WHAT'S THE DEAL: Why Michael Jordan is still making an impact
This past weekend, the Air Jordan XX8s hit stores. The flashy commercial features a marching band, cool tron-like dunks, exploding balls, and only ONE second of Michael Jordan.
Michael Jordan just turned 50. He hasn't played in the NBA for almost 10 years. His number, 23, which appears on the shoes, was initially retired by The Bulls in 1994.
And yet, people lined up last weekend to buy shoes that cost $250 and look like some sort of Martian snow boot... all because they've got Jordan's name attached to them.
Forbes estimates Jordan still makes $80 million a year. That's more than Manny Pacquiao, Tiger Woods, and Lebron James - all who still actually play sports.
The Jordan brand, which is a division of Nike, has found success by reminding us that Michael USED to play, and when he did, he was awesome. Some of their best sellers are Retro Jordans - releases of classic Air Jordans, like the one Michael had on his feet when he made his last shot for The Bulls in 1998.
Jordans of all eras sell for premium prices on eBay, and a good chunk of the people who line up to buy them are doing so to collect them or re-sell them.
Jordan has been affiliated with Nike since his rookie year. The original Air Jordans were banned by the NBA, which only made people want them more.
Today the Jordan brand makes sneakers for OTHER athletes. The Jordan Melo M9 is Carmelo Anthony's shoe. The Jordan CP3.VI is Chris Paul's shoe.
The Jordan brand is the biggest player in the US basketball shoe market. The success of the XX8s makes it likely we'll be seeing many more shes from "Number 23" in the years to come.
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