Product launch: Air Jordan XX3

After 23 years, six NBA championships, two retirements, a failed attempt at playing baseball, and still highly popular clothing and shoe line I think it's safe to say, "Yes, you were right Mars. It's gotta be the shoes!"

After 23 years, six NBA championships, two retirements, a failed attempt at playing baseball, and still highly popular clothing and shoe line I think it's safe to say, “Yes, you were right Mars. It's gotta be the shoes!”

Nike is launching the 23rd edition of its Air Jordan sneaker, the Air Jordan XX3, this month with a three stage effort running through February. With the original launch of the Air Jordan shoe in 1985, the company essentially created the sneaker head movement. And in a move that will make many of those sneaker heads happy, Nike is first making a limited edition of the XX3 available at only 23 retailers—for $230. When the shoes become available nationally they'll cost $185.

The marketing campaign will include four TV commercials, Web, point-of-purchase, and experiential marketing events.

Nike is also hyping the XX3 as a “green” shoe and the first to be released as part of its “Considered” initiative, wherein products are designed to lessen waste and feature environmentally friendly materials.

In a new TV spot, Jordan somewhat finally answers the “It's gotta be the shoes?” question Spike Lee, playing Mars Blackman, asked 23 years ago in an early Air Jordan TV commercial. “It's not about the shoes, it's about what you do in them,” he says. That may be true for people lacing up the shoes to play basketball. But for the Nike and the Jordan brands, it is, and always has been all about the shoe.


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