On April 1, 1985, Nike began selling its most famous shoe ever -- the Air Jordan. The new product was hailed as one of the era's most important fashion and sporting innovations. It also helped catapult NBA star Michael Jordan to a new level of fame, unprecedented in the history of sports. But, there was even more to the story! Nike developed one of the world's first truly global sport's empires, and the NBA soon found space on television stations around the world.

In reviewing the history of Nike and the Air Jordan, you are to write a succinct review of Walter Lafeber's book, Michael Jordan and the New Global Capitalism.

Primary Sources

This American Life, "Meet the Pros," Act One. Crispy with the Rock. [ link ]

The story of two amateurs meeting the pros. One is a teenager in New Jersey; the other, our reporter. Joel Lovell visits 19-year-old Luis Da Silva, one of the stars of a popular series of Nike commercials featuring professional and amateur basketball players doing dribbling tricks. Luis didn't even start for his high school basketball team. (17 minutes)

Luis "TRIKZ" da silva in Nike Freestyle commercial [ link ]

Nike sweatshop interviews with consumers [ link ]

Nike, Inc. v. Kasky (2002) [ overview ] [ decision ] [ oral argument ] [ documents ]

Secondary Sources

- Walter Lafeber, Michael Jordan and the New Global Capitalism (W.W. Norton, 2002).

Available Resources

This Land is Your Land: Documentary film [ overview ] [ website ]