Beaverton, OR (15 February, 2006) - Jordan, a division of Nike, Inc., is celebrating the newest addition to the Air Jordan franchise, the Air Jordan XXI. Scheduled for launch during NBA All-Star 2006, the shoe commemorates the brand’s leap into the future. The release of the technologically advanced Air Jordan XXI will be accompanied by a comprehensive marketing campaign that features the first-ever auction of an entire collection of Air Jordan shoes for charity, a series of events during NBA All-Star 2006 in Houston, and a national print and broadcast advertising campaign.
“With last year’s Air Jordan XX, we looked back and celebrated the past twenty years,” says Michael Jordan, “The Air Jordan XXI is a look toward the future. We’re making the shoe more luxurious and more advanced in terms of technology, which sets the stage for the brand going into the next twenty years.”
Available for retail on February 18 for $175, the Air Jordan XXI begins a new generation of sophisticated style and cutting edge technology. The Bentley-inspired shoe now comes with an even more advanced Independent Podular Suspension (IPS) technology that allows you to customize the cushioning support. Aesthetically, the Air Jordan XXI includes personal design elements from Michael Jordan himself, echoing his “DNA” - or characteristics - that make up his outstanding on-court performance and off-court persona. The shoe remains the most performance-enhancing on the market and is poised to lead the widely popular Air Jordan franchise well into the future.
“It is always an honor to work with Michael Jordan and design in true collaboration with him,” states Footwear Design Director D’Wayne Edwards, “We kept both his style and the true Jordan consumer in mind when we designed the shoe, continuing our tradition of creating technologically-superior basketball footwear.”
The premier highlight of the shoe’s launch features a once-in-a-lifetime Air Jordan Collection Auction. With net proceeds benefiting Habitat for Humanity’s Hurricane Katrina Relief, the auction offers the entire Air Jordan Collection (I-XXI), along with other rare and exclusive items, autographed by Michael Jordan and authenticated by Upper Deck. The Jordan brand will begin accepting private bids on February 17, by invitation only. From February 21 through March 3, the auction will be made available online through eBay (and hosted by Kompolt) whereby the general public will have their chance to bid on the iconic sports memorabilia. Auction lots include the following signed items: Air Jordan shoes I through XXI with a custom display, Air Jordan Retro 11’s game-worn by Michael Jordan in one of his last professional games, a framed Wings poster set with the 1986 and 2005 editions of the famed print, a Chicago Bulls jersey and a special-edition red suede basketball.
“We know that Air Jordan fans are very dedicated and avid collectors, “says Tim Muret, Vice President of Upper Deck Authenticated, “This is the very first time something of this nature is being offered to the public and we’re proud to be a part of the authentication process. One can only imagine what the final value and the winning bid might be.”
In Houston during NBA All-Star 2006, Jordan will host a series of events to launch the Air Jordan XXI. The first event on February 17 will be an exclusive invitation-only red-carpet soiree bringing out brand-loyal celebrities, athletes, and VIPs out to Houston’s historic 1001 McKinney building to enjoy entertainment by Grammy-winning pianist and R&B singer/songwriter John Legend. The second event on February 18 invites the general public out for a special evening, with performances by hip-hop artists Styles P and Jadakiss along with Houston’s very own DJ Cut Creator.
Supporting the launch, Jordan debuts a visually stunning television spot called “2nd Generation”, created by Wieden+Kennedy New York. The commercial introduces the Air Jordan XXI and pays true testament to Michael Jordan's legacy through a moving re-creation of his most famous career highlights performed by young basketball players, illustrating how his influence will continue to impact generations from the past as well as generations to come. In addition, visually stunning “DNA-themed” imagery of the Air Jordan XXI also appear in outdoor, print and online venues.
A division of NIKE, Inc., Jordan is a premium brand of footwear, apparel and accessories inspired by the dynamic legacy, vision and direct involvement of Michael Jordan. Air Jordan debuted in 1985 and became an official brand in 1997. Jordan has grown into a complete lifestyle collection of sport, casual and style products for both men and women. The Jordan brand remains active in the community by donating a portion of its proceeds to Jordan Fundamentals, an education grants program for teachers and maintains its commitment to outstanding athleticism with Team Jordan athletes.
For more information on the Jordan brand, visit www.jumpman23.com.