Michael Jordan’s ‘Jumpman’ Logo Had Nothing to Do With Basketball

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Michael Jordan’s “Jumpman” might be the most famous athlete-associated logo on earth.

Many athletes have their own branding and design; Tom Brady for example, has TB12 and LeBron James has his crown logo.

But Jordan’s brand outshines them all.

The Jumpman logo has progressed from the famous Air Jordan shoes to a full line of clothing and accessories. The Nike-owned brand even provides uniforms for several major college sports programs such as Michigan and UCLA.

All 30 NBA teams also use the logo for their “statement edition” jerseys.

The image of Jordan flying through the air holding a basketball is inarguably iconic, but its origins apparently had nothing to do with basketball.

While doing a photoshoot with former brand design head Peter Moore, Jordan jumped into the air while doing a ballet move.

Moore then captured the iconic photo and used the silhouette for the logo:

The Jumpman brand is now worth upwards of $3 billion, and sales of its iconic Air Jordans have exploded in recent years. Nike revealed that between 2020-2021, they sold over $5 billion worth of Jordan branded shoes, essentially equalling a year’s worth of sales for the entire Under Armour company.

Years after his retirement, Michael Jordan’s sportswear brand is stronger than ever, even though the inspiration for its logo had nothing to do with sports.

Written by Ian Miller

Ian Miller is a former award watching high school actor, author, and long suffering Dodgers fan. He spends most of his time golfing, traveling, reading about World War I history, and trying to get the remote back from his dog. Follow him on Twitter @ianmSC


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