LOS ANGELES — Jordan Brand sought to make a simple, yet stylish statement, with Thursday’s showy reveal of the NBA All-Star Game jerseys as it teased the brand’s future.
Photos leaked earlier in the week sucked some of the air out of the jersey design reveal: simple, black-and-white statements with typography the company said drew inspiration from Los Angeles street signs. The design aesthetic is consistent with a push made clear last summer when the brand set up shop in a posh Beverly Glen residence to showcase its fall collection, which was deemed to be a nod to both the brand heritage and more forward-thinking designs with a similar black-and-white color scheme.
Players will wear the jerseys for the 67th NBA All-Star Game, to be played Feb. 18 at Staples Center.
Thursday’s event at CBS Studios in Studio City also showcased halo products for the Jordan Brand in what the company dubbed the “Future of Flight.” More specifically, the future strategy appears focused on four key growth opportunities: Jordan Sportswear, Jordan Women’s, Russell Westbrook’s Why Not Zero.1 collection and the Air Jordan.
The aggregate of what was presented Thursday is symbolic of what’s to come, company executives on hand for the event reiterated, sticking to the script of the company’s obsession with the consumer and the need to balance the brand’s roots while also moving forward with what appears to be a bid to elevate the offering.
“Our goal is to continue to build on and keep pushing the envelope to the future,” Jordan Brand president Larry Miller said.
Executives on Thursday largely talked about the big picture, but the team appears to be pulling on all levers. It has to as part of parent Nike Inc.’s companywide Consumer Direct Offense strategy revealed in June. The plan calls for, among other things, speedier time to market, buildout of the direct-to-consumer business and a focus on a dozen key cities that will generate more than 80 percent of Nike growth through 2020.
Jordan Brand vice president of design David Creech said the build-out of Jordan Brand sportswear is one avenue being looked into, in addition to growing the women’s business with the goal of speaking to both the existing consumer and pulling in a new one.
Whether that means a push into fashion over performance-based product is not the conversation so much as it’s a balance of both.
“For us, we’re always that collision of performance and style. We’ve always been able to play both sides,” said Brian O’Connor, vice president of Jordan Brand marketing.
Ultimately, it is a basketball-based brand and that’s where it will remain.
“Michael Jordan, that’s who built this. That’s who this brand is built around. Michael doesn’t play anymore but he still is the guy who is the brand,” Miller said. “For us, we talk about this all the time, it’s how do we make sure we are respecting and paying homage to the past while we move into the future.”