The Jordan Jumpman logo is one of if not the most recognizable logo when it comes to basketball sneakers, however how did this classic logo come about? Many don’t know but thanks to retrourfeet on NT we have some insight behind the Jumpman logo. The image below which is seen on the OG Air Jordan 1 hang tag has a interesting creation behind it as Michael Jordan says in a 1997 interview with HOOP Magazine:
“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.”
Where did the idea for this photo shoot come from? Well it seems it stemmed from a photo of MJ featured in Life Magazine for the 1984 Olympics which you can see below.
Although the Jumpman logo is seen on the hang tag of the AJ1 it didn’t actually make it’s full force debut until 1988 with the Air Jordan III, it seems MJ’s contract with Nike was coming to a close and Rob Strasser who was Nike’s VP was in a power struggle with Phil Knight, Nike’s CEO so Rob and Peter Moore, Nike’s head designer were devising a plan on the down low to pull MJ away from Nike and bring him aboard their new sneakers company Van Grack. Peter actually designed some pre sketches of his version of the Air Jordan 3 and upon his departure from Nike, Tinker Hatfield got the nod to jump in and got ahold of the sketches which included the outline of the Air Jordan Jumpman logo.
Nike’s sales jumped up in 1985 so there was no way Phil Knight was about to loose MJ to anyone so Phil gave Tinker the task of designing the Air Jordan 3 and presenting it to Mike, which both Tinker and Rob Dumas designed the entire AJ 3 line within weeks. At the meeting Mike was ready to depart from Nike however when Tinker said he had the sample of the Air Jordan 3, it grabbed Mike’s attention and after seeing the AJ 3’s design, premium leather, elephant print and the Jumpman logo covering the tongue, Mike fell in love and the rest is history! Once again thanks to retrourfeet on NT for the info!