As a sports fan and lover of books, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie Air, which tells the story of how Nike managed to sign rising star Michael Jordan and create the Air Jordan shoe, which became the most popular sneaker of all time. The film is a classic underdog story of grit, dreams, and moxie, with a killer monologue by Sonny Vaccaro, played by Matt Damon, at a crucial moment in the film. Ben Affleck's direction and Alex Convery's sharp and snappy script make "Air" an enormously entertaining movie that is old-fashioned but also alive and crowd-pleasing. If you loved Air as much as I did, here are some books you should read next.
This definitive biography of Michael Jordan offers a comprehensive look at his life and career, from his childhood in North Carolina to his emergence as a basketball superstar, his six NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls, and his time with the Washington Wizards, his retirement, and his post-playing career. Author Roland Lazenby conducted over 100 interviews with Jordan's family, friends, and colleagues, as well as with Jordan himself, to create a portrait of the man behind the legend.
We have the honor of interview Roland in 2021 about this book which we will include here.
In this memoir, Phil Knight, the co-founder of Nike, recounts the story of how he started the company with a $50 loan from his father and built it into a global powerhouse. Knight shares the challenges and triumphs of building a brand from scratch, including his partnership with the brash and talented Track Coach Bill Bowerman, the development of the first Nike shoe, and the company's iconic marketing campaigns. The book also provides a glimpse into Knight's personal life and his passion for adventure.
Phil Jackson is one of the most successful coaches in NBA history, having won 11 championships with the Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Lakers. In this book, he shares the insights and strategies that led to his success, including his emphasis on teamwork, mindfulness, and Zen philosophy. Jackson's reflections on his experiences coaching Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant are particularly illuminating.
Larry Miller's memoir tells the story of his journey from the violent streets of West Philly to the highest echelons of American sports and industry. Miller wound up in jail more than once as a teenager, but he immersed himself in educational opportunities, eventually graduating with honors from Temple University. Miller climbed the corporate ladder with companies such as Kraft Foods and Jantzen, until Nike hired him to run its domestic apparel operations.
Around the time of Michael Jordan's basketball retirement, Nike Chairman Phil Knight made Miller president of the newly formed Jordan Brand. In 2007, Paul Allen convinced Miller to jump to the NBA to become president of the Portland Trailblazers, before returning to Jordan Brand in 2012. Miller's memoir is a passionate appeal for criminal justice reform and expanded educational opportunities for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people across the United States.
In the 1970s, Nike was a small, scrappy company competing with giants such as Adidas and Puma. But by the end of the decade, Nike had become the dominant force in the running shoe market. Geoff Hollister, one of Nike's first employees, recounts the company's rise to prominence and the key marketing strategies that helped it succeed. Hollister also provides a behind-the-scenes look at the development of iconic shoes such as the Waffle Trainer and the Air Max. The book not only offers valuable insights into the business of sports and marketing, but it also serves as a reminder of the power of determination and creativity in achieving success.
Whether you're a sports fan or a book lover, these works offer a captivating look into one of the most incredible success stories in sports and marketing history.