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Episode 5: The Sneaker that saved Nike. Air Jordan 3

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Nike was not in a good place in the mid 80's when Michael Jordan come to the end of his 5 year contract with the brand. Jordan has his options open to other parties who were interested in signing him and these included a new company being formed by former Nike executives Rob Strasser (Nike Marketing VP) and Peter Moore (Nike Creative Director) plus athletic company giant adidas. Is was up to Tinker Hatfield (Introduced to Sole Knowledge in Episode 2) who was responsible for creating the sneaker which would need to convince Michael Jordan to remain with the SWOOSH. Tinker went to Chicago to meet Michael and try to become more familiar with the athlete. On this trip Michael took Tinker with him to the a tailor where Michael was being fitted for a new suit. Tinker watched attentively as Michael reveled in being part of the design process. Michael enquired about materials used, alternative designs and reworked specific parts of the suit. Tinker realized that he needed to be more inclusive with Michael on his design for the Air Jordan 3 since that seemed to be something which Michael reveres. Michael was then asked to describe the "perfect" basketball sneaker and he shared all of the desires of his Sole. From the support required to fresh aesthetics, nothing was left off the table and Michael delivered a comprehensive enough brief for Tinker to create a the icon we know today! Weeks later, Phil Knight (Co-founder of Nike) and Tinker go to meet Michael in California to reveal the Air Jordan 3. Michael was 4 hours late to the meeting after having played golf with Rob Strasser & Peter Moore. Michael was in a foul mood when he met with Nike. Persevering with his task, Tinker begin to summarize all of the design elements which Michael believed to be critical in a sneaker and slowly begun to convince Michael that each detail has met his specific requirements for a high performance basketball sneaker based on their initial discussions. Key features highlighted were: Creating enough ankle support without being too restricting - This was solved with a 5/8 Mid length. Lighter materials used more easier mobility. - Tumbled leather was used in the upper. Tumbled leather is lighter and looks premium. An exotic aesthetic is what Michael was looking for. - The introduction of the Elephant print was a significantly bold departure from the traditional basketball sneaker landscape in the mid 80's Nike has also create a custom logo called "The Jumpman" which would appear on the tongue of the Air Jordan 3 and the Nike branding would be on the heel counter only Although not part of the brief, Tinker adds in an Air Max cushion to the Air Jordan 3 ensuring that feet are protected in these aggressive matches. Bottom Line, Michael Jordan sees how Nike approached the Air Jordan 3 and agrees to continue its relationship with Nike. This decision was motivated by both the product design and Nike approach to Michael Jordan as a brand. Bottom Line, Michael Jordan sees how Nike approached the Air Jordan 3 and agrees to continue its relationship with Nike. This decision was motivated by both the product design and Nike approach to Michael Jordan as a brand.
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Text Comments (9)
alex thelizardking (3 months ago)
This is a good series.
Ethan Ford (8 months ago)
I'm binge watching your series and I've been loving it so far. Keep up the good work 😁
Sole Knowledge (8 months ago)
Ethan Ford glad you been feeling it!
MajesticINKSA (10 months ago)
awesome story again brother. keep preaching that sneaker knowledge. Air Max 1 is the sneaker
Sole Knowledge (10 months ago)
Solid one dude!
Chilli Moroka (10 months ago)
Great one once again Bernie... The shoe at the end is the Air Max 1
Sole Knowledge (10 months ago)
and Chilli you know this
LordKivi (10 months ago)
Another great episode! Is the sneaker at the end air max 1?
Sole Knowledge (10 months ago)
Thanks for watching....correct again!

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