LIKE MIKE BLOG

For everyone that like's Mike.

11/24/07

The Jumpman story



The Jumpman.

One of the most recognizable logos known to man...

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For almost 20 years now the Jumpman has been selling sneakers, shirts, hats, socks, wrist bands, back packs, and anything else Nike could attach a Jumpman to.

Slap a Jumpman on a dried up piece of dog crap and i'll bet you that shit will sell!

But this didn't happen overnight...

Let's travel back to 1984 and re-trace the path of the now Infamous Jumpman logo.

The Jumpman logo is actually a silhouette of studio photograph of Mike performing a ballet move, not an actual dunk as the image suggests.

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Here's part of an interview with HOOP Magazine from April of 1997 where Mike talks about the creation of the Jumpman Logo.

"I wasn't even dunking on that one.
People think that I was.
I just stood on the floor, jumped up and spread my legs and they took the picture.
I wasn't even running.
Everyone thought I did that by running and taking off. Actually, it was a ballet move where I jumped up and spread my legs.
And I was holding the ball in my left hand."

Not many people know that the original idea for the photo shoot of the Jumpman came from an older photo of Mike in Life Magazine for the 1984 Olympics.

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This is the rarely seen photo that started it all.

Nike "sampled" the idea for a poster featuring Mike suspended in air for what would later become the now famous Jumpman logo.

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This photo was first featured on the hang tags of all the original Air Jordan I's from 1985...

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But the actual Jumpman logo didn't join the mix for another 3 years.

Fast forward to 1988...

Mike's contract with Nike was about to finish.
Rob Strasser Nike's VP was in a power struggle with Nike CEO Phil Knight. Rob and Peter Moore, Nike's head designer, were secretly hatching a plan to lure Mike away from Nike to their new sneaker company called Van Grack.
Peter originally did the preliminary design work on the Air Jordan III.
He had a pile of sketches of the Air Jordan III but waited until it was too late to execute.

When he left Nike, Tinker Hatfield got the sketches and in amongst it were the outline of the Air Jordan Jumpman logo.

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Since 1985, Nike sales have jumped through the roof and Phil Knight (Nike's CEO) was not about to lose Mike that easily.

He gave Tinker the task of presenting the next AJ III to Mike.

Both Tinker and Ron Dumas designed the entire AJ III line in a matter of weeks.

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At the Air Jordan III presentation, Mike was ready to leave Nike.

This was Nike's chance to show and prove.

When Tinker said that he has a sample pair of the AJ III, Mike's eyes lit up...

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Once Mike saw that luxurious tumbled leather wrapped in elephant print with that big, beautiful, fire red Jumpman logo on the tounge, that was it, Mike was in love.

Nike added Spike Lee to the mix and the rest is history.

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From the commercials, the dunk contest, the scoring titles, the MVP's, the buzzer beaters, the heart breaking losses, the championships, the retirement, the come back, the 72 and 10 season, the tap on the ass, nothing but net goose neck with 6.6 on shot clock...

What a ride!


By the end of Mike's career with the Bulls, the Jumpman was strong enough live outside of the shadow of big brother Nike and Brand Jordan soared to new heights.

From a quick Life Time Magazine photoshoot to a CEO of a multi-million dollar company...

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Now moving into the year of the Air Jordan XXIII, Brand Jordan is bigger then ever.

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2008 should be a fun year for everyone that Like's Mike.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Please stay in your seats...

The ride is not over.



Bonus Video:



Check out Andy De Lore doing the "One armed Jumpman".

Thank ISS Member "Flight 83" for the OG AJ I&III pictures.