"Air: Courting a Legend" movie tells the birth of the partnership between Jordan and Nike

The movie "Air: Courting a Legend" is a work directed by Ben Affleck and starring Matt Damon, which narrates the behind-the-scenes of one of the most iconic partnerships in the history of sports and fashion: Nike and Michael Jordan.

The film is based on the true story of how Sonny Vaccaro, an executive at Nike, convinced Jordan to sign an exclusive contract with the brand, creating a line of customized sneakers that would become a global phenomenon.

The movie is a portrayal of how the company, which was facing financial crisis and losing ground to Converse and Adidas at the time, placed all its bets on a rookie player who had not yet proven his worth in the NBA.

Damon, portraying Vaccaro, uses his intuition and negotiation skills to persuade Jordan and his mother, Deloris, played by Viola Davis, to accept Nike's proposal, which included a share of the profits from sneaker sales.

Affleck, who is also in the film and portrays Phil Knight, the founder of Nike, showcases his talent as a director by creating an exciting and well-paced movie.

Alex Convery's screenplay is well-constructed and balances the dramatic and comedic aspects of the story. The soundtrack, featuring music from the 1980s, also contributes to creating a nostalgic and enjoyable atmosphere.

The film explores not only the ethical but also the social issues involved in the relationship between Nike and Jordan.

On the one hand, the cinematic work points out how the brand leveraged the player's image to boost its sales and reputation in the market, and how Jordan benefited from the partnership, gaining fame, money, and influence. Therefore, it is left to the viewer to reflect on the pros and cons of this alliance.

Professor Roland Lazenby, the author of a Michael Jordan biography, states that the sneakers became a symbol of rebellion and innovation for a generation of young people who identified with the player's playing style and lifestyle.

"Air: Courting a Legend" is a must-see film for basketball, fashion, and cinema fans. It pays tribute to Michael Jordan's genius and Nike's boldness, which together created a product that transcended the courts and became an icon of pop culture.

What's True and What's False in the Nike and Michael Jordan Movie

The work includes some poetic licenses, so to speak.

One truth in the film is that Michael Jordan was a promising basketball player but relatively unknown when Nike first approached him in 1984.

At the time, Jordan was a freshman at the University of North Carolina and had just won a gold medal at the Los Angeles Olympics.

Sonny Vaccaro was responsible for convincing the athlete to sign with the company. Vaccaro traveled to North Carolina to meet Jordan and his family.

According to the book "The Last Dance," Jordan initially disliked Nike because the company was known for its high-top basketball shoes. Jordan preferred low-top sneakers, which he found more comfortable and allowed for greater mobility.

However, the athlete changed his mind after receiving a five-year contract offer with an initial salary of $500,000 from Nike, which was significantly more than what Adidas was offering. Additionally, Nike agreed to develop a low-top basketball shoe for Jordan.

The brand was primarily known for its running shoes before Michael Jordan. The company was founded in 1964 by Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman, who were both college runners.

The company began producing running shoes in 1971 and quickly became a major player in the market. However, in the 1980s, it expanded into other areas and started producing basketball, soccer, and other types of sports footwear.

Michael Jordan's success helped Nike become a global brand. The first Air Jordan sneakers were released in 1985 and were an immediate hit, helping popularize basketball, and the company became a leader in basketball shoe production.

One falsehood in the movie is that the first encounter between Jordan and Vaccaro occurred at the end of the film. In reality, they met shortly after the 1984 Summer Olympics.

Another falsehood is that Deloris Jordan, Michael's mother, is portrayed as a businesswoman making the most important career decisions for her son. She did play an important role, but she was not the sole decision-maker. Deloris was portrayed as a strong and determined woman who didn't let anyone interfere in her son's career.

Finally, Jordan is portrayed as an arrogant and difficult player to deal with, while in reality, he was a competitive player but was also known for his humility and charisma.

Image: Internet

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