An Outpouring of ‘Love’ for Nike’s Jordan

LOS ANGELES Nike division Jordan said it is preparing to launch an integrated brand marketing campaign this month to celebrate Michael Jordan’s legacy. It is the division’s most ambitious effort since the launch of the Jordan brand in 1997, according to Roman Vega, senior advertising manager for Jordan in Beaverton, Ore.

The national campaign is an extension of the brand’s fall/holiday 2002 print ads and continues to use “Love” as a theme. Spending on the effort, which includes a series of short films, direct mail, online marketing, a traveling exhibit, a concert and Jordan-sponsored events, was undisclosed. Nike spends about $4 million annually on ads for the Jordan brand, according to CMR.

The “Love” program premieres this week in Atlanta, to coincide with NBA All-Star weekend. It will continue throughout the year and expand into other markets.

“We wanted to talk about the love of the game, and we also wanted to give consumers a forum to express themselves,” said Vega. “Everyone is passionate about something.”

Jordan’s broadcast advertising for 2003 includes a series of three short films, called “Love Stories.” The films, created by Wieden + Kennedy in New York, were shot in a documentary style. They vary in length from five minutes to over an hour and are expected to air online, on TV and possibly in theaters. The first short, which is an extension of a current 60-second spot for the new Air Jordan XVIII basketball shoe, is a tribute to Michael Jordan’s career and the athletic feats he has attained through the years while wearing Air Jordans. It will air on Feb. 9, prior to the NBA All-Star game on TNT. Another short film will center around boxer Roy Jones Jr. as he trains for the heavyweight title. The third execution will focus on the fusion of sneakers and hip-hop culture.

The direct and online effort asks the question, “What do you love?” Consumers can submit their answers, and the best submissions will appear on www.jumpman23.com.

The traveling exhibit consists of an 18-wheel semitrailer wrapped in Jordan graphics. After starting in Atlanta, it will travel to cities such as New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Washington, D.C. The interior will feature milestones for the Jordan brand in terms of products, athletes and marketing.

The Jordan-sponsored concert, “Love: In Concert,” will be held on Feb. 7 in Atlanta. It will feature Ja Rule, Eve, The Roots and Jurassic5 and will benefit the Greater Atlanta Inner-City Games. Another series of events, called “Spontaneous Love,” will be performed at a grassroots level, with Jordan athletes arriving at sports venues, youth organizations and college campuses to mentor and offer sports clinics and product giveaways.

In addition to Wieden + Kennedy, the agencies that worked on the campaign include online shop Blast Radius in Vancouver, B.C., direct shop Rauxa in Los Angeles and public relations firm Bragman Nyman Cafarelli of Los Angeles and New York.