Thursday, January 10, 2008

It's gotta be the shoes!

Growing up in Chicago during the '80s and '90s, I was fortunate enough to experience the dynasty that was Michael Jordan and the Bulls. I saw my first few games at the old Barn (aka the Madhouse on Madison) and still remember how insanely loud it got after big scoring drives, impressive plays and, of course, during the inimitable starting lineup intros. It literally felt like the building would collapse from all the crowd noise and excitement
I also remember when Air Jordans first erupted on the scene. In middle and high school, I was frequently amazed at how many guy friends would blow all their hard-earned cash on a pair. Sadly, there was the occasional murder and mugging over the shoes, but I choose to focus my reflections on the more positive memories....all of which came flooding back when I heard the 23rd edition of Air Jordans is about to hit the market - for the bargain price of $230. Wowza.
For Nike, Air Jordan was definitely the lightning in the bottle every company hopes for. Who can forget the old-school Michael/Mars Blackmon commercials? Or the iconic image of Jordan soaring into a dunk above the Nike swoosh? I don't think there's been a more successful marriage of athletic-related shoe marketing since.
According to collectors, the original Air Jordan 1 (released back in 1985) sells for thousands of dollars. Take that Mr. Manolo Blahnik!
Speculation is this may be the last version ever released. The shoes, which are crafted from environmentally-friendly materials, will initially be introduced in 23 locations before they are rolled-out nationwide for the slightly cheaper price tag of $185.
Sounds to me like there's no more fitting way to end the shoe series than with the 23rd edition, an extra-special nod if you will to His Royal Airness, the man who made jersey #23 so famous. While I won't be buying a pair (too expensive for my blood!) I'm sure the lines will soon start forming.

For your viewing pleasure, I've attached one of the Air Jordan commercials featuring Jordan and Spike Lee, as well as a video featuring some MJ on-court highlights.

Ah, those were the good old days!

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