There is a now infamous Kanye lyric from years back that spoke to a transition of Adidas and Jordan Brand. If you are not familiar with the lyric please do not expect me to quote it, and honestly, I am truly disappointed in you. This is a simple point Adidas is very close to taking a larger market share than Jordan Brand as a sportswear line in the United States. Now, as I just said the point is very simple, but what it fully means is a little more complex.
A larger market share for Adidas doesn’t mean Yeezys are outselling Jordan’s as a whole as sneakers. It doesn’t actually mean that the Yeezy jumped over the Jumpman. Damn it, I said it. Adidas attack is multifaceted and on an elite level. We forget that in the U.S Adidas did and does have jersey and uniform contracts for entire leagues. We forget that their sponsorships run wide in basketball, football, baseball, boxing, and soccer. This is not to say Jordan Brand is not connected to these sports, but it is on a strict top tier basis. Jordan Brand is almost a fraternity when it comes down sponsorship, and that is with all of the sports they are involved in, and all of their athletes.
Now when we start to dive in to basketball this becomes more noticeable as well. If you are on Team Jordan you are or were a star, or in many cases have a tie to Michael. Continuing to look at this you have three relatively younger NBA athletes at its core with Lillard, Wiggins, and Harden. If I compare those three to Jordan Brand, you have Chris Paul, Carmelo, Westbrook, Leonard and Griffin. Scratch off Melo and CP3, you then have only one athlete with a signature shoe and it was a lifestyle shoe, not a performance model. I say all of that to say this, Jordan Brand transitioned to a casual and style shoe with the retros years ago, and we do not see many players through any level wearing the non-retro’s on courts. This is possibly because of the price point of the Jordan signature line, but it could also be a greater reason.
Is it possible the allure of MJ is fading through the generations? Many younger people these days don’t understand the mystique of a lot of the Jordan releases and colorways. Has this created a disconnect between the brand and the younger demographic? It’s really a possibility we see kids nowadays flocking towards brands that may not have been as considered in the past. These are pivotal points from a sneaker standpoint, without having a single face with their own iconic model, and an ever-growing distance between his Airness and the youth market. We may continue to see a decline in Jordan brands market share.