30 years after getting his own shoe with Nike, Michael Jordan is getting his own store. After the astronomical success of the Air Jordan line of sneakers, to the point where the shoes alone have become a cultural icon. Jordan’s name has expanded into its own separate brand (still under the Nike umbrella), and for the first time ever, Jordan Brand is going to have its own store, separate from the rest of the Nike family. This location in Chicago will exclusively sell Jordan products.
“I’ve been on these guys [at Nike] for some time, [saying] ‘We need to do a Jordan Brand store, and we need to do it in Chicago first,’” the 52 year-old Michael Jordan told ESPN.com.
In the past year, a partnership between Nike and FootAction yielded Flight 23 stores in New York, in Las Vegas and two in suburban Chicago. But the new downtown location, named after its address, 32 South State Street, is the first that won’t be a co-branded location. It will be all Jordan.
The idea behind the store is not only to offer a wider selection of Jordan-branded product but also to tell the Jordan story and become part of the community. A space above the store can be used for Jordan-sponsored athletes or as a promotional space.
Chicago obviously seems like the ideal location for a flagship store for Jordan. Even though he’s now the owner of the Charlotte Hornets, he still has deep ties to the city of Chicago, where he won six NBA championships and became arguably the greatest player of all time.
There’s nothing like a family welcome from Michael Jordan, and that’s exactly what the University of Michigan got when Jordan announced via Twitter that the Wolverines – who signed a 15 year / $169 million deal with Nike in July – will become the first football team to don the Jordan Brand logo when they begin their deal with Nike in 2016.
— Jordan (@Jumpman23) August 13, 2015
The Wolverine basketball programs will also wear the Jordan Brand logo when the deal begins next year, joining North Carolina, Georgetown, California and Marquette as the only other basketball programs currently sporting the Air Jordan symbol.
If you care to wonder how valuable Michael Jordan’s name is, just ask Dominick’s Finer Foods. The former food store chain is in court now with Jordan in a civil trial over the unauthorized use of the star’s name in a steak ad. Michael Jordan’s lawyer, Frederick Sperling, states that the market value of Jordan’s moniker to the Nike sportswear company was at least $480 million. Each commercial use of Jordan’s name is worth more than $10 million, he estimated. Sperling displayed a chart with companies whose products Jordan has endorsed and how much he made from each deal. It included the $480 million from Nike from 2000 to 2012 and $14 million from Hanes underwear. Sperling added that Jordan made a total of $100 million from his identity in 2014, a decade after retiring as an NBA player.
Today, the Jordan Brand generates more than $2.5 billion per year for Nike. That is a far cry from what Michael Jordan and Nike could have anticipated when his first pair of Air Jordans came out 30 years ago at a sales tag price of $65.