Case Study Brand Jordan: Selling a Legend Essay

4310 Words Aug 16th, 2011 18 Pages
Case Study Brand Jordan: Selling a Legend

March 2006 – Larry Miller, President of The Jordan Brand, finally had a few moments to relax. He sat in his office in the Jerry Rice Building at the Nike World Campus in Beaverton, Oregon, taking in the late afternoon sun. The latest advertising campaign was a success and sales were at an all-time high. But Miller knew that now was the time to plan for tomorrow’s success. He turned to the briefs on his desk, which contained various recommendations about how to improve the Jordan Brand’s collection of athlete endorsers. Four potential endorsers in particular stood out, each representing a new strategic direction for the brand to take. Miller needed to decide which, if any, of
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Individuals of all races, classes, ages, and genders could seemingly identify with him. The Jordan name became synonymous with dominance, excellence and respect.

Even in 2006, eight years after his retirement from the Bulls, it was still very common for an exceptional athlete to be praised as “the next Michael Jordan” or “the Michael Jordan” of their sport. Brand Jordan Director of Marketing, Cliff Torng, calls this “keeping the Michael Jordan-ness” in society alive. Torng’s Marketing team even tracks how many times Jordan’s name is used in popular media as a way to gauge the value of the Jordan Brand. He reasons that “when people use Michael to epitomize something that is the best, they keep Michael and the brand relevant.”

Air Jordan Survives a Test

Many within Nike thought the ride was over when Jordan surprisingly retired in 1993. It was widely assumed that the Air Jordan IX, which was being designed at that time, had no future. Without the validation of having Jordan wear the shoes on the basketball court, critics argued, no one would buy the product. It was only through the faith of those Nike employees who believed that Jordan’s influence was greater than his on-court performance that the shoe was completed and released. The success of that shoe despite Michael never playing in it gave credence to the viability of Michael Jordan as a brand,

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