Michael Jordan’s Capitalism

‘Air’ tells the story of how Nike became his ‘sponsor’.

Film AirDirected By, released this year ben affleck and starring Matt Damon And Affleck himself does not paint businessmen and managers in sinister colors, and he has been criticized for this reason. It was accused of being a consumerist film, CapItalist focuses on the wealthy, and above all, suggests that working in a company can be fun, creative, and exciting. We could go as far as this.

Air tells the story of how Nike managed to sponsor a relatively new basketball player, but who was starting to look different: Michael Jordan, The year was 1984, and Nike’s basketball shoe division wasn’t raising its head, lagging far behind. adidas And CONVERSEso they pay commission sonny vaccaro (Damon) is looking for a young person in the future to sponsor.

There the adventure begins, as Sonny sees young Jordan play, realizes he is extraordinary and persuades him to accept the sponsorship. But the difficulties were many. The player himself is determined to sign a contract with Adidas, and Nike’s budget for Jordan can hardly match the budget of the great German multinational. Vaccaro must persuade Nike to focus its entire sponsorship budget on Jordan, starting with its boss and owner, Phil Knight (Affleck). and also that it makes it thanks to its talented designer, peter moore (Matthew Maher), some cool new personalized sneakers to be called air Jordan Hence the title of the film. The underlying idea was that basketball shoes, which were only used for playing basketball, and therefore had a relatively small market, could eventually be sold to many more people.

The process of convincing Jordan reveals Vaquero’s talent, his deep knowledge of the game and business. Risking his career, he visits the head of the Jordan family, deloris (Viola Davis), who insists that her son sign with Adidas. Sonny describes the situation at the aforementioned company, whose president has recently died, which will strain its leadership, creating uncertainty that will harm Michael. Ms. Jordan would later verify, when she, her husband and their son met with Adidas representatives, that the information Sonny had given them was correct.

This opens a door for Nike, which is quickly shut, as Deloris Jordan makes an unusual demand: Michael must not only submit a fee for the sponsorship, but a percentage of shoe sales On which his name will be inscribed. This had never been done before. No company was going to accept it, certainly not Adidas, but not Nike either.

Morose, Sonny Vaccaro tell bad news Phil Knight: Compromise is impossible. And that’s when Knight tries his hand at being an entrepreneur: he agrees to the Jordan family’s terms. A happy ending that doesn’t really have an end yet: Years and years of success keep coming, Nike finally bought Converse and became a giant, and last year, as reported new York TimesJordan’s shoe brand brought the company $5 billion in revenue.

Then why is the protest against capitalism reflected in this company? This is probably what angers liberals of all parties the most. The market is a game of positive sum, The company made a lot of money, of course, but so did the athletes who followed Jordan and the millions of consumers who freely bought and enjoyed the shoes.

Matt Damon recalled the words of Phil Knight’s character in the film: “He says, ‘If this guy makes a lot of money on this deal, it’s going to be the best thing ever for Nike.’ Right? It really was a win-win deal.” Absolutely everyone won.”

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