Before Michael Jordan came onto the scene with Nike, sneakers were never really collectible and especially not made for fashion. Nike turned running shoes into a fashion accessory and they did this by having their shoes endorsed by high end athletes. This was not a cheap endeavor but it did end up paying off for them……big time! Nike made its first pair of shoes in a waffle iron. You may notice the resemblance at the tread on the bottom of your shoe.
This unique idea was developed out of necessity. Bill Bowerman came up with the idea and design because he wanted shoes that gripped like track spikes without the actual spikes. The shoes were made specifically for runners and they had no intention of making them into an everyday shoe for the masses. You might find it interesting that the first Jordan shoe that was created back in 1984 was initially banned by the NBA. David Stern banned the shoe because they were not mostly white which was a rule back in those days. Michael Jordan decided to play in the shoes regardless of the rule and Nike happily paid all the fines associated with playing in the Air Jordans.
As Jordan’s fame grew so did his shoe brand. It also drew the attention of the hip hop community and has gathered millions of faithful collectors over the years. Not only do people collect the latest styles and models, they will buy multiple of the same model because they want each colorway the shoe comes in. This has made the Air Jordan and mediums in orlando brand one of the most successful shoe brands in all of history.
Many times when a new model is released people will line up outside the store several days before its release. When the time finally arrives, the shoes will be completely sold out within 15 minutes of opening. In order to get access to the shoes many people have paid thousands of dollars above and beyond the retail price just to own a pair in the color that they desire. Nike’s unique and creative marketing has certainly paid off for the company and its investors over the years.