Lightweight column: “Air – The Story of the Great Leap (“Air” in English only)”

Vayu – The Story of the Great Leap (“Air” in English only) is a 2023 film directed by actor and director Ben Affleck.
the story is “Air Jordan” from the Nike company: Virtually the “Michael Jordan shoe” was built around him, which marked the beginning of a separate, even contractual, relationship between athlete and sponsor.

I was very fortunate to see this film with people who still remember the early 80s USA very well because they breathed it and lived it.
Indeed, the film is set in 1984, when America was crazy about Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, and the notion of change, that is, the possibility of realizing “one’s American dream”, also passed through basketball. Along with sports, the textile industry is also going through a phase of change.,

The strongest sponsors are Adidas and Converse who can claim a great tradition in research, a lot of money and notoriety in the vast public. And that’s the center of the whole movie: Nike isn’t a highly competitive company because it makes sports shoes, yes, but for runners and Olympic athletes: a completely different story than basketball, ’cause the NBA’s economic power and resulting popularity.

Inside Nike, there’s Sonny Vaccaro, a basketball expert played by the very good Matt Damon (who put on weight for the role), who has a fresh attitude and only one player: the 18-year-old. Michael Jordan,
Sonny’s strategy is to bet his entire budget on a single super-promising athlete who will be “told” through “his” sneakers.

Sonny looks ahead, recognizes talent, is a man who knows how to place bets and immediately, at least in his mind, creates the story that should happen with this North Carolina promise, this athlete everyone wants to see. .

The story goes on: Rob Strasser (Jason Bateman) and Howard White (Chris Tucker) must first convince their boss Phil Knight (Ben Affleck) to support a new project.
Also, before Michael Jordan can be wooed, his mother Deloris Jordan (Viola Davis plays the part beautifully) has to be convinced.

Those who pick up this film immediately ask themselves this question: How did Nike become in less money and The power to conquer the entire Jordan family? Anyone who knows basketball or sportswear in any case and the various evolutionary steps in this area knows how it ends, but here it is a matter of understanding the greatness of the how.
The Air Jordan shoes and the type of contract that followed completely changed, as I said, the relationship between athlete and sponsor, between money and the mass media.
with this newly directed film ben affleck It gives us an exciting atmosphere, an accurate historical and social cross-section of America, and equipment that many people don’t know about today because technology has changed in the meantime (in the film we find VHS, pagers, telephones inside cars, especially Corporate and Luxury).

The director wanted to underline here that success comes from teamwork, even if the start is from a creative leap, from a person’s talent and will, with intuition due to specific personal and professional characteristics. We have to have the courage to accept this merit and then simultaneously take the risk even by destroying the internal hierarchy of a company.

Also, Ben Affleck makes a perfect choice: he tells Michael Jordan without saying anything. He is the only true hero and he is always present: he is the winning champion, he is the center of Nike’s success, he is the one who has the power to sign and change. Still he does not speak.
He is a hero who is part of the background.
Final result? A very entertaining film in every sense. A film detailing how Michael Jordan would become the first athlete to own a percentage and equity stake in the sale of a product. What else is the product: Air Jordans were conceptualized and created in 48 hours by recently deceased designer, Peter Moore (played by Matthew Maher).

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