4 Lessons I Learned From The Movie “Air”

4 Lessons I Learned From The Movie “Air”

Nov 22, 2023 · 3 min


I watched the very enjoyable movie about Michael Jordan and how the Jordan brand of shoes and clothing came to be. There were a lot of good points in the movie, but I would like to illustrate 4 of them.

There is a difference between it is crazy and NO

When you get “It’s crazy” as an answer, it is not NO. Crazy means that no-one has done it, and it is something new in the field. In most cases this is a good sign as you have a chance to stand out and make a precedent. So treat “It’s crazy” as “go make this crazy thing happen!” You can order everything online (Amazon) — it’s crazy, you can rent a car in seconds (Bolt Drive) — it’s crazy, you can book a flat with a few minutes (Airbnb) — it’s crazy. A lot of things deemed as crazy are common part of our lives and improving the world every day.

Calculate the risk into the budget

Fear has never been a good strategy for success. If you are afraid of some fines or problems then instead of avoiding them make them part of the plan. With the new Jordan shoes, the designers wanted to make them red. At the time the league only allowed certain colour shoes to be used in the games and red was not among them. Instead of redesigning the shoe, Nike decided to keep the shoe red and just pay the fines every time the shoe was worn in a game by Michael. It was a very smart marketing stunt, and red shoes stood out and gave a lot of publicity.

It takes only one person to make it happen

All big things start from one idea and one person being passionate enough to push it forward no matter what. In the case of Jordan shoes, it was Sonny Vaccaro from the marketing team in Nike, who looked at Michael and understood that he sees true greatness and believed that this is a once in a lifetime person. His belief, passion and relentless effort was what pushed things forward, infected others and changed the world of sports sponsorships forever.

Use the arguments presented in your favour

There was a scene in a movie where representatives of Nike were selling to the Jordan family for them to sign with Nike and forget the competitor offers from Adidas and Converse. They said that for them, Michael is not just another athlete, but “The Athlete” that will be the greatest sportsman ever seen. After the Jordan family shared their bold requests for the contract and Nike declined. The mother of Michael Jordan said: “If you really believe Michael is one of a kind athlete as you said in your speech, then you would not have a problem, making this extra specification in the contract and move forward”. This is a great example of understanding your value and position in the negotiations and making them work in your favour.

“Air” is a great movie with great roles and interesting dynamics. If you haven’t already, go check it out and see if you are as inspired as I was.

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