is a regular conversational point) – This strengthens his separation from the rest and continues to put his personal brand on a pedestal.
See below for some of the spreads from this book below.
Has anyone’s brand been leveraged as effectively as Michael Jordan in sport?