Jordan has recently announced the signing of Jayson Tatum at Paris Fashion Week. Finishing his second season with the Boston Celtics, Jayson Tatum has become the new brand ambassador of Jordan. Jordan brand making some moves signing players was expected as their current brand ambassadors are aging and are at the end of their prime. So signing some young players with huge potential isn’t a bad move. He already have a strong fan-base in his own right and has potential to be a super-star in a Championship team. This will certainly give Jordan the edge over its competitors. But the question is will Jayson Tatum benefit as much as the Brand?
Dwyane Wade walked away with Jordan to sign with Li-Ning in 2012. Pretty bold move for Wade since Li-Ning wasn’t a known brand in the States compared to Jordan. But Dwyane still took it because it gave him a chance to become the front-runner of his own Brand. When you sign with Jordan you don’t play to for your own brand. You play to for MJ himself.
Don’t get me wrong, Jordan is a great brand for basketball players. Jordan shoes are one of the top performance shoes in the industry. And who wouldn’t want to have access to all the exclusive shoes that the “GOAT” wore? But if Jayson Tatum is to become the player he wants to be, a MVP, a champion, he should have signed with Nike directly.
This all comes down to signature shoes. There is no better way a player can build his brand than having a signature shoe. For Jordan having a signature shoe is different compared to other brands like Nike and Adidas. The Jordan brand is already established as Micheal Jordan’s brand and having a signature shoe under Jordan collides the signature player and Jordan. When you look at LeBron’s signature shoe, there is LeBron’s logo and a Nike swoosh. The Nike swoosh isn’t really related to a person. It’s represents more of a corporate entity. So these logos don’t collide with each other. But for the case of Why Not 0.2 it has a logo to represent Russel Westbrook and Micheal Jordan. This creates conflict and the signature shoe under Jordan will have a less of an impact than signature shoes under a different brand.
But signature shoes aren’t the only way a player can build their own brand and being part of a brand that has placed itself deep into the culture, signature shoes may not be needed to develop a players own brand. And for a player like Jayson Tatum, I have no doubt about him being able to create his own brand through other methods.