The shoe line that changed the world

“Air” explores the creation of the universally known shoe, Air Jordans.


“Air” dives into lessons that go beyond the creation of shoes. (CCO 1.0)

By Jacey Sola

Michael Jordan is arguably one of the greatest basketball players of all time. He is a household name and is synonymous with the Nike franchise. The logo of him flying through the air is seen on all Jordan brand shoes. Everyone knows about Jordan’s backstory, but what about his shoes?

The movie features an all-star cast including Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Viola Davis, Chris Tucker, and Jason Bateman. 

It follows Sonny Vaccaro played by Matt Damon. He was a marketing executive for Nike during the ‘70s through the ‘80s. He was responsible for coming up with the plan and successfully signing Michael Jordan for a sneaker deal with Nike. He is single-handedly one of the most important pioneers of the Nike company and without him, the company would not have been as successful as it is today. 

The movie was heavily inspired by ‘80s culture. The soundtrack featured classics like “Time After Time” by Cyndi Lauper and Blister in the Sun by Violent Femmes. It captured the ‘80s atmosphere with the neon outfits, worn specifically by Ben Affleck’s character, Phil Knight.

The pacing of the movie was a little slow at the beginning. However, it did a great job at slowly introducing the viewer to Vaccaro’s life and job and the status of the Nike franchise. It picked up with Vaccaro’s interactions with the other characters, such as with Deloris Jordan, played by Viola Davis.

It was interesting that the movie decided to be a bit more playful and was surprisingly funny. There was a lot of comedic banter, especially between Ben Affleck’s, Matt Damon’s, Chris Tucker’s, and Jason Bateman’s characters. There were many times when laughter could be heard in the movie theater.

One gripe about the movie is the absence of Michael Jordan. Scenes in the movie never reveal Jordan’s face. In a movie about his shoe brand, it was expected that he would make an appearance or an actor would actually play him. However, it is understandable because the movie is not about him but about the shoe.

Overall, the movie was very entertaining and enjoyable to watch. Vaccaro’s story was motivational and a testament to how taking risks is required for success. It is a must-watch for both sneaker and basketball fans.