Air Jordan Shoe Designer Talks Dropping Nike Swoosh for Jumpman Logo

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMay 3, 2020

DENVER - FEBRUARY 18:  The Air Jordan logo at the Air Jordan XX Launch Party at Rise Nightclub on February 18, 2005 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

For the first six iterations of the Jordan shoe, the Nike logo was prominently featured. That ended with the Jordan 7s, which ditched the Nike Air technology entirely to fully establish itself as its own brand.

"I recognized early on that MJ, especially with his Jumpman, I felt could survive and even flourish without a Swoosh," designer Tinker Hatfield told Nick DePaula of ESPN. "It was part of the strategy of mine to sort of create a Brand Jordan before there ever was one."

The Nike swoosh never returned, instead replaced by the iconic Jumpman logo that's synonymous with the brand.

While it would have been a risk to put Jordan's branding upfront initially, it was a perfect decision by the 7s. Jordan had, by then, become the best player in basketball and one of the most iconic faces in sports. 

As a branding decision, it was also genius, allowing Jordan Brand and Nike to seem "separate" despite being under one roof. The 7s aren't among the most beloved releases by Jordan Brand, but they are among the most important.