With Another Collaboration En Route, Here’s How J. Balvin Bagged a Deal with Michael Jordan For His Own Air Jordan’s

Published 09/23/2021, 3:30 PM EDT
NBA legend Michael Jordan seating next to Larry Miller (left), the president of Nike division Jordan, attends the Jordan Classic, a contest between the 30 best French players under age 16, during a European tour to promote his clothing and shoe brand, at Stade Pierre de Coubertin arena in Paris, France. (Photo by Christophe Dupont Elise/Icon SMI/Icon SMI/Icon Sport Media via Getty Images)


J. Balvin is already en route to another Jordan brand collaboration with Nike. To think, it was only last year that his first sneaker with them came out and it’s been such a big success since then, that they’re already launching yet another pair. Although this deal seems to be pretty tightly bound, Balvin had to work tooth and nail to convince them to roll out his designed sneakers which eventually came to be known as Jordan Air 1 Balvins. But how did he pull off a deal with Michael Jordan? Here’s the story from the man himself.

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How he started off chasing the Jordan brand

At first, Balvin played a very minor role in the Jordan brand. As a part of the Hispanic Heritage Month campaigns, his pictures were taken out with certain products. However, Balvin wasn’t satisfied. He knew he could contribute much more and in a better way to the brand, it was only about expanding vision.

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After all, he was a big name in the Latino community. From being the one and only Latin artist to perform on the Coachella stage, headlining the Lollapalooza festival, his numerous nominations in the 2020 Latin Grammies, and to surpassing a billion views on YouTube, and being the first Latin to do it, his reach was everywhere. This is exactly what the Jordan brand could have benefitted from.

He revealed in an interview, “Showing them the fact how global our presence is, our numbers and the reach we have. It took a year to explain, that it was going to be a statement to have me on it.” So, he finally went directly to Michael Jordan to pitch.

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How J. Balvin’s collaboration with Michael Jordan came to life

Both Jordan and J. Balvin found each other in Paris at the same time back in 2019. So, thanks to a marketing executive, the two were able to sit down with one another. And of course, MJ had a cigar in his hand. By the time it was midnight, Jordan’s wife also joined them and luckily for Balvin, she was a big fan of his and had been to his concerts as well.

After hours of conversation about their journeys in their respective careers, the discussion reached a point of their love for sneakers. Eventually, Balvin started making his pitch and how his Latin Music could prove to be advantageous to MJ’s brand. Bippity Boppity Boo, Jordan wrote to his executives, “We’re giving J Balvin a shoe.”

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“I was really blessed to close the deal with Michael Jordan by himself,” J Balvin says now. “It’s a real blessing.” After three years of a tedious process, the Jordan Air 1 Balvins hit the stores and made history by not just being the first Latino to collaborate with Nike and MJ, but the sneakers being sold out.

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It is safe to say that his next set of shoes might meet the same fate. Jordan definitely has one of the best entrepreneurial minds, considering his success in the businesses of the court. So, it’s only obvious that his trust in Balvin would have also been fruitful and will continue to be so.

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Yashima Bhatia

1569 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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