And lo, so it was on the 18th day of October in the year of our Lord 1984, that a Chicago Bulls rookie named Michael Jordan strode onto the hardcourt, feet bedecked in shoes made of red and black leather…
Well, at least that’s how I imagine the story being engraved in rich mahogany somewhere in Jordan Brand HQ. For the stewards of the Jumpman legend, that game on October 18, 1984, is basically Christmas. Day one of when the legend of MJ the player, gave rise to the legend of MJ the brand. It’s also the date referenced in a letter from the NBA to Nike informing them the shoes violated the league’s uniform policy. The league subsequently fined Jordan $5,000 for every game he wore the shoes–which Nike happily paid–well worth the price for a priceless marketing opportunity.
That’s just the kind of story you might be able to find on Jordan Brand’s new Air Jordan Online Collection content hub featuring stories, original shoe sketches, designs, images, and more, launching today–you guessed it, October 18th. The content will come from both the sneakerhead community collectors, and brand’s own archives.
Dan Harbison, Jordan Brand’s global director of digital, says the idea was inspired by the sneakerhead community itself. “This was one of those concepts that you were surprised wasn’t in existence already,” says Harbison. “There were places where fans in the community were telling and hearing stories about Jordan, but nothing had the comprehensive access that we’re trying to capture here.”
In addition to its own archives, the brand will be enlisting photographers, collectors, entertainers, and others to create content for the site. Harbison says it’s not just a museum-like paean to the past, but a living content hub that will expand and evolve weekly. That said, part of the goal here is to give people access to stories and content well beyond the typical social media shelf life.
“Content distribution has developed to be across the various social platforms, but it can be short-lived. Even if it doesn’t expire like a story on Instagram or Snapchat, nobody wants to scroll down a Twitter profile to find a great story from years ago,” says Harbison. “Knowing this brand is rich in history, but inspires a modern athlete, we have to make sure the content we create can be housed, indexed for search, and linked in the future to attract new people to the brand.”