Michael Jordan is known by many nicknames. MJ, Black Cat, His Airness, GOAT, but none compare to the nickname that became a shoe and a brand – Air Jordan.
In 1985, Nike debuted the first shoe for Michael Jordan that would carry his namesake, and what came along for the historic ride was the name of Nike’s newly introduced technology of Air cushioning. Bring the two names together and a high flying rookie and you have Air Jordan.
Today, when one thinks of the Jordan logo, what often comes to mind is the famous Jumpman Jordan logo that the public has seen on hundreds of millions of shoes and apparel items since its debut in 1988 on the Air Jordan 3, but prior to this mark, the Air Jordan logo is what is known today as the Air Jordan Wings logo.
The inspiration behind the Jordan wings logo was playing off of the aviation theme of the Air Jordan name. Since the beginning, Nike often drew parallels of Michael Jordan and flight with photoshoots on airport runways, the sights and sounds of commercial airlines, and tag lines that include “take flight.”
The Jordan wings logo that made its debut on the Air Jordan 1 was inspired by the flight badges that were worn by commercial and military pilots and often given as souvenirs to kids on flights.
According to Nike’s trademark filing of the Air Jordan Wings logo, the mark was first used in commerce on January 25, 1985, which only has added further evidence to the long-standing debate on whether or not the NBA actually banned the Air Jordan 1.