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Detailed History of the Air Jordan Jumpman Logo

History of Jumpman
History of Jumpman

The Air Jordan Jumpman logo stands as one of the most prestigious symbols in the world. The Jordan logo represents a footwear line and an entire cultural movement. This Jumping Man in mid-flight embodies grace, athleticism, and the spirit of the greatest player of all time, Michael Jordan.

Jumpman Logo History

Michael Jordan's leap into the annals of branding history began paradoxically with his preference for another shoe brand — adidas. However, Nike saw potential in Jordan's rising star power. If you saw the movie Air, you should be well-versed in how Nike landed MJ over competitors like adidas and Converse. While the Air Jordan Wings logo was the first Air Jordan logo, MJ's Jumpman is what most people associate with him as a player and the brand.

Original Air Jordan Jumpman Photo Shoot by Jacobus Rentmeester (1984)
Original Air Jordan Jumpman Photo Shoot by Jacobus Rentmeester (1984)

What picture is the Jordan logo based on?

This iconic airborne pose was captured during a photo shoot in 1984 by Jacobus Rentmeester. What's more interesting is that MJ was seen wearing a pair of New Balance's in the shot. This is because the event took place while Jordan was playing for Team USA in the 1984 Olympics before signing with Nike. Nike recreated this photo shoot a few months later. Much controversy followed suit, with Rentmeester suing Nike in 2015, accusing the brand of copying his image to create the Jumpman logo we all know and recognize today. It has undergone subtle yet significant transformations in its almost forty-year lifespan. Minor design tweaks have kept it fresh and relevant while maintaining the core elements that made it a hallmark of sneaker design.

Jordan Brand Air Jordan Jumpman Logo
Jordan Brand Air Jordan Jumpman Logo

What was the first Air Jordan with a Jumpman Logo?

The Air Jordan Jumpman logo replaced the Air Jordan Wings logo featured on MJ's first two sneakers: Air Jordan 1 and Air Jordan 2. The Air Jordan 3 was the first time the Air Jordan logo graced one of Michael Jordan's shoes in 1988.

When did the Jumpman become the symbol of Air Jordan?

Jordan Brand officially launched in 1997 with the Jumpman logo front and center. The brand was created to further elevate the Air Jordan line from signature sneakers to takedown models across all types of footwear, as well as apparel and accessories. It transcended basketball to become a cornerstone of urban fashion and a symbol of aspirational lifestyle. The logo's influence on courts and streets underlines a narrative of excellence and achievement. Even if people have never seen Michael Jordan play, they recognize his Jumpman logo and what it symbolizes.

Internationally, the Jumpman logo has been a benchmark for branding, merging sports performance with lifestyle fashion. Its universal appeal has influenced a myriad of brands, shaping the sneaker industry at large.

Original Air Jordan Jumpman Photo Shoot by Nike (1984)
Original Air Jordan Jumpman Photo Shoot by Nike (1984)

The Jumpman logo's journey from a photograph to a global phenomenon encapsulates more than Michael Jordan's legacy. Almost thirty years in, Jordan Brand shows no signs of slowing down. It continues focusing on innovation with the latest game shoe, as well as models for its current athletes with sustainable practices and cultural resonance. The Jumpman logo, a beacon of this progress, promises to keep inspiring with designs that push boundaries on and off the court. It will continue to soar high, just as the man it represents did.

What's Next For The Jumpman?

Jordan Brand has been at the forefront of high-profile collaborations, creating special editions with artists, designers, and other athletes, such as Virgil Abloh, J. Balvin, and Ray Allen. Each partnership introduces a new dimension to the Jumpman logo, celebrating the brand's diversity and innovation. For Michael Jordan, the Jumpman logo has become a global ambassador of his legacy. It extends beyond his athletic prowess, enveloping a brand representing quality, performance, and a relentless pursuit of greatness. A similar moniker can be seen on the Air Jordan 11 and Air Jordan 12.

Outside of collaborations, Jordan has been at the forefront of inclusivity with programs like it's Global Women's Collective aimed at improving sizing and influential options in the streetwear community for women.

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