The ESPYs provided moments Wednesday night that made you laugh, made you cry, and made you wander through a range of emotions. And with the help of Jordan Brand, it also evoked a bit of sneaker history.
The label’s commercial during the TV event resurrected an ad from 1985 starring Michael Jordan, showcasing his black, red and white shoes that were banned by the NBA at the time for violating the league’s uniform policy. The commercial concludes with the narrator stating “defiance returns,” with an image displaying the original Air Jordan winged branding and a message that “the next chapter” would be unveiled on jordan.com on July 20.
In 1985, defiance was born.
On 7.20.16, a new era will be unveiled.https://t.co/g34Vue3nH5
— Jordan (@Jumpman23) July 14, 2016
Much like it did at the end of the 1985 ad, in which the banned shoes were covered with two black boxes, the brand teased a new shoe online via jordan.com by covering all but the toe cap and the heel with the same black boxes. The label shared also shared the TV spot on its Instagram and Twitter accounts.
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Nike and Jordan Brand has told its “Banned” story through other sneaker releases, including the Nike Metcon 1 “Varsity Red,” a colorway of the brand’s shoe built for CrossFit workouts that wasn’t allowed to be worn by competitors in the Reebok-sponsored CrossFit Games. Nike released an ad online for the shoe stating, “Don’t Ban Our Shoe. Beat Our Shoe.”