Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Day Kicks Changed Forever: 25 years later...

September 15th, 1985 is day most of us sneaker lovers (who are old like me) have grown to appreciate long before today. See, we knew that something crazy was about to happen once time (a couple years) passed and people were able to reflect on exactly what those red and black kicks represented in the grand scheme of what would become a long line of kicks that goes on til this day. See I was personally into kicks a couple years before 1985, but with the summer wages I was earning the reflection of that love was based on Mom's cash (Thank You mom). So the shoe inventory varied based on my behavior at the time. But mom always wanted me to at least have standard issue kicks (meaning- kicks good enough to fit in and not be laughed at but still cool). In 1985 my mom and many other parents were now forced to pay attention to this talk of "Jordans". How much do they cost? Where do we get them? Why these colors? What's so good about this guy? Most fathers already knew the legend of MJ since the days at North Carolina, (right Patrick Chewing?) but the mothers were the ones who mostly went school shopping, not the dads. So as Nike was paying $5,000 per game for Michael to keep wearing the kicks, they knew that money would be coming back in from all across the country once folks could get the sneakers. Mike's playing abilities which Larry Bird once described as "God disguised as Michael Jordan" would only elevate the demand for the sneakers that David Stern (yes David Stern) said are not legal on the NBA hardwood on October 18th of the same year. He had no idea what his decision and Nike's reaction to it would spawn. But we sneaker lovers are thankful for his decision and Nike's reaction to it. Today marks the 25th Anniversary of the day the sneaker business changed forever. The same way Nike (and Mike) infected a world of kids from the US shores spreading outward around the world, now other companies are trying to do the reverse. Companies like Li-Ning and Peak are now starting to invade the US sneaker market. They want our kids!!!

With countless brands that have come and a lot that have gone away since that time, I thank Nike..I thank Mike (Jordan), Peter Moore, Sonny Vaccaro and all the innovators and risk takers at Nike and Jordan Brand for their dedication to continuing the legacy and creating a business model and strategy that has lasted the test of time. Love them or hate them..the shoes can't be denied. Mars Blackmon told us what it was back in 1987, did he not???



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