Mike And Spike Together Again

Two years after Michael Jordan and Spike Lee concluded their 16-year commercial run, they re-unite in a national TV and print effort for the 20th anniversary of Nike’s Air Jordan, dubbed AJXX.

The campaign, via indie Wie-den + Kennedy here, includes a 60-second spot breaking Feb. 13 and three subsequent 30-second ads, and will run for a month. Print is timed to launch before the NBA All-Star Game on Feb. 20.

The 60-second “Storytime” follows Lee as he reads from a book about Jordan’s life from youth to retirement. He is seen wearing the AJXX shoes and talking to people in locales that have special meaning to Jordan: a barber shop, streets in Brooklyn, N.Y. (where Lee references his alter ego, Mars Blackmon), near Jordan’s statue at Chicago’s United Center and with groups of kids. Ultimately, Lee says the story does not end with Jordan’s retirement because, “Somewhere, someone is practicing.” “Who is it?” three kids ask, with text, “Will you be the one?” Their stories are revealed in the 30-second spots.

Print shows MJ covered with “tattoos” that represent people, places and events in his life. The graphic carries across the AJXX shoes and the Brand Jordan line.

“Michael understands that he has inspired others, just as he has been inspired by people in his life,” said Todd Waterbury, creative director at Wieden. “This campaign is a powerful yet simple way to communicate that message.”

Spend was not disclosed, but is expected to top Nike’s current support of the brand, which totaled $11 million from January-November 2004, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.