Ben Affleck’s upcoming “Air,” the drama film inspired by Nike’s race to sign Michael Jordan as a signature brand athlete in the ’80s, is already gaining traction ahead of its April 5 release. To that end, the film will bring sneakerheads across the country a simultaneous social media moment, thanks to Jason Markk.
Markk — founder of his namesake premium shoe care brand — has partnered with Amazon Studios on “Fresh Air,” a multicity experience that will take place on April 2. The occasion will find guerrilla groups flooding select areas in cities including New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami, bringing together sneaker fans to share their personal sneaker stories.
The free event series, taking place at the same time across the country, will give attendees the opportunity to share video testimonials while their shoes are cleaned with Jason Markk products. Markk’s staff will also be present to give consumers advice and tips on how to keep their shoes in the best possible condition. Aside from freshly cleaned shoes, attendees — while supplies are in stock — will receive a cobranded Markk and Air-branded duster bag for their shoes, as well as the chance to share their moment at Fresh Air with an Air-branded photo opportunity.
Fresh Air is ultimately inspired by the meaning found in sneakers that make them meaningful to their wearers — similarly to Jordan’s own relationship to shoes over the years. The series also aims to spotlight the importance of culture and history behind the sneaker community itself, showing how its various members and aesthetics interconnect.
“Air” includes an all-star cast, featuring Affleck, Matt Damon, Jason Bateman, Chris Messina and Viola Davis. Davis, in particular, was key to getting the film made, as her casting was one of Jordan’s film demands, according to Affleck in an interview with Variety.
“He said, ‘None of this would have ever happened without my mother.’ I said, ‘Who would you like to play your mom?’ He said, ‘Well, it has to be Viola Davis,'” Affleck said. “That’s like saying, ‘Can I play basketball on your court?’ ‘Yeah, if you get Michael Jordan.’ Viola Davis is the best actor I’ve ever seen. This is a hard business. It’s hard to know if you’re successful. It’s hard to know if you’ve accomplished something. But honest to God, I always felt that if I was a director one day, and I had Viola Davis in a movie, that would really be something. That would mean the world to me. And it does.”
“Air” premieres in theaters on April 5.