How Jordan Brand Is Letting Go Of Old School Industry Rules

Ray P

Air Jordans fully transcended off the Basketball court and have been infused into our everyday lives.

Folks don’t wear their Jordans to special occasions because Nike told us so, we do it because if you grew up in the 90’s having a pair of Michael Jordan’s sneakers was a luxury. Jordan Brand is our Gucci and Louis Vuitton. And the Air Jordan 11 is a prime example of that luxury feeling.

Although sneakerheads have been wearing the Air Jordan 11 at weddings, Proms, and other fancy functions for decades, Jordan Brand is finally letting go of their old school corporate ways. Instead of pounding us with dated performance geared marketing, they’ve embraced a once frowned upon act.

Jordan Brand typically would post Instagram marketing images of athletes playing Basketball wearing an upcoming retro, but for the “Bred” and “Citrus” Air Jordan 11 Low a different approach was taken.

Playing off Prom season, Jordan Brand told the story of a gentleman asking his lady to the big dance by gifting her a pair of 11’s, then actually having the couple show up in a limo with said shoes.

Why is any of this important?

To me, it shows Jordan Brand is slowly accepting of the fact that the cultural impact of their products matter more to the majority of us today than the performance impact. In the 90’s, Air Jordans were all about buying a pair to play like Mike. Now, in 2015 Air Jordan retros are coveted in a way that most have a pair or two stashed away for an important event in their life. Some folks wouldn’t dare play Basketball in their Air Jordans. Who would have guessed that? I don’t need to post the incredible sales difference between Jordan Brand performance shoes and Air Jordan retros, you know what’s up. It’s okay to embrace the lifestyle and culture around your product JB, we’re all waiting for it.

Gentry Humphrey and Tinker Hatfield both have gone on record to discuss their opinions on how the Air Jordan 11 could easily go with a tuxedo. It’s been 20 years since that shoe was designed and now Jordan Brand finally is showing signs of focusing a little less on performance and a little more on how consumers use Jordans from a non-athlete perspective.

These three photos show that Jordan Brand wants to be young and fun. Sure, ball is life for some, but not most of us. Kudos to the Jordan Brand marketing team! It’s always cool when brands show love to people of the culture.