#AIRMovie – Movie Review

AIR – Budget of $70 – 90 million – 1 hour and 52 minutes

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Sonny Vaccaro looks through game tapes to find the next athletic sponsor for Nike. The CEO, Phil Knight, authorized $250,000 for three players. Sonny has plenty on his shoulders because Nike’s basketball division is floundering. Adidas and Converse have a hold on the market share. While Converse is America’s favorite basketball sneaker, Adidas has gained popularity because of Run DMC and its tracksuits. Sonny sits in a marketing meeting with its head, Rob Strasser, and looks through the 1984 NBA draft picks. Sonny wants them to consider Michael Jordan, but the staff knows Jordan is expensive and prefers Adidas. Nike would use their entire budget on Jordan alone. Sonny leaves the meeting upset and looks over more college basketball tapes. While watching, he sees an Arthur Ashe commercial for tennis rackets and gets an idea. Instead of having a player put on their shoes, they design them for the player. The player and the shoe will become a brand within themselves.

Sonny flies to LA to talk to his friend, George Raveling, because George coached Michael Jordan in the Olympic tournament. George believes Sonny’s instincts are right about the rookie but warns Sonny that Michael’s parents, James and Deloris, are strongholds in their son’s career. Sonny returns to Nike’s headquarters and pitches his idea to Howard White. Howard signed Moses Malone to a Nike deal that remains their best acquisition. Howard admits he called Moses’s mom to finalize the deal. Sonny convinces Phil and Rob to let him pitch a Nike deal to Jordan’s mom, but they tell Sonny to call Jordan’s agent, David Falk, not Deloris. David knows his client doesn’t like and won’t talk to Nike. So he shoots Sonny down. Sonny takes George and Howard’s advice and meets with Jordan’s parents. After a revealing conversation with Deloris, David calls Sonny with a flurry of insults and a Monday meeting. Phil tells Sonny that his career is riding on this meeting. Sonny runs to Peter Moore and asks him to design the best shoe Nike has ever created. Sonny doesn’t know, but his decision to pursue Michael Jordan will change Nike, athletic sponsorships, and Michael Jordan’s finances forever.

A lot of care went into making this film. The director ensures this isn’t a Michael Jordan movie. It’s about Sonny, Deloris, and Nike. Sonny is the man behind the curtain. He truly loves basketball and created an all-star basketball league and camp. He understood the psychology behind the sport, its players, and its coaches. Nike took a risk to put a player before profits, and it paid out with interest. However, the driving force behind this deal was Deloris Jordan. She knew her son’s worth to the game and wouldn’t compromise his future. This movie ensures she gets her flowers. The music and technology will transport you back to 1984. Audiences will remember the nostalgia of beepers, car phones, and fax machines. Also, this film gives recognition to Peter’s genius. Sneakers weren’t just a fashion statement for him. They were a work of art. While the language is a bit much for younger viewers, audiences will love this film from start to finish.

I give it 5 out of 5 stars

Everybody knew – Sonny

I know you can’t do what I do. You can barely do what you’re supposed to do – Howard

Don’t confuse ‘desperation’ with ‘vision’ – Philip

You bringing the plane to the ground, or are you just circling? – Rob

I don’t have friends. I have clients – David

Deloris, I’m out here if you need me – James

What should I ask you – Deloris

Please, use my a$$. PUMA – George

Air Jordan – Peter

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