JORDAN JUMPS IN
NEW YORK — Do men want to smell like Mike?
Bijan Fragrances hopes so.
The Beverly Hills, Calif.-based company has completed a licensing deal with basketball superstar Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls to launch a signature men’s fragrance.
Few details were available, but the scent will be called, simply, Michael Jordan and will be introduced in October, probably in mass distribution.
The company reportedly wanted to call the brand Jump, but Jordan nixed the plan. Jordan’s nickname, Air, legally could not be used.
Coincidentally, Giorgio Beverly Hills has just launched a fragrance called Aire.
Tennis player Gabriella Sabatini has a line of scents, but Jordan might be the first major male athlete in the U.S. to put his name on a fragrance.
For20a long time, of course, many athletes — including Jordan, who makes more money from product endorsements than from playing basketball — have touted a variety of merchandise, from insect spray to underwear.
In the fragrance industry, Joe Namath appeared in Brut commercials from 1982 to 1986. He was preceded by other superstars in the late Sixties and Seventies, including Muhammad Ali, Wilt Chamberlain, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and the late Mickey Mantle.
“It’s a major step into the sports world for the industry,” said Annette Green, president of the Fragrance Foundation, referring to the Jordan deal. “It is to my knowledge the first time a major male athlete has had his own fragrance.
“He’s got a great persona; women admire him as much as men,” she continued. “We’ve gone as far as we can go with designers and other pretty people.”