‘Just Take That and Grow it’: Ray Allen Opens up on Michael Jordan Brand

Published 06/14/2021, 3:05 AM EDT


The story of Michael Jeffrey Jordan is the stuff of legend. Widely considered as the Greatest Of All Time, Number 23 is still a global cultural icon, 18 years into retirement. He also is the only former professional athlete whose net worth is now well past $1.6 billion. The Air-Jordan brand, a major part of MJ’s financial success, has been a testament to his passion for the game. Since the first pair of Jordan 1s came out in 1985, basketball aficionados across the world have shown a sense of attachment to the Air Jordan brand like none other.

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Many star athletes have sported the Air-Jordan brand since its launch, including NBA stalwarts like Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade, and Ray Allen. Allen, in a recent appearance on the Knuckleheads podcast, spoke about the cultural impact that the MJ brand had on the basketball community.

Michael Jordan was a figure that transcended the game of basketball to heights unknown. In fact, every youngster bought into the cultural revolution that was at the center of the Air Jordan Brand – they all wanted to “be like Mike”. The brand represented diversity in the U.S. while serving as a common link across cultures passionate about the game.

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Marketing Michael Jordan: The Air Jordan revolution

Spike Lee, who also made an appearance on the Knuckleheads podcast, was a major part of this cultural transition towards the brand. He partnered with MJ for the brand’s sneaker commercials which were very popular throughout the 90s. The partnership also saw Quentin Richardson and Darius Miles, the hosts of the podcast, recruited for the launch of the Jordan 17s. Miles shared an incident from those days and said, “We walk into Footlocker and they had our picture up with those shoes man, this is crazy!

The Air Jordan footprint has exponentially grown through collaboration with franchises like Paris-Saint-Germain, and multiple NBA teams sporting the Jumpman logo. Ray Allen is a proud member of the Jordan brand, with ‘Fire Red 4s’ being his favorite sneakers. The Hall of Famer also wore Jordans in the moments that built his legacy as a champion. The All-Star Game, NBA Finals, or the game in which he broke the 3pt FG record, saw Allen sporting the Jordan 13s.

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The road ahead

The brand is currently affiliated with a new crop of stars to carry it forward. A lineup of Bradley Beal, Jayson Tatum, Russell Westbrook, and Zion Williamson to carry the brand forward would even make MJ proud. With all these all-stars following in Jordan’s footsteps, the levels of expectations match the talent.

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Watch this story – Best Michael Jordan Commercials Ever

Allen concluded the segment by talking about his goals and vision for the future generation and said, “My dreams for them would be to use the platform. If you think about what MJ did for the game, just take that and grow it, continue to grow it so that people behind them can benefit.

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The GOAT conversation is one that will always continue to run on in barbershops and social platforms worldwide. However, in terms of sneakers, other collectibles, and brand dominance, Jumpman remains miles ahead of the competition.

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Nikhil Naik

96 articles

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